Category Archives: BOOKS

FERMENTED FOODS: My first fermented food book: Truly Cultured

POST #800
Truly Cultured, by Nancy Lee Bentley, was the first book I bought on fermenting foods. I made my first sauerkraut following the recipe in the book (with the exception that I chose to add 2 capsules of New Chapter Probiotic All-Flora — I added the probiotics then, and I continue to add probiotics to my ferments because, when I began making nut cheeze, probiotics were recommended, and I experienced success, and, also, because everyone I spoke to said it was difficult to make sauerkraut, and that, in all likelihood, my first batch would fail.  To date, only one batch, the one I made without the probiotics, has failed).

Truly Cultured is an excellent introduction to making fermented/pickled/cultured foods. I count it among my go-to books on fermentation.


FERMENTED FOODS: My favorite book: Wild Fermentation

POST #799
Since I’m on a roll with this fermentation thing, I might as well tell you about my favorite book: Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods by Sandor Katz.

This is one of the first books on fermentation that I got, and it is still the book I go back to time after time.  It seems that, every time I read through it, I find something new, no matter how often I go through it.

There is background information, info on ways of fermenting, and, also, interesting recipes that I probably will never try, as well as ones I have tried and loved.

For a beginner, or a fermenter who just wants a refresher, or else a refreshing read, this book is fabulous.

RAW VEGAN FERMENTED VEGETABLE RECIPES: Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods

POST #796
I’ve just added another book on fermenting raw vegetables, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods, by Wardeh Harmon, to my collection.

As is most often the case with books on fermentation or culturing of foods, this book is not only for raw vegans.  The sections on Vegetables and Fruit, however, are about raw food culturing,  and the majority of the recipes in Non-Alcoholic Beverages, as well as many in the  Condiments  chapter, are also raw.

The first chapters, on the whys and hows,  of fermentation, and the tools to use are very educational.   Although the book recommends using whey (a dairy product) for its lactobacillus content, it also offers a raw vegan option (water kefir), and gives detailed instruction as to how to use the water kefir.  (I will probably just stick with throwing my New Chapter probiotics powder into the mix — it has always worked for me — the only ferment batch I’ve ever lost was the sauerkraut I forgot to put the probiotics in).

The recipes are clear and detailed enough that a neophyte could manage a successful ferment right off the bat.  

I will put this one on my go-to shelf, for sure, especially when I am thinking of trying something new.

7/26/12 CSA SHARE: What we got

POST #767

Basil or Chives – 1 bun…………..Chives
Zucchini – 2 pcs
Cucumbers – 3 pcs
Green Cabbage – 1 hd…………… Savoy Cabbage – 2 sm. hds
Walla Walla Onions – 4 small
Asian Eggplant – 1 sm pc…………traded for 3 cucumbers
Bell Pepper – 1 pc
Green Long Peppers – 3 pcs
Red Potatoes – 1 qt…………………traded for onions

Peaches – 1 bag
UFO Peaches – 1 bag

The eggplant was smaller than any of the cucumbers, so I traded it for more cucumbers (I figured it would be too much work on such a small eggplant to make it be a raw food dish)

I finally tired, last year, of trying out raw recipes for potatoes.  I used to give my potatoes to my next-door neighbor, Mrs. Murphy,  but she passed away last month, so I have no use for potatoes now.  I felt lucky to find onions to trade for.

I’ve never tried to make sauerkraut with Savoy cabbage, so I looked it up in Sandor Katz’s  Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods , my go-to book for info on raw fermentation, and found that I can use Savoy cabbage just as I would use green cabbage (I’m guessing the flavor might be different, but I’m going to put jalapeno peppers in it, so it will probably be okay).  I’m out of sauerkraut right now, because my jar fell out of the refrigerator and broke all over the floor (big mess!).  While I was reading Wild Fermentation, I noticed a recipe for fermenting turnips, and another for fermenting beets, so… there go my backed up root vegetables.  I have some time tomorrow afternoon, so I guess I’ll make some sauerkraut, and some fermented turnips and beets.

Stay tuned


POST #755

Suzanne Kristin is holding a contest to  give away free raw vegan recipe books.  Check here to find out how to participate:

Kristin Suzanne Raw Vegan Recipe E-book Give-away Contest

Good luck!

6/21/12 CSA SHARE: What they say we will get

POST #754

This is what they say we will get tomorrow:

Kohlrabi – 1 piece
Fennel – 1 piece
Carrots – 1 bunch
Cilantro – 1 bunch
Escarole – 1 head
Scallions – 1 bunch
Arugula – 1 bag
Green Romaine Lettuce – 1 head
Green Boston Lettuce – 1 head

Most people cook kohlrabi, but I slice it thin on a mandolin, and use it as a wrapper for raw vegan ravioli.  Some folks slice it thin, salt it, and then eat it like that. You can also slice it thin and make matchsticks of it, and throw it in salads. 

I chop up fennel and put it in whatever I am making. It gives a kind of licorice flavor to a salad.

Everything else will go to salad (you know me – not going to happen that often).  Since I’m getting so much salad-y kind of stuff, I expect I will again be experimenting with green smoothies (hear, here, I hate green smoothies, but I can buy some bananas and some apples and experiment with adding those to lettuce drinks.  I am committed to using all of these vegetables (especially since I am way broke, so, once again, this is all the fresh food I have — I have some canned things and dried things in the pantry, left over from last year)

If you are like me, do not try to put arugula in your smoothie (it tastes like dirty feet — okay, like dirty feet smell — I’ve never actually tasted it because the smell was so off-putting)    Arugula does tastes nice in salads, and it is also tasty mixed into sprouted quinoa, with other vegetables.


POST #752

I have just found this amazing offer.

Russell James is offering all of his ebooks at a very good discount, with an amazing offer on top of that.

I’ll be perfectly honest with you. When Russell was starting out, he offered deals, and they didn’t come through.  I felt ripped off (although they did return my money, ultimately), and I stayed away from anything he wasn’t offering for free for a very long time.

Today, since he was offering a very fair deal,  I decided that it was time to take the chance again.  Lucky for me, I have gotten the books I tried to buy from him some time ago, but couldn’t receive!

I’ve applied for an affiliate-ship, but it hasn’t come through yet.  I don’t care. I want you to know about this offer he has.  Russell is offering all of his books for either $14.95 US each,  or  $50 for all 6.  Such a deal.  Since I am pretty much broke, but still (after all our issues) want his books, I went for it, and am very happy to have the recipes I longed for a couple of years ago, in addition to other recipes I am interested in.

Go to to see all six books he is offering for this very good price. 


POST #744
I don’t usually get excited about raw food nutrition books (count the books I have not talked about), but Ani Oken’s new book, ANI’S 15-DAY FAT BLAST is an exception to my rule, primarily because she recognizes everything that I have always held true (basically, if you want to lose weight, you need to amp up the protein, eat low-carb vegeables and fruit, and also include ample fats (of the good kind).

Just yesterday, I received ANI’S 15-DAY FAT BLAST, by Ani Phyo.  I inhaled this book.  Okay, I read what I thought would be interesting, then went back and read the beginning, then went back and read through the end.  What a great book!  I already knew most of these things, but the way in which Ani has put them together, as well as the shopping lists and recipes makes the book a must-have for my purposes.

Interestingly, the beginning of the book reads like one of those obnoxious ads you get from the self-styled gurus of raw (you know who I mean), with the long come on, the emphatic sales talk  (but wait! I already have the book in my hands—I don’t have to read through all this to find the exorbitant price!  Realizing this relaxed me enough to be able to read through the intro and be more receptive to the plan).

My take is that this is sort of like the Master Cleanse, only with food.  The plan starts with a short juice fast (the  yummy looking recipes for smoothies and soups make it look zipless; you’d be hard-pressed to feel deprived at all). After that, you add in more solid food taken from a list of fat-burning, metabolism-boosting vegetables, fruit, and superfoods).  The recipes are all right there, and, according to the book, won’t take but a few minutes to prepare.

Master Cleanse is easier (no thinking about what to prepare; only one recipe), but this plan seems like something you could fall into a pattern with and sustain easily over a protracted period of time – there’s plenty of variety.  I’d even venture to say there are more recipes in Ani’s 15-Day Fat Blast than I would normally use at home in a month.  Actuallly, there are 80 or so recipes in the book, which make it worthwhile even if you just want another of Ani’s wonderful recipe collections.

I’m off to write up my shopping list, so I can start right away!

RAW FOR THE HOLIDAYS: raw holiday recipes from Raw Food Rehab

POST #716
Penni  Shelton, the woman behind Raw Food Rehab, one of the best sites out there, is once again offering her raw for Raw for the Holidays ebook.  This book has a wonderful collection of delicious recipes.  You can’t go wrong here.

RAW FOODS ON A BUDGET: a great new book

POST #715
I recently received the long-awaited Raw Foods on a Budget by Brandi Rollins, and I’ve got to say it has been well worth the wait.

I’ve been watching Rollins’ posts about her journey to this book for the past year or so.  This young woman has been working hard to build her program while she has been writing this book.  Every recipe she has posted on Facebook has been truly interesting, inspiring, and … tasty!  She has also posted ideas, here and there, as to how to manage a raw food diet on a budget.

The raw food diet on a budget has always been an issue.  On various raw food email groups, I have dealt with people who complain that a raw food diet is too expensive.  I have talked about how I managed while I was in college and graduate school.  Other raw food sites have published on the issue of eating raw while on a budget.  Still, no one has ever taken that mega-step to writing up all the raw-food-on-a-budget tips in one book, along with enough recipes to justify the book alone.

Rollins has pulled together “new to raw foods” information, as well as serious ways to look at how to manage a raw food diet on a budget.  Further, she has included a number of original raw food recipes which are both budget-friendly and, also, tasty.

I’ve got all sorts of raw food recipe books, but this one is unique in its focus.  I would definitely recommend it, both for those interested in learning more about or starting a raw food lifestyle, as well as for old hands, who want a fresh look at what they’ve always been doing.

Raw Foods on a Diet is also available as an ebook.(I prefer a cookbook I can lay on the table while I’m working, so I like the hard-copy Raw Foods on a Budget)

Rollins also offers a “starter package”, which includes the book as well as her 28-day raw food starter program, with a year of support for only a few dollars more than the book alone.  

This is definitely a good bet to add to your raw vegan library, both for the extremely useful lifestyle information, as well as the delicious, innovative and budget-conscious recipes.