[alert variation=”alert-info”]Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books
Formats: Paperback, Kindle, eBook
Purchase: Powell’s | Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | iBooks[/alert]

When casually flipping through Thrive Energy Cookbook by Brendan Brazier, you might think the book is a gallery of self-portraits, but sandwiched between pictures is real information and great-tasting recipes. As part of this review, this reviewer tried out recipes for a soup, a burger, a dessert, and a smoothie. All were relatively simple to make and tasted great – better than expected, even. Some recipes are definitely more involved than others, or use uncommon ingredients. It’s worth it to try the recipes as written before trying shortcuts.

Recipes are split well between cooked and those that avoid cooking (“raw”). Each recipe is easily identifiable by such codes as “raw” or “gluten free” under the titles, though overall recipes are sorted by type of meal and not by diet. Finding recipes can get confusing, since the book is so dense and uniform (even though it is colorful with great photography). Brazier takes everything a step further by creating three basic meal plans: for those who are transitioning (to a whole-food plant-based diet), those accustomed to such a lifestyle, and those who are very athletic.

There are easier ways to eat whole foods, but the liquid elixirs/meals in Thrive Energy Cookbook are appealing and take the guesswork out of the process for someone who hasn’t done this before, or someone who wants more organization to their athletic regimen. These are not your everyday smoothies. Brazier explains the nutritional science and synergy between ingredients nicely in the beginning of the book as well as for some individual recipes. The information is a real boon to have in a cookbook.

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