Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Naturally Lean Review and Give-Give-Giveaway!

review, giveaway, vegan, gluten free, kittee berns, allyson kramer, cookbook, naturally lean
review, giveaway, vegan, gluten free, kittee berns, allyson kramer, cookbook, naturally lean
Naturally Lean is Allyson Kramer's 4th cookbook.
A few weeks back, Da Capo Press sent me a review copy of Allyson Kramer's latest cookbook, Naturally Lean. Allyson and I met in the vegan blogging community many years ago and bonded because we both eat a gluten-free diet out of medical necessity. She's one of my favorite XGFX authors, and I can always count on her for delicious, creative recipes.

If you're not familiar with her cookbooks, they are:
♥ Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats (my favorite pancake recipe of all time lives inside)
♥ Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats From Around the World
♥ Sweet Eats for All

Athough Naturally Lean sounds like a diet cookbook (and can be used as one), it was written to offer recipes focused on nutrient-rich whole foods, rather than highly processed ingredients. The title comes in because Allyson believes if you eat more unprocessed whole foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, greens and seeds, you'll consume less calories than you would from typically over processed foods.

For me, I'm stoked to have another cookbook full of delicious vegan and gluten-free recipes that are also refined sugar free. This means I can gobble up as much of the yummy desserts and savories in this book as I want (for the most part I ignore the serving size suggestions) and keep my arthritis and muscle crap at bay.

Naturally Lean is organized a bit differently than most cookbooks, which takes a little getting used to. Instead of recipes being grouped together by type, i.e. breakfast, lunch, and dinner, they're organized by ingredients: greens & crucifers, hearty grains, fabulous fruits, nuts & seeds, legumes, and squash, roots, & mushrooms. It's nothing to get chuffed about, a few well positioned sticky notes will help you out, or if you're a brainiac, you can even use the index!

review, giveaway, vegan, gluten free, kittee berns, allyson kramer, cookbook, naturally lean, recipe, cracker, vegan recipe
Flax and Chia Garlic Crackers.
So far I've made Flax and Chia Garlic Crackers, Red Quinoa Tabbouleh, Cinnamon Pumpkin Donuts and Chocolate Brownie Cake. Not to bullshit, all four of these recipes will probably go into heavy rotation here. I didn't have to go to the store to buy any ingredients except for tomatoes, which I buy weekly anyway, and everything came out A++++.

Flax and Chia Garlic Crackers
These were ridiculously easy to make and were gobbled up in a couple of days. My tip is to score the crackers before baking, and then they easily break up into perfect shapes when they're done. These would lend themselves to all sorts of different flavor combos.

review, giveaway, vegan, gluten free, kittee berns, allyson kramer, cookbook, naturally lean, recipe, cracker, vegan recipe
Red Quinoa Tabbouleh chockful of fresh herbs, which is the way I love to eat.
Herb it up!
Red Quinoa Tabbouleh
Tabbouleh is the perfect summer food (parsley, tomatoes and cukes galore), and I've made this recipe three times already in the last week. Allyson's version has the perfect balance of olive oil to lemon and does not skimp or taste "diet-y." I left out the paprika, 'cuz I wanted the other flavors to shine, and I love how this recipe has you cooking quinoa with a crushed clove of garlic (Imash it in, instead of discarding as the recipe suggests).

review, giveaway, vegan, gluten free, kittee berns, allyson kramer, cookbook, naturally lean, recipe, donut, vegan recipe
Baked Cinnamon Butternut Squash Donuts 'cuz I'm a cheater.
Cinnamon Pumpkin Donuts
I cheated with these and used some steamed butternut squash I had in the freezer instead of pumpkin, and they were still wonderful. Unglazed, these are a bit muffin-like and since I wanted something a bit more decadent, I dipped mine in glaze. I mixed 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, 1/4 cup crunchy almond butter and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. It's warm here, so I dipped and chilled these multiple times to build up the glaze. YUMP.

review, giveaway, vegan, gluten free, kittee berns, allyson kramer, cookbook, naturally lean, recipe, chocolate cake, vegan recipe
Chocolate Brownie Cake, glazed and topped with cococococonutz and toasted hazelnuts.
Chocolate Brownie Cake
This cake is a keeper in the Kittee department. I've been eating it for breakfast everyday this week, since I've been in need of a wee caffeine rousing lately. I glazed my cake by mixing together 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil, 4 tablespoons cacao powder, a little vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. I topped the glaze with coconut shreds and toasted hazelnuts and then tucked the whole cake away in the fridge to keep the topping solid. The recipe is shared with permission below!!

review, giveaway, vegan, gluten free, kittee berns, allyson kramer, cookbook, naturally lean, recipe, chocolate cake, vegan recipe
review, giveaway, vegan, gluten free, kittee berns, allyson kramer, cookbook, naturally lean, recipe, chocolate cake, vegan recipe
Chocolate Brownie Cake
Yields 16 servings (more like 12 for me).

This chocolate cake is quite a delight, and it happens to be oil free, low in calories, and low in fat. It will make you think of dessert in a band-new light. Just serve this delightful cake to guests (or unsuspecting family members) and see whether they can tell it's closer to health food than junk food. My littlest say it tastes just like a brownie, and I don't disagree.

What You Need:
♥ 1 banana, mashed (about 2/3 cup)
♥ 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
♥ 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
♥ 1/3 cup unrefined sugar, such as maple or coconut palm
♥ 1/3 cup agave syrup
♥ 1/2 cup unsweetened natural or Dutch-processed cocoa powder
♥ 1 teaspoon baking powder
♥ 1 teaspoon baking soda
♥ 1/2 teaspoon salt
♥ 2/3 cup teff flour
♥ 1 cup chickpea flour
♥ 1 cup water

What You Do:
Preheat your oven to 350F and line the bottom and the sides of an 8-inch square cake pan with parchment paper. To easily do this, cut two strips 8 inches wide x 12 inches long and crisscross them over each other to completely cover the pan.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, vanilla extract, applesauce, unrefined sugar, agave, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Gradually add the teff flour and the chickpea flour along with the water and mix well until a smooth batter is formed. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until firm to the touch.

Let cool briefly and then serve. Enjoy plain or top with chocolate glaze and/or fruit.

Per Serving: 112 calories, 1.3 g fat, 167 mg sodium, 24.2 g carbs and 3.7 g protein
From Naturally Lean by Allyson Kramer. Reprinted with permission from Da Capo Lifelong, © 2016.

review, giveaway, vegan, gluten free, kittee berns, allyson kramer, cookbook, naturally lean, recipe, chocolate cake, vegan recipe
review, giveaway, vegan, gluten free, kittee berns, allyson kramer, cookbook, naturally lean, recipe, chocolate cake, vegan recipe

Da Capo Books as offered to send TWO copies of Naturally Lean to two of my US based readers (thanks Da Capo!!). To be considered for a free book, simply comment on this post with an easy way for me to contact you. I'll pick two winners a week from today (to be eligible, you must comment by midnight PST on August 3rd).

Congratulations to Nicollette and Andrea who are the winners for this giveaway!

Thanks for visiting my little crumb of the internet! Click here to subscribe to my blog and get posts delivered to your email when I update!

Come back soon!
xo kittee

Disclosures:
This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a product link and purchase an item, I'll receive a small compensation.

I received a free review copy of Naturally Lean from Da Capo Press. No compensation or gift was exchanged for this review, and as always, the rad opinion posted here is my own. 

34 comments:

  1. This book sounds great! Thank you for the thoughtful review and wonderful photos.
    From the look of things, the crackers alone are worth the price of the book.

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  2. I ❤ Allyson.such a beautiful blog & a beautiful person! Plus, Teff Love is the ultimate so if you give props to this book, I know it's gotta be good!

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    Replies
    1. I couldn't find a way to contact you other than FB, so please check your other inbox over there, or simply email me at kittee68 at gmail dot com.

      Congrats! xo kittee

      Delete
  3. I have Allyson's Great Gluten-free Eats from Around the World cookbook and it's great. This new one looks lovely too! Thanks for offering the chance to win.

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  4. That cake looks delicious!

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  5. This book like amazing! Would love a copy! Squirreljunkie on IG.

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  6. This looks fabulous, especially because my sweetie is now on a 'gluten restricted' diet. You can find me at jaclynsmith345 AT gmail

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  7. Oooooooohhhhhhhh, the pics look delicious. I'm drooling over here. You can reach me on my Gmail or FB.

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  8. I love Allyson's books, and this is the only one I do not have! I just had brownies over the weekend, AND I am still craving a brownie... I think I'll give this a try tomorrow. thanks for the opportunity to win the book - YAY!

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  9. I hope my comment shows up this time! Yay for gluten-free cookbooks!! Those donuts sound amazing, but the brownie cake?! OH. MY!!!! ������ I've missed your posts here!!
    What an awesome giveaway!

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  10. Woah! That brownie cake is calling me. I have a couple of Allyson's books but have not made anything from them. Must correct that soon. Thanks for reviewing and hosting this giveaway.
    Chely C.
    pepajobo on IG

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  11. Looks delicious! Are the crackers baked in the oven or made in a dehydrator?

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  12. Nice review, Kittee! I don't currently own any of Allyson's books, and I don't know why not. They sound like just the kind of cookbooks I need right now — not because I want to lose weight, but because I like eating healthy, delicious food.

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  13. don't be jealous people, but i sampled both the chocolate cake and the doughnut fresh from the delicate paws of our Kittee, and they were izz-off the hizz-ook!!

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  14. Those recipes look amazing! Would love this cookbook. Wendy at plantivores dot com

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  15. Looks yummy!!!!! traciepitts AT gmail dot com

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  16. Wonderful book, thank you for the recipe and for the contest!! :)

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  17. Those donuts look amazing! I wish I lived within your sampling range.

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  18. Looks like a great book! I'd love to try those donuts!

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  19. Great Gluten-Free Vegan Eats From Around the World is all the rage and I want to find out more about it. I would share the book to pass on the wisdom.

    Twitter: @beabravebeing
    Email: bren.guardado@gmail.com

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  20. Sounds delicious, would love a copy! mk.keren@gmail.com

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  21. sounds awesome, I would love a copy of this book as I am trying to transition to gluten free. I can be reached at tpcat29 at gmail . com

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  22. Kittee,
    Thank you so much for this beautiful review. Such positive feedback, coming from you with all your talent in the kitchen, is quite the compliment! xoxo Your cracker scoring trick is awesome, too! Love it. They look fab.

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  23. Great book, if I can't be genetically naturally thin maybe this book can help me.

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  24. I'd love to win this book as the recipes look amazing!

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  25. I look forward to trying this recipe as I'm cutting out all refined sugar from my diet! Winning the book would definitely make me happy. =)

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  26. this is so awesome! Vegan GF snacks for the WIN

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  27. I wish you had added in the calorie count for the glaze you used. I made it following the recipe exactly, using a very ripe banana, and the cake after baking for only 25 minutes was indelible - dry and not nearly sweet enough. I'm hoping the glaze improves it.

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