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Warming up to Living Foods -  Book Review
This article is courtesy of Vegetarians in Paradise
http://www.vegparadise.com
By Zel and Reuben Allen

WARMING UP TO LIVING FOODS
By Elysa Markowitz
Book Publishing Company, 1998
Trade Paperback 15.95

Markowitz Elysa Markowitz's Warming Up to Living Foods cookbook presents raw and living foods with a unique twist. Typically, a raw foods diet consists of foods that are uncooked, unheated, and often cold. However, Elysa shows her readers how to enjoy her recipes to the fullest by warming the foods without destroying their valuable enzymes. By using familiar household appliances, such as an electric skillet or a coffee warming plate, she warms her dishes to no more than 105 degrees to heighten the dining experience.

Elysa demystifies the term living foods in her introduction by defining them as foods that have been sprouted or germinated, foods such as grains, legumes, nuts, or seeds. For those unfamiliar with raw foods she explains that these are eaten in their completely natural state--fresh and uncooked, though not sprouted.

In her chapter Getting Started, the author discusses the different equipment typically used in preparing living foods. Unlike a traditional kitchen where the oven and range top are central to cooking, her food preparation area has five basic appliances: a juicer, a blender, a dehydrator, an electric skillet, and a food processor. Elysa then discusses other tools and appliances "that you will appreciate" such as a Vita-Mix, a nut and seed grinder, a coffee warming plate, wide-mouthed glass jars, and sharp knives.

Between the covers of this treasury of original recipes is a basic handbook that provides a plethora of temptations beginning with Golden Applesauce with Fruit Chips for breakfast to her Date Nut Torte for dessert. Appealing enhancements to the book are the four double-sided color photo pages interspersed throughout. Elysa provides a menu plan for seven days but stresses that her suggestions are only that. She encourages one to mix and match the menu suggestions and to enjoy a lunch dish for dinner or vice versa if temptation calls.

Spirited by Elysa's tempting recipes we prepared her Creamy Squash Soup. It was indeed creamy, flavorful, and satisfying. Her directions were easy and so was the process. It was a hit! We were eyeing the recipe for Eggplant "Pizza" but we don't have a dehydrator and passed it by. Re-reading the recipe after dinner, we realized that one of her suggested options was sun-drying. Too bad we didn't read through the entire recipe before hand. We suggest YOU do. We moved on to the Barley Warmed Casserole and noted the directions were very easy to follow--very warming and tasty. By then we were craving the dessert we had made earlier that day. We dug into our Strawberry Cream Pie with great enthusiasm and licked our forks 'til they were shiny.

In her lively comments that preface each of the recipes, Elysa expresses her joy of cooking and her playfulness with food with expressions like "Green gives us chlorophyll and life--live it up with greens." As a prelude to Orange U Glad It's Salad? she comments, "First eat with your eyes, then taste heaven on earth."

When Elysa first began experimenting with raw and living foods, she admits it was with a hit-and-miss approach. Her first appliance was a juicer. It was her many original juice recipes that became the foundation of Living With Green Power. She admits that shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables was a dizzying experience at first. She gratefully acknowledges the many people who taught her about raw food cuisine and how to turn the simplest of fresh foods into well seasoned and sometimes even spicy gourmet dishes. She delights in sharing the many different ways to serve warm living foods by using an electric skillet, the dehydrator, a coffee warming plate, and even the sunshine.

One special feature of Elysa's book is her ingredient options, machine options, and warming options that follow most of the recipes, allowing a multitude of choices within each person's own kitchen. Other features include a glossary of terms, an excellent resources section, and her helpful explanation of measurements.

Warming Up to Living Foods is a cookbook that provides an ideal introduction to raw and living foods. The ingredients are familiar and easy to locate, directions are very clear, and each of the recipes we tried was entirely successful. There's even room for one's own creativity with Elysa's suggestions for options. As Elysa would say, "What a deal!"

Click here for more information or to purchase this book.

 

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