Hold onto your hats, folks. That’s right, I’m doing two cookbook giveaways in a row. I’m blowing your mind, I’m sure. In case you missed it, the first was Kathy Hester’s Vegan Slow Cooking for Two (or Just for You). Today, I’m introducing you to Amber Shea Crawley’s Practically Raw Desserts, which you can win by entering below. When Vegan Heritage Press invited me to participate in this blog tour to promote Crawley’s book, I figured why not? A free cookbook for me and one to give away. Then the book arrived and let’s just say I wasn’t overly impressed. I judged it. By the cover. By the photos. The design/layout. All of it. Since I’m a graphic designer, this kind of stuff really bugs me. Bad photos, poor font choices, less-than-stellar layouts–it just makes me think of how beautiful this book could have been. So…VHP, if you’re reading this–call me next time you’re designing a book! I can help!
Fortunately, the poor design is not a reflection of the contents. Crawley has created an impressive collection of healthy desserts. She also went the extra mile by making each recipe as flexible as possible, including various ingredient substitutions. If you’re like me and don’t own a dehydrator, you’ll appreciate the baking and freezing options. In fact, the recipe I’m sharing with you today (Russian Tea Cakes) has three options for preparation–dehydrate, bake or freeze. Hence the title Practically Raw Desserts–they are all raw unless you choose otherwise and they are all practical, too. Crawley did not write this book for expert raw food chefs–instead, she kept it refreshingly simple and low-maintenance.
All of the recipes in this book are raw, vegan, low-glycemic and free of dairy, eggs, gluten, wheat, soy, refined sugars, refined flours, yeast, starches, gums, corn and peanuts. In other words, whatever your dietary concern, she’s got you covered. In my opinion, this qualifies as a guilt-free dessert cookbook. This is the healthiest collection of desserts I’ve ever seen!
Crawley also included a helpful ingredient guide for those who aren’t familiar with the likes of cashew butter, tahini and such. Not to mention helpful charts for nut/seed soaking and sugar substitutions. You literally have to know nothing about eating raw, vegan, gluten-free, etc, to use this cookbook. You just have to like sweets!
On page 49, you’ll find the recipe for Russian Tea Cakes (a.k.a. Mexican Wedding Cookies or Snowballs). The best thing about this recipe is the fast, easy preparation. You can whip out a batch of these in no time at all. Mine turned out a bit dry, but that’s an easy fix for next time–I’ll just add maybe a tablespoon of water and reduce the baking time by a minute or two. Problem solved. I would suggest coating just one cookie in coconut flour and tasting it so you can decide whether you prefer coating or no coating. You may be able to skip the last step. If you prefer a sweeter cookie, you may prefer a coating of powdered sugar instead. Because they were a little dry, I added a dab of blueberry preserves and it turned out to be a great combination.
I also tried the Famous Five-Minute Blondies III on page 73. It’s an excellent recipe–Hubs and I both loved it. And it’s unbelievable simple. I’m looking forward to trying others such as Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Tuxedo Cheesecake Brownies, Enlightened Carrot Cake, Maple Streusel Coffee Cake Squares and Crumb-Topped Chocolate Hazelnut Torte. I think I just drooled on my keyboard a little.
Ready to win this thing and get busy in the kitchen? Thanks to Vegan Heritage Press, you can enter below to win a copy of Practically Raw Desserts. Or you can purchase it here. On October 1, 2013, a winner will be selected randomly and notified.
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