No Sweeter Than the Ripest Cherry — Cookbook Review

Hi Friends! Today I’m sharing a review of my friend Suzie’s comic-cook book, No Sweeter Than The Ripest Cherry. Suzi and I met about 7 years ago when she and my husband attended the UCLA Film School. When I found out Suzie was a raw food chef, I was instantly intrigued by her career, thinking that raw food must mean ALL YOU CAN EAT IS SALAD. Thankfully, I was wrong, and when Suzi’s book came out, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy to explore.

No Sweeter Than The Ripest Cherry is a seasonal, fresh food inspired comic book recipe guide designed to fuse foundational, science-based nutrition concepts with a non-dogmatic seven-day culinary exploration of exciting, practical, and bowl-licking-good meals… that are mostly raw, mostly paleo, and made 100% from scratch with whole food ingredients and superfoods.

This is not your ordinary cookbook. The design is incredible, filled with comic book style illustrations, mouth watering photography, and clever typography and text placement that has you reading each page in depth to make sure you don’t miss anything. Look at these gorgeous pages!

NSTRC_pages_26and27

I also really like the style of writing. To me, cooking is FUN — so when things get a little too stuffy (cough cough, Mastering the art of French cooking), I get bored. Ripest Cherry is filled with personality, from the cutesy images of the character Ingrid on her 7-day health transformation, to great tongue-in-cheek quips such as “Like a wild primate, bang the empty coconut on the ground until it breaks.”

For my first Ripest Cherry adventure,  I decided to tackle The Blueberry Hawaiian, a yummy raw smoothie with Avocado, Celery, Cucumber, Lime, Wild Blueberries, Ginger, Honey and greens.

Photo from EssentialLivingFoods.com

This was my first time making a smoothie that had (GASP) vegetables in it, so I was a little nervous about what I’d end up with. For “greens”, I used a handful of spinach. I also added some Spirulina, because I got some at FitBloggin’ and it’s been staring at me from my pantry since June because I had no idea what to do with it.  For the record, wild blueberries are so cute and tiny, and their color is an amazing purple! Also for the record, raw honey is so much more robust than its boring sibling. I got mine (a sage citrus blend) at the Calabasas farmer’s market and it’s so good!

spirulina_spinach_ginger_smoothiedoublechindiary

The end result is perhaps not the most photogenic smoothie, but I have to say – I’m impressed! I was nervous it would taste grassy from the spinach and spirulina, but instead, the sharp ginger was really complemented by the honey, and the texture had a creaminess from the avocado that was only accentuated by the cooling cucumber.  This recipe makes a very large amount, so much in fact, that I had one full glass for dinner and have a blender-bottle of it for tomorrow’s breakfast. SCORE! What I liked about this smoothie was that not only did it taste super fresh,but it was incredibly filling.

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Besides having super yummy recipes like Guacatacos, the other huge benefit to Ripest Cherry is the health and nutrition information. Almost every other page is packed with an easy-to-read essay about topics like how digestion begins, the benefits of fermentation, and the importance of exercise. This is the type of information that you simply won’t get in your Glamour magazine — it’s the kind of information you get from that super-smart friend who teaches cooking classes at the local Ashram. (Suzie does that too!) For example, I loved this passage from the piece about exercise: “Remember, beginnings, however humble, are still beginnings. Everything in nature begins with a singular impulse. From the tiniest germ of being, life manifests outward into the universe. Where ever you may be in your journey, you can always take the first step towards reinvention.”

There’s also a super nutrition appendix that lists the health benefits and properties of all of the ingredients in the book. Did you know that celery is sometimes used as a treatment for rashes, and that bee pollen can help reverse the effects of obesity?
These tips, along with the amazing photography, innovative recipes and informative health knowledge earn the Ripest Cherry the Double Chin Diary seal of approval. You can buy your own copy at RipestCherry.com for $14.95.

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Because a review just ain’t a review on the Double Chin Diary without a giveaway, Suzie has graciously agreed to offer a copy to one lucky Double Chin Diary reader. For your entry to win, all you need to do is visit RipestCherry.com, and tell me which recipe out of the four sample pages shown you would be most inclined to try (Leave a comment).  The winner will be picked next Tuesday at 11:59 PM. US Only, please — and GOOD LUCK! You can earn an additional entry by “liking” Ripest Cherry on Facebook, sharing a tweet or Facebook post about this giveaway! If you do those things, just let me know in the comment. Viva la ‘Raw’volution!

 

Enter for a chance to win Skinny Pop Popcorn!

Yummy SkinnyPop!

Hey Bloggies! You know how I have a loud mouth and asked SkinnyPop for some popcorn to give to you? Well, sometimes asking is a good idea – because the kind folks at Skinny Pop sent over a giant box of popcorn for me to give to you! As you recall, Skinny Pop is my newest and favorite find from Costco. It’s delicious and only 155 calories for four heaping cups. While the fat grams are a little higher than I’d like, this is a wonderful, salty snack that packs major volume and taste for few calories. Let me tell you – it’s actually been kind of dangerous having a giant box of popcorn sitting in my house. It’s not guilt free if ya eat the whole bag. (I haven’t done this yet. But I’ve come close. The whole bag is 699 calories. Not shabby… but I’ll try to avoid eating the whole bag.)

Today, all you have to do to enter to win one of three sets of two bags of Skinny Pop – (I know that’s confusing – basically I have six bags to give away, so three winners will get two bags each!) is leave a blog comment! I know RaffleCopter caused some confusion last time, so here’s what you have to do.

1) Leave a blog comment by scrolling to the bottom of this blog post and hitting “Leave a Reply”. You must leave a blog comment to be entered to win.

2) Press the gray button on Rafflecopter (embedded below) that says (+1 – Do It!).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

3) It’s up to you, but you have a few more chances to win if you follow the directions in RaffleCopter (ie, tweet, like on Facebook) and then just press the (+1) every time you complete a task. It’s easy, I promise!

Let me know if you have any questions! SkinnyPop did provide me with free popcorn for purposes of this giveaway. And it’s delicious. Oh so delicious. The giveaway ends next Wednesday, 7.18 at 12:01 AM EST. Please share with your friends for an extra dose of salty and buttery karma. If you win, I will ship out your popcorn and soon you’ll be on your way to guilt-free poppin’! GOOD LUCK!

Review: EatSmart Food Scale and Giveaway

39g of Dried Mango is only 120 calories! Score!

Hi there! How was your weekend? Mine was AWESOME… because I spent it in the garden, getting my hands dirty and planting veggies! Pix later this week. Today, I’m delighted to review the EatSmart Precision Pro Scale and give you a chance to win one of your own! But first, here’s the stuff good bloggers should always admit: Disclosure: I did receive a complimentary scale from EatSmart for this review.Remember how I was getting frustrated with Points Plus and said I would be starting to weigh out my portions? I knew I needed a scale to make sure I wasn’t fudging any numbers. I like to eat things like dried mango, and the calorie count is measured in grams – for example, 38 grams is 120 calories. How would it even be possible to measure grams without a scale?!
Here’s what I loved about the scale:

  • Super easy to use. I didn’t even have to read the manual to know how to toggle

    Measuring is easy thanks to the Tara function that deletes the container weight...

    between different measurements, to turn it on and off, etc.

  • It has a nice, sleek look that would match any decor well.
  • It comes with batteries (so convenient – I loved that), and has an automatic turn off after 3 minutes if you get busy doing other things.
  • The display window has big, easy to read numbers and letters – perfect for people like me who always lose their glasses.
  • Wipes clean with a damp rag – no need to wash, and the plastic material seems like it would be easy to clean up should you have a big spill.
  • It does the trick easily and measures accurately, which is the most important thing!
  • Affordable price. On Amazon, this scale is priced at $25.00 and has over 3,000 5-star reviews. WOW – feedback like that doesn’t lie.

    Nice, simple packaging.

I only have one nitpicky thing to mention –

  • The stainless-steel looking buttons show finger prints pretty easily. If you want to keep it out on the counter top, you’ll have to be a little more maniacal about wiping it down more if you’re a spaz like me 🙂 But, most normal people won’t even notice, so carry on!

Overall, the PrecisionPro Scale is a GREAT choice if you’re looking for a food scale. It also comes with a 2 year warranty, which is a big deal in today’s economy. If a company is willing to back something up with a long warranty, you know it’s a quality product. Check out EatSmart’s website for more details – how cute is this red retro scale? It totally reminds me of something Rachel Ray would have in her kitchen.

Want a chance to win your very own EatSmart scale? It’s super easy – just leave me a blog comment telling me WHY you want to win – and then when you do that, you’ll unlock five more easy entries! Make sure you use a real e-mail address when you comment so I can contact you if you win! This giveaway is for US residents only. Also – for every new Facebook “like” that Eat Smart gains in April, they’ll donate .50c to the Susan G Komen Foundation. So even if you don’t want a scale – “like them” to help raise money for breast cancer research.

I use rafflecopter for my giveaways, so I will randomly choose one winner on the morning of Tuesday, April 10. I think that’s all! Let me know if you have any questions – and GOOD LUCK!

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