Oh, I am so excited to share this post with you today! So many awesome things, but first and foremost, the fabulous Gena Hamshaw of Choosing Raw has a new book by the same name!
Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat is probably the first (mostly) raw cookbook I’ve come across that actually makes raw food approachable and convenient. In other words, you will not be soaking and sprouting and dehydrating and making twenty different components over the course of three days so you can eat a single dinner with no leftovers.
I had the honor of interviewing Gena for my very first 10 Questions back in March, and what I said about her holds true for her latest book endeavor: Gena is such a grounding force in what can be an overwhelming and sometimes extreme niche. Reading her book is like getting counsel from a very wise, supportive friend, and her recipes make raw food not only accessible, but really delicious. One that stood out the most to me was Gena’s Cashew Banana Yogurt, which she later told me was one of the recipes she’s the most proud of too.
For the last few months, Aaron has been eating soy yogurt and homemade granola for breakfasts, but we’ve been having a tough time finding vegan options that aren’t loaded with sugar and sickeningly sweet, or that don’t have “natural” flavors and carrageenan. We finally found one brand that’s acceptable (not great, bot not awful), except it’s hardly ever in stock. So when I was reading through Choosing Raw, I knew exactly which recipe I was going to make first.
It’s been a couple of weeks now, and I’ve made Gena’s Cashew Banana Yogurt at least four times. It’s so easy, and it tastes much better than anything we’ve bought at the store. The cashews lend a rich, creamy texture, and I love that it’s sweetened with bananas, with a subtle brightness from lemon juice to give it just the right amount of tart yogurt flavor. Aaron’s eating with protein in mind these days as part of a fitness program, and while I haven’t figured out the exact amount of protein in each serving, my rough mental math calculations tell me it’s even a bit better than the soy yogurts.
In Choosing Raw, Gena has managed once again to take whole, plant-based foods and strike a balance between maintaining their integrity with minimal fussing, while still doing just enough to transform them into meals you will look forward to preparing and eating. And perhaps the greatest bonus – her food will make you feel incredible.
- 1 cup cashews, soaked for 2 hours or more, then drained
- 2 large bananas
- 1½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ⅔ cup coconut water (1/2 cup if you’re using a food processor)
- 1 pinch sea salt
- ½ teaspoon probiotic powder (optional; you can simply open up a few probiotic capsules for this!)
- Blend all the ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.
- Alternatively, place all the ingredients, except the coconut water, in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Turn the motor on and drizzle in the coconut water in a thin stream. Keep processing until the mixture is very smooth.
- Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, the yogurt will keep for 2 days.
From Choosing Raw by Gena Hamshaw. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2014.
Photography by Aaron Scott