Sunday, 8 May 2016

365 Vegan Smoothies: A Cookbook Review

I received a free digital preview copy of this book from Net Galley. I am not being compensated in any way for this review.
First off, I have to say that the cover picture in the ad above is certainly not as appetizing as the cover picture displayed on Net Galley. On Net Galley, it's a berry smoothie - a nice purple colour, which to me is much more appetizing than a green smoothie. I'm not really a green smoothie kind of person. However, I still like this cookbook because it is just chockfull of smoothie ideas, many that I would have never dreamed of myself.
It's got some nice food photography, with the exception of the green smoothies. I'm sorry, but my taste buds just shout, "Yuk" when I look at them. I would have liked more pictures, but it's a pretty hefty cookbook as it is (over 300 pages) and I understand the rationale behind not adding more pictures. There are, however, some other useful sections in this cookbook. The author shares a couple of recipes for plant based milks that can be used as base ingredients in the recipes rather than purchased soy/nut milks. She provides a glossary of ingredients, as well as tips on making smoothies. The recipes are divided up into 12 months, with a health focus for each month: Detox Smoothies for Month 1, Healthy Heart Smoothies for Month 8, for examples. The recipes all come with a "Boost It" suggestion that will increase the nutritional value of the smoothie by adding antioxidants, increasing protein, etc.
I believe that the "proof is in the pudding," or in the smoothie, in this case, so I taste-tested 3 recipes with my family, all from the "Strengthening Smoothies" section. I apologize for my unimaginative food photography. I was too busy blending and sampling to fuss with food styling.

Peanut Butter Dreams was really delicious and the family favourite of the three samples. I never dreamed of adding cinnamon to peanut butter, but the result was awesome.
Chocolate Pecan Pie Shake was next. It too, was very well received. I substituted roasted carob powder for the raw cacao powder.
We completed the trio with the Raspberry-Cashew Cheesecake Shake, also quite tasty.
Did you notice I didn't sample any green smoothies? LOL!
My objections to this cookbook (besides green smoothies) are the occasional use of obscure/hard to find ingredients (see my Cookbook Criteria page), such as vegan yogurt or Agave nectar. I also question the use of raw rolled oats in some of the smoothies. I'm not sure that they are readily digestible to the human system and I would especially caution those with any digestive issues (Crohn's, IBS, etc.). However, these are relatively minor, and I still think it's a great cookbook with a lot of unique flavour combinations.