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Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make Paperback – November 18, 2014
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"The recipes on offer here are exciting and fl exible, and you’ll also fi nd they are very doable for even the most novice cook. With money-saving tips, nutrition advice, information on special ingredients, equipment and techniques, pantry lists, and directions for cooked options, this book is a wonderful entry into enjoying the raw food lifestyle . . . practically." (Russell James, The Raw Chef)
"Beautiful and immensely helpful. The perfect cookbook for omnivores leaning toward veganism, as well as vegans leaning toward raw foods." (Vegan.com)
"For anyone wanting to become more comfortable and familiar with the charms and benefi ts of a plant-based diet, look no further than Practically Raw." (Matthew Kenney, Founder, Matthew Kenney Academy)
"Amber’s approachable style to eating raw makes it easy for anyone to start making raw foods in their kitchen. Her recipes are inventive, balancing both raw and cooked foods, with an emphasis on health but never sacrifi cing taste. You’ll fi nd the recipes in Practically Raw are deliciously divine." (Christy Morgan, The Blissful Chef)
"Amber’s easy-to-follow recipes make this healthful cuisine easy, joyfully approachable, and a veritable feast for the palate. Whether you’re a raw food neophyte or have been enjoying this healthy lifestyle for years, Amber’s fresh perspective is nothing less than “rawsome.” Her Cocoa Corruption Smoothie is addictive." (Dynise Balcavage, Author, "Celebrate Vegan" and "Urban Vegan")
"It’s a raw food free-for-all! Amber takes the stress out of uncooked preparations, making delicious results accessible to everyone. Guiding cooks through the world of raw vegan food with gentle instructions and helpful hints all along the way, you‘ll want to get into the kitchen as soon as you open the cover." (Hannah Kaminsky, Author, "My Sweet Vegan" and "Vegan Desserts")
"I have been impressed with every single recipe in this book I tried. Practically Raw is a book for anyone who likes to eat good food that doesn’t take forever to make. I would recommend it to every person interested in adding more raw and vegan foods into their lives." (Eva Rawposa, The Uncooking School)
About the Author
Amber Shea Crawley is a certified raw and vegan chef and writer trained at the Matthew Kenney Academy and at the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute. Find her on Facebook at ChefAmberShea.
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Although I am a raw food chef and have a lot of experience with raw foods, I was surprised to learn a few things from this book that I never thought to question! For example, I've always considered coconut butter something expensive that has to be purchased in a glass bottle. To see the inclusion of a recipe for coconut butter, I literally could not believe I never made it myself, nor thought that it was possible to do at home! (The same can be said for some nut butters.) I'm really excited to try so many of the wonderful recipes that I've found myself bookmarking page after page, after page. There are so many flavors and textures, combinations and techniques that I get the feeling these recipes have been used, tasted, tested, and implemented from the vantage point of someone that actually makes these recipes for herself. This cookbook is not simply an exhaustive list of recipes/ingredients that happen to temp the reader with familiar ''cooked'' food flavors and/or creative ideas of all things possible while cooking in the raw. It is, instead, a wonderful addition to any raw food cookbook collection that will surely offer many great surprises, tasty recipes and certainly accurate information. Very creative, inspiring, and provoking. I hope to see more from this author in the future!
Foremost, I'm a reader of Mrs. Amber's blog. Without sounding like a fan-girl, I'll just put that out there. And it could make me a little biased, but then again I've purchased cookbooks from other bloggers I followed and wasn't nearly as impressed. I'm all for supporting bloggers, but some aren't really producing professional cookbook material. There were times where I just felt like I paid for an 'extension' of the blog and not actually things that made me feel good about spending my money. This book is NOT that kind of book. It IS in some ways an extension of her blog (mainly because of her quirky sense of humor and writing style, which I love), but truthfully these recipes are incredibly innovative, creative, and SO tasty. These ARE the recipes that you put in a cookbook and not share on a blog for free, although Amber has been so generous in the past and shared a few of them with her faithful readers. Every single thing I've made to date has been amazing. And amazing because most of the recipes are so stinking simple! I've seen a few straggling complaints that some of the ingredients aren't readily available in certain areas or that the prep time is tedious. I just don't find that to be an issue at all. Okay, so I DO have easy access to ethnic grocery stores, within walking distance to where I live. But the awesome thing is that Amber gives substitutions for nearly every single ingredient that CAN be swapped out without ruining the recipe. Truthfully, the only 'exotic' thing some people may have to purchase is nutritional yeast, and that's only if one wasn't already a vegan to begin with. (Don't know too many vegans who don't have a jar of this in their pantries.) And I personally found that in a regular, suburban grocery store. Don't have access to tamari? No problem! Just grab a bottle of soy sauce from the little 'Asian' food section at your local Wal-Mart. No raw cashews? Cool! Get roasted ones and don't stress about the recipe not being entirely 'raw'. And speaking of which, I am without dehydrator. So do you KNOW how excited I am to have a cookbook that gives me the cooked options of goodies like kale chips? And these kale chips...boy, oh boy. I used to be the sea-salt-and-olive-oil kind of kale-chip girl. Now that I've discovered the world of actually COATING kale chips in all the wonderful sauces that Amber has invented, I don't think I could ever go back to plain ole' kale chip or even a POTATO chip. Ever.
The only 'con' is that I don't own a dehydrator, and obviously that is the fault of myself and not the author nor her book. The pros, in a nice neat list?
-COOKED OPTIONS--Praise the vegan gods, for they are looking down upon us peasants who don't own expensive dehydrators.
-Flexible ingredients. (I discussed this above, and I HAVE taken advantage of swapping out a few things based on what I had on hand and cost.)
-Oh, and COST. Because there ARE easy and flexible substitutions for each recipe, you can design the recipe around your own budget.
-An entire chapter on crunchy, coated kale chips. Maple-pecan, anyone??
-Raw apple pie oatmeal. Which can be cooked. And gets cooked often in this home. (I've also had it raw, and it's a nice change for my body.)
-Cashew Nacho Cheese Sauce. This has changed my life. I can't do dairy, and I DON'T LIKE CHEESE. This has the thick, creamy quality of real nacho cheese, but it doesn't has the disgusting smell and awful 'tang' that I just cannot handle. The ingredients used still gives it a nutty, slightly-cheesy flavor that I bet even your die-hard cheese addicts would find pleasure in consuming. (You should have SEEN the nachos I made with this cheese and the garden fresh salsa just a few nights ago. My Instagram feed blew up when I posted the pictures!)
-Easy smoothies. Cocoa Corruption. Sounds sinful, but the ingredients are actually nourishing.
-The marinated mushrooms, which are used in several recipes throughout the book. They are AMAZING. They take on the texture of the little mushrooms that come in the glass jars, but they taste a million times better.
-The desserts. Oh the sweet desserts. (Patiently awaiting the next book on desserts.) I really love dessert, especially when it's no-bake and oh-so-good for me.
-The writing style. Easy to read, simply entertaining, and straight to the point. As I mentioned above, there isn't a full-page story on WHY this recipe was created, whose grandmother made this generations ago, etc. Don't get me wrong. I when a lot of thought has gone into creating something as beautiful as deliciously satisfying meals, but I don't want to READ about the process with each recipe. It's like a good book that just FLOWS and doesn't require pictures (although this book DOES have pictures...pictures that will excite your taste buds).
I'm so excited about exploring the rest of the book and making everything, one recipe at a time. And there are SO MANY recipes in this book, another thing I truly adore. The mix and variety of the types of recipes offered. Pastas, soups, salads, kale chips, smoothies, desserts, oatmeal, cookies, taco salads, oh my goodness. My suggestion is to go through and pick out just 2-3 recipe you want to start with for the week (if you can contain yourself), go through your pantry and see what you already have, and then make a list of what you'll need. If you are starting out brand new in the world of raw (or even vegan), this will make the process less intimidating. And trust me, you'll probably be surprised at how many things you DO already have on hand.
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I am newly vegan and when I began, I was all gungho that I was going fully raw.Read more