I first discovered Emily Von Euw‘s amazing blog, This Rawsome Vegan Life, during one of The Vegan Woman’s Annual Food Blog Competitions. It was love at first sight. The beauty of the photographs, combined with the super creative recipes, just won my heart.
So when the chance came to review Emily’s first cookbook, Rawsome Vegan Baking, I literally begged to be the reviewer. I was not disappointed – the book is every bit as stunning as the blog.
Cakes, Cookies & Pies
Broken down into five chapters: Cakes and Cupcakes; Bites, Bars and Cookies; Pies and Tarts; Pudding and Ice Cream; and Basic Recipes, the book contains 100 recipes with a mouth-watering picture of almost every single one!
I tested four recipes myself: Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting, Ultimate Caramel Chocolate Squares, Chocolate Nut Butter Cups, and Totally Tahini Cups with Coffee Cream Filling. All four recipes were easy to follow and yielded results pretty similar to the photos. The only one I didn’t like was the Tahini Cups, which tasted too strongly of coconut oil to me. The other recipes were delicious and extremely decadent.
One of my favorite things about Emily’s recipes, and this book in particular, is that they don’t require any hard-to-find ingredients. I don’t live in North America and I’m often frustrated by recipes I see online with ingredients I would have to mail order before being able to make them. Not so with Rawsome Vegan Baking. Nuts, oats, dates, cocoa powder, coconut oil or cacao butter, raisins, vanilla, and other fresh and dried fruits are really all you need in your pantry to be able to whip up one of these delicacies. As for kitchen equipment, a food processor is all you need to get going. The recipes are raw, so you won’t even have to turn on your oven! A couple of the recipes do have a dehydrator option, but you don’t need one to get the most out of the book.
The only caveat I have, is that Emily’s recipe intros often state that you can indulge in these culinary creations “without guilt” because they are “healthy”. As a nutrition professional, I would prefer she call them “heathier”, as they are still extremely high in calories and fat. Yes, healthy calories and healthier fats, but these recipes should be used as treats and indulgences, not something to enjoy on a daily basis for most of us. The lack of refined sugars, margarine, and white flour (or any wheat flour for that matter) will probably make it easier for even the most die-hard sugar addict to stop after just one serving, although I did have to physically remove myself from those nut butter cups!
Can I have some more?
Keep an eye on Emily Von Euw, people. Her second and third books, 100 Best Juices, Smoothies and Healthy Snacks: Easy Recipes for Natural Energy & Weight Control the Healthy Way, and The Rawsome Vegan Cookbook: A Balance of Raw and Lightly-Cooked, Gluten-Free Plant-Based Meals for Healthy Living have both come out in the space of a year, and I predict a wonderful career in the culinary arts for this talented young woman.
Cover Image: Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting by Emily Von Euw. Image: courtesy of This Rawsome Vegan Life.