If there is one book a raw foodist should have, it is Living Cuisine. For the new raw-foodist, her recipes are delicious and make the transition easy. She was the co-owner of a raw food restaurant so she definitely knows what she is doing. If you are a beginner and you need motivation, try her stuffed mushrooms or her salad nicoise or her Buddha Back Mocha Cake.
Living Cuisine is also a great book for the beginner because it teaches how to transition, what tools to use, and what to buy. She informs the reader exactly how to stock a raw kitchen and how to use some excellent foods many Americans are unfamiliar with, such as algae, seaweed, umiboshi plums, and miso. She gives the inexperienced cook (like me) tips on how to shop, prepare food, and blend flavors. She explains how to make fresh juice, how to grow those nutritious sprouts (very easy), how to dehydrate without killing enzymes and how to culture and ferment. Her fermented foods are excellent--nut cheese, kim chee, sauerkraut. Living Cuisine gives many tips to those who want to transition to a healthier way of life. She is a teacher who understands how hard it is to make the transition, and she tries to make the process easy and fun.
There are so many handy tips in the book in addition to the basics--how to balance you pH in the morning to start digestion off right, how to render nuts more digestible by soaking, how to make nut milk. She answers many questions: Why eat organic? Is vinegar healthy? Which is the best kind of salt? And of course...Why eat raw?
Living Cuisine is a fun book to read, not just because it is so informative, but because Renee Underkoffler's style is direct and enjoyable. She has not only created a great resource for both beginning and experienced raw foodists, but also an enjoyable read.
Underkoffler also has a great website with tips for eating and living raw: http://www.reneeloux.com/
From the back cover of of Living Cuisine:
Eating Raw isn't just for naturalists and hippies anymore. Today, everyone's setting their tables with the foods nature has already prepared. and these foods go well beyond the sprouts, carrots, and celery that so many associate with this type of diet. Raw foods have gone gourmet!
In Living Cuisine, celebrated raw-foods chef Renee Underkoffler will show you just how varied, exciting, healthy, and delectable raw-foods cuisine can be. she provides easy-to-follow guidelines for incorporating this healthier way of eating into your lifestyle. Whether you are completely dedicated to the raw-foods diet or are simply raw-curious, you will discover how easy it is to transform the raw foods in your kitchen into a sumptuous gourmet feast.
With such delicious and diverse recipes as Pesto-Stuffed Mushrooms, Sweet Corn Bisque with Spicy and Sweet Pepper Relish, Indonesian Vegetable Pad Thai, and Chocolate Hazelnut Torte with Raspberry and Vanilla Creme Frosting, Underkoffler makes it clear that eating raw is anything but boring!
Let Living Cuisine be your guide into the world of raw-foods eating and living. But be warned: Once you go raw, you may never go back. --from the back of Living Cuisine