Happy Spring, everyone! I am beyond thrilled to share my review of “Love Fed” with you, a brand new title that just hit bookshelves last week. I’ve reviewed plant-based cookbooks in the past, such as “Yum Universe,” another BenBella publication, but this time, I was actually asked to review “Love Fed” based on a tweet I shared about how fabulous this new cookbook looked. When BenBella proposed I could review the cookbook, share a recipe with readers, and offer up a copy to giveaway, my answer was a resounding “Yes!!” 🙂 So let’s get right to it.
In “Love Fed: Purely Decadent, Simply Raw, Plant-Based Desserts” Christina Ross of PatisseRaw and Love-Fed.com serves up raw, vegan treats fulls of nourishing ingredients (coconut, coconut nectar, cacao butter, chia seeds, dates, lucuma) without any gluten, dairy, or refined sweeteners. The title “Love Fed” is actually two-fold according to Christina:
The name Love Fed refers to both the love I put into my food and the love the earth gives to us by producing so many wonderful ingredients.
Isn’t that so lovely? The idea that something sweet can be nourishing to the soul is definitely a concept I can appreciate 😉
Even if you aren’t familiar with plant-based or raw food, no one should feel intimidated by this book. The recipes will appeal to everyone — omnivores, vegetarians, vegans, beegans (people who eschew animal products except for honey), people with food allergies (soy, dairy, gluten) and even the paleo folks.
Before delving into the recipes, Christina expertly walks readers through raw, plant-based pantry essentials with explanations on the roles some lesser-known ingredients play in her recipes such as Irish moss or lucuma powder. It’s actually pretty cool! But don’t worry; many of the ingredients are things you have heard of such as raw nuts, seeds, coconut milk, agave nectar, etc. One caveat for strict vegans: Christina does use honey in a few of her recipes, but notes that you substitute the honey with your sweetener of choice: agave, maple syrup, coconut nectar, etc (which is what I did).
There are also some fabulous tutorials: how to chop your own coconut and separate the coconut water and meat, how to melt cacao butter, and how to make your own nut butter and nut milks.
You might think making raw desserts requires specialty equipment, but Christina demystifies that notion by listing the kitchen tools/appliances she uses and finds helpful, but also points out that many “fancier” pieces of equipment are totally optional. Believe it or not, a lot can be done with some basic tools like graters, knives, mixing bowls, an ice cream scoop, measuring cups, parchment paper, and straight up using your hands 😉
Now for the recipes…
In addition to the recipe I am sharing with you today (with permission of BenBella), I actually made a few recipes from the cookbook to get a better sense of Christina — what she likes to eat, her way of crafting and laying out recipes — and to get a little bit more experience with making raw desserts in general. I can honestly say I thought everything was delicious. I was even sure to share the recipes with my omnivore family members, who, by no surprise, also found everything to be scrumptious. And as someone who doesn’t identify as a cook/chef/baker, the recipes were very easy to follow.
Normally, as some of you may already know, I’m the first one to make a chocolate recipe, but I’ve eliminated chocolate (except for the cacao I used in the fudge recipe) in my diet right now for Lent. That’s why you won’t see a chocolate recipe from me today. But I can assure you, you won’t be missing it when you test your hand at making the donuts from “Love Fed” featured in this post.
I decided to make:
- Maple Coconut Cashew Butter
- Nut Butter Freezer Fudge (using the nut butter above)
- Sweetly Southern Pecan Pie Squares
- Raspberry and Coconut Glazed Doughnuts (recipe below)
I took a ton of photos; I was just having so much fun! Everything was decadent, but not overly-sweet due to the natural sweetness of the dates, maple syrup, or coconut nectar (which is my new favorite product!).
This cookbook is chock-full of tantalizing desserts! Chapters offer recipes for cakes, pies, cobblers, tarts, puddings, parfaits, ice cream, yogurt, frozen desserts, candy, shakes, and more. Almost every recipe includes a photo. And if you’re feeling especially inspired and creative as you make these recipes, Christina has even set aside space in the pages of her cookbook labeled “Make It Your Own” where you can write your thoughts, ideas, substitutions, etc, right next to the recipe. I really love that touch — such thoughtfulness on the behalf of the author.
If you’d like to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of “Love Fed” leave a comment here on my blog stating your favorite raw dessert, or why you love raw desserts, or something else you’d love to share about raw baking. I’ll announce the winner one week from today (Sunday March 29). Until that time, enjoy this recipe from “Love Fed” 🙂
Raspberry and Coconut Glazed Doughnuts
Yield: 20 mini doughnuts
Prep time: 30 minutes, plus 30 minutes for doughnuts to set
Doughnuts are the last treat you’d expect to find on a raw food roster, but these do the genre proud. Once you get the base down, you can run with it, creating variations from chocolate doughnuts with sprinkles to maple bars. This recipe calls for a doughnut pan; if you don’t have one, simply shape the dough into O’s with your hands.
12 pitted deglet dates
1 c. almond flour
½ c. coconut flour
¼ c. coconut flakes
2 tsp. coconut sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean powder or vanilla extract
¼ c. agave nectar
2/3 c. raspberries
½ tsp. vanilla bean powder or vanilla extract
1/3 c. coconut butter, softened
¼ c. coconut milk
3 tbsp. agave nectar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Coconut flakes, for garnish
Lightly grease a doughnut pan with coconut oil. Line a tray with parchment paper.
To make the doughnut base: Place the dates, almond flour, coconut flour, coconut flakes, coconut sugar, and vanilla bean powder in a food processor. Process until well combined. While the machine is running, pour the agave nectar in through the top, processing until the dough sticks together, approximately 15 seconds.
Divide the dough into 20 small pieces and firmly press the pieces into the doughnut pan. If you don’t have a doughnut pan, shape the doughnuts and place them on the parchment-lined tray. Set in the refrigerator while you make the glaze.
To make the pink glaze: Place the raspberries, vanilla bean powder, coconut butter, coconut milk, agave nectar, and lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a medium bowl.
To assemble: Remove the doughnuts from the pan by tracing the outside of the doughnuts with an offset spatula, gently lifting around the edges until they pop out. Working one at a time, place each doughnut in the glaze bowl so one side gets coated with glaze, then lift it from the bowl with a fork. Tap the fork against the rim of the bowl to allow excess glaze to drip off and place the doughnut, glaze side up, on the parchment-lined tray. Repeat until all the doughnuts are coated.
Sprinkle coconut flakes onto the wet doughnuts and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until the glaze hardens. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To see what other bloggers are saying and sharing about “Love Fed” make sure you check out the blog tour 🙂