I’m super excited about today’s sweet and scrumptious recipe. It’s a chai rice pudding that’s full of dried fruit, spices, maple syrup, and hearty brown rice. It makes for a perfectly healthy dessert, or–if you’re in the mood for something rich and celebratory–a great breakfast dish, too.
The recipe comes to you from a new cookbook that I’m particularly excited about: The Blender Girl cookbook, by Tess Masters. Many of my readers know Tess and her work already; she’s the mastermind behind the Healthy Blender Recipes website, which features a slew of vegan, raw, and gluten free recipes with a special emphasis on blending (so: puddings, smoothies, soups, raw desserts, and so on).
I first connected with Tess in NYC two years ago, and I was immediately charmed by her boundless energy (she’s a force of nature!), her infectious laugh, her empathy, and her enthusiasm for healthy living. Tess’ story, which you can read about in the preface of her book, involves a healing journey that brought her to many different food and lifestyle philosophies (raw, vegan, Body Ecology, alkaline diet, etc.). In the end, she “blended” up these different viewpoints to find the “eating style” (as I like to call it) that works for her. It’s something most of us in the healthy living corner have done, and it’s always interesting to hear from others who have gone through the process.
Tess’ book is gorgeous. It is exquisitely photographed, vibrant, elegant, heartfelt, and it features 100 gluten free and vegan recipes. As with Tess’ site, there’s an emphasis on blending! Some delectable highlights include edamame dip:
Gluten free pad Thai:
And this insane raw chocolate orange torte. OMG.
Other featured recipes in the collection include Fresh Spring Rolls with Orange-Almond Sauce, Twisted Caesar Pleaser, and Spicy Chickpea Burgers with Portobello Buns and Greens. One thing I love about Tess’ recipes–and it’s a quality I strive for with my own recipes–is that they’re highly adaptable and easy to make. Add an extra squeeze of this, another handful of that, or leave something out altogether—you can’t really mess them up. The book also includes details on the benefits of soaking, sprouting, and dehydrating as well as eating raw, probiotic-rich, and alkaline ingredients. But what makes the book shine the most is Tess’ incredible enthusiasm for healthy living, her sense of fun and adventure. And that’s what’ll keep me revisiting her words again and again.
If you’re eager for a taste of Tess’ work, check out this chai rice pudding. It’s fantastic, and you won’t be disappointed.
Tess is so talented and so generous. The Blender Girl cookbook is a perfect tribute to the work she’s done and the community she’s created, and I recommend it highly. Check it out today–and in the meantime, I hope you savor this beautiful pudding. I’ll see you back here tomorrow for weekend reading!
All photos in this post taken by Anson Smart © 2014