Book Review: Rawlicious at Home

Author: Angus Crawford & Chelsea Clark
Publisher: Appetite by Random House
Book Publication: 2014

You’ve heard that some like it hot, or at least cooked – and then there are those who like it raw. Whether you’re new to raw foods or a seasoned regular, Rawlicious at Home promises you’ll be fed well. Here, authors Crawford and Clark provide some of their tried and true recipes with step-by-step instructions and gorgeous photos. As founders and owners of Rawlicious raw food restaurants, they wanted to create an easy introduction to raw food and its benefits, with simple and healthy meals you can make at home.

What started with one Rawlicious restaurant serving up raw food in Ontario  has grown into a franchise and expanded to several locations across Canada and the U.S., proving you don’t have to sacrifice flavour to up your raw food intake. But relax, they’re not hardnosed, change-your-diet-to-raw dictators. They advocate only one simple rule – feel good about what you eat. To them, this means including more raw foods in your life. Defined as “food that hasn’t been cooked, processed, or altered with heat above 118°F,” raw foods are full of energizing enzymes and don’t usually include any animal products, although some raw advocates will consume raw dairy and meat.

According to the authors, eating raw can provide an excellent detox and healing effect, as detailed in the book The China Study, and in films such as ‘Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days.’ The authors of Rawlicious at Home also believe that the typical North American diet provides little in the way of enzymes and, as a result, many people feel sluggish after eating as their bodies must then use their own energy stores to digest this food.

Ready to take on a challenge? Try the raw cleanse detailed in their Five-Day Challenge. If you live near one of their restaurants, you don’t even have to cook. Just pick up your food every morning and off you go, and you’ll be happy to know that each day includes dessert! Clearly they’ve thought of everything. But if you’re not fortunate to have a Rawlicious restaurant near you, there is also a meal plan included in the book that details meal options, useful kitchen equipment (complete with price ranges), and fridge and pantry stocking suggestions.

If you’re not ready to dive in 100%, simply try incorporating more raw foods into your daily diet. Apparently a little goes a long way – and just like with exercising – the more you do it, the better the results. Here are some of the authors’ easy tips on eating well: drink loads of filtered water, get a juicer, eat (or drink) salad every day, go for organic, soak nuts and seeds, and carry snacks.

By the way, if you thought eating raw meant endless crudité platters and salads, you might be surprised by the seasonal offerings, which include Pumpkin Pie, Hot Chocolate, and Coconut Cinnamon Snowballs. Sure there are those hot weather classics like Summertime Broccoli Salad, Lea’s Lemonade, and Tropical Green smoothie. Then again, enjoying Thai Burgers with Sweet Potato Chips, or a Nacho Platter with Mexican Pizza might have you rethinking raw.

Suzanne Hartmann is currently an MFA candidate at the University of King’s College. She has been awarded the National Association of Japanese Canadians Endowment Fund’s 2020 SEAD grant for her MFA project titled Minyō Memories: Celebrating the Postwar Japanese Canadian Community in Toronto.

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