I have released four recipe books so far:

The Best of the Sunny Raw Kitchen
The Best of Raw Freedom Community
Delightfully Raw and
Deliciously Raw

These feature some of the most delectable creations to have come out of my raw kitchen and will appeal to anyone interested in a healthier diet, regardless of their level of knowledge and experience. From easy one-step everyday fare to more elaborate and involved gourmet dishes and layered cakes, they offer something for everyone and every occasion. Incredibly tasty smoothies, creamy and comforting warm soups, sexy salads, delicious nut cheezes, satisfying entrees and scrumptious guilt-free desserts...

Healthy food never tasted so good!

To learn more about my recipe books, click here!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Book Review: Carol Alt's "The Raw 50"

Carol Alt is one of those natural beauties. Once declared "the most beautiful woman of the world", she is now in her late 40s and continues to radiate health. What is her secret you ask? Eating whatever she wants and as much as she wants... as long as it's raw!

Today, Carol's new book,"The Raw 50", is being released to the world. The book is a compilation of 50 of Carol's favorite recipes, mostly contributed by a variety of raw chefs, including Sarma MeIngailis of Pure Food and Wine, Dan Hoyt, aka 'Raw Chef Dan', of Quintessence Restaurant, and my dear friend Heathy Pace/Fairygirl, which you have already met. Sounded promising, to say the least...

First thing I did when I received the copy Random House sent me for reviewing purposes was browse through the recipes. I found that the selection was quite varied and many caught my attention at once. You know me, I just had to put some of the "Raw 50s" to the test...

'Jica-Rice Fresh' by Melissa Davidson of the Terra Bella Cafe

My thoughts: I love the idea of using jicama for rice! Not only delicious, but simple and pretty too...

Would I make this again? Most definitely!

'Cabbage And Peas With Tarragon' by Kelly Serbonich

My thoughts: Huh, dunno whether it's because our peas weren't very sweet, but we didn't find this dish overtly exciting. A little oily as well. An unusual combination of ingredients though...

Would I make this again? Perhaps with a little tweaking, sweeter peas and less oil?

We also tried a few of the soups presented in the book. (Surprise! Surprise!)

Janice Innella's 'Red Pepper Curry Soup' was a delight! A lovely mixture of sweet and spicy, with a touch of basil.

The 'Arugula Veggie Soup' from Chef Dan reminded me a lot of a blended salad. What it lacks in looks, however, it has in taste!

Yet another one of Dan's creations: 'Cucumber Avocado Soup'

My thoughts: Everything a soup should be: creamy, delicious and simple to prepare!

Would I make this again? You betcha!

Kelly's 'Super Flax Crax' with Awesome Foods' 'Cashew Cheese Spread'

The Flax Crax...

My thoughts: These have got to be one of the prettiest and most original crackers I've come upon! Amongst its many ingredients are flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and pistachios, red pepper and dulse flakes. Yum! Perhaps I was spreading the batter too thinly, but this recipe filled up close to 6 dehydrator trays!!! They are real yummers which came as a relief, as it yielded a few months' worth of supply! lol

Would I make this again? Definitely! Although I will halve the recipe.

The Spread...

My thoughts: I replaced some of the dried herbs called for with fresh herbs, which accounts for the greenish color of the cheese. lol It certainly didn't affect the taste, though. One of those quickly prepared spreads that is always handy to have in the fridge for a last minute snack.

Would I make this again? Yup!

Zucchini Crackers

This recipe didn't look like much at first (it calls for only 5 ingredients!), but boy, let me tell you, these are fantastic! Some of the best I've ever made! They're quite neutral in taste, so you could use them with both sweet and savory spreads. These crackers have instantly become a house favorite; right up there with the Onion Bread and Almond Bread, in my opinion. So much so in fact, that with Random House's kind permission, I am sharing this gem of a recipe with you.

Zucchini Crackers

Makes 24 crackers

1/2 cup golden flax seeds
3/4 cup purified water
1 med. zucchini, cubed (approx. 2 cups)
2 cups raw walnuts, germinated
2 tbs nutritional yeast (opt)

Grind the flax seeds in a spice or coffee grinder, and then transfer them to a bowl. Add the water and soak for about 1 hour, or until all the water is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Put the zucchini in a food processor and pulse until it is chopped into very small, uniform pieces, but not to the point of being mush. You want to retain some texture. Add the zucchini to the bowl containing the flax seeds. Put the walnuts in the food processor and pulse until they are finely ground, but again, not mushy or pastelike. Add the walnuts to the bowl with the flax seeds and zucchini and combine well (you may need to use you hands.)

Once you have thoroughly mixed the ingredients, spread them out evenly on two dehydrator trays lines with Teflex sheets and dehydrate at 115 degrees F for about 6 hours. When the tops feel dry to the touch, flip the cracker sheets over on the dehydrator screens and remove the Teflex liners. Continue to dehydrate for another 3 hours. Then cut the crackers into the desired size and shape. Place them back in the dehydrator for another 11 hours, or until crisp. Serve with hummus, cheese, and guacamole; or with your favorite soup.

Carmella's Notes: I definitely needed to use my hands to mix the batter, as it was quite thick. I even considered adding more water, but then I remembered the instructions, and it did the trick perfectly.

I also scored the batter before putting it in the D rather than after flipping it.

And finally, a couple of entrees... I better warn you first, this is turning into a Chef Dan's feature, but hey, what can I do? He's got like 12 recipes in there! I guess Carol is a big fan of Quintessence, eh?

Dan's 'Coconut Crusted Shrimp With Red Curry Sauce'

My thoughts: I served this dish with zucchini fettucinis, red pepper and leek. Sure looked like it was straight out of some fancy, gourmet raw restaurant (which I guess Quintessence is! lol) A delicious blend of textures and tastes. Perhaps a ways from real shrimps, but a pretty good dish nevertheless.

Would I make this again? Maybe

'Broccoli Cheddar Cannelloni' by You Know Who (lol)

My thoughts: Let's begin on a positive note. Once again, Dan's presentation is superbe! I found the tomato sauce to be a little wet, so I will probably omit the water called for in the recipe next time. However, the blend of fresh herbs was quite lovely. On the not-so-bright side, I didn't really enjoy the filling, finding one of the herbs in there (Rosemary? Sage?) a tad overpowering.

Would I make this again? Probably; although I will make sure to tone down on the herbs.

The book is filled with other promising recipes, such as Raw Burgers served with Sprouted Kamut Buns, Red Leaf Salad With Arugula Pesto Dressing, and of course, Heathy's Raw Lasagna. Oh, and on the sweet side, Mac-Macs (coconut and macadamias cookies), Almond Coconut Cookies, Pecan Pie and Lemon Ginger Coconut Tart.

Vegans beware, however. Tucked amongst "The Raw 50" are also a few recipes using raw dairy, eggs, and fish.

Spread throughout the book are testimonials from several people who share how adopting a raw food diet has had a profound impact in their lives; helping them get the upper hand over depression, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and even cancer. These struck a chord with me, as I always find myself fascinated by true stories, especially those that speak of transformation and success.

Besides enjoying the variety of recipes in "The Raw 50" and the glimpses it offers into people's lives, I found the book to be a good and effortless read. I appreciated Carol's personal and genuine comments about what it's been like for her to be raw, and her friendly and engaging tone.

All and all, a great little recipe book!

For more details about Carol Alt's "Raw 50" and/or to order, visit Random House's site.


  1. hey! have you checked out raw chef dan's new blog? http://www.rawchefdan.typepad.com

  2. Deborah, MississaugaOctober 26, 2009 at 10:50 AM

    Thank you so much for this review. We've just started out on our raw journey and I'm working my way through this book now so it's great to see which recipes are 'keepers' :-) Have you made the 'Death by Chocolate Macaroons'? I made them and shared them with my non-raw family members and everyone raved! Thanks again for the thorough review!