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Logo by Susan Newman

About a month ago I received a copy of Raw for Dessert by Jennifer Cornbleet and agreed to participate in the Green Books Campaign sponsored by Eco-Libris, a company that promotes green book publishing and allows readers to plant trees in order to offset the trees cut down to make books. At the Green Books link you will find a list of 100 bloggers who all read environmentally friendly books and are posting reviews about them today. The intent is to raise environmental awareness and encourage publishers and readers to be greener.

Many of you know I am vegan and though I do not subscribe to a raw food diet or the raw food philosophy, I couldn’t pass up a chance to try some new vegan desserts. Raw for Dessert arrived promptly. It it a pretty book with some mouthwatering color photos and the whole thing is printed on 100% recycled paper.

As for the desserts themselves, it is mixed. There are several recipes for what look like delicious fruit sorbets but I couldn’t make any of them because they require an ice cream maker, and really who wants to eat sorbet when it is 50 degrees outside?

I didn’t really stop to think what raw meant until I got this book. No flour. Most of the recipes that would normally call for flour require that you make your own flour out of raw nuts, usually walnuts. And the delicious looking chocolate cake is made mostly from medjool dates.

Most of the recipes have very few ingredients but my Bookman who is my kitchen wizard wasn’t prepared to grind 3 cups of walnuts into flour. Nor were we prepared to pay the extortionist prices for three cups of raw organic walnuts at our food co-op.

Another thing I didn’t think about when it came to raw, most of the recipes are fruit based. And well, fruit in Minnesota is usually expensive but this time of year when it is off-season for everything but apples (and with my own apple tree I have had enough of apples for a few months thank you very much), fruit is even more expensive.

We ended up making only one recipe from the book, the freezer fudge. Made mostly of cashews (and here we cheated because we used cashew butter instead of buying raw cashews and creaming them ourselves), it is very rich and has a nice fudge consistency. It is so rich that anything more than one or two bites it too much. So even though the recipe makes what appears to be a small amount, it is more than enough.

I can’t say I was bowled over by the book, but there are several recipes in it I would like to try when the fruit it calls for is in season again. And maybe come spring we’ll invest in an ice cream maker. We have some other books that include recipes for soy ice cream. It would be fun to try them as well as the lighter sorbets in Raw for Dessert.

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