|Warming up to
Living Foods - Book Review
This article is courtesy of Vegetarians in Paradise
By Zel and Reuben Allen WARMING UP TO LIVING FOODS
By Elysa Markowitz
Book Publishing Company, 1998
Trade Paperback 15.95
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
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
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.