Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Review & Giveaway: Crave, Eat, Heal

Crave-Eat-Heal-blog-tour-banner2About the book:
After struggling for many years with a raging sweet tooth and emotionally-driven cravings, author Annie Oliverio began the journey back to a healthy, balanced palate. This is a cookbook focused on plant-based foods that protect, nourish, and heal – yet satisfy “cravings” that can easily trip one up when striving to eat healthier foods or when feeling lonely, stressed or in the need of comfort.

About the author, in her own words:
If there is an unnamed, undiagnosed condition where one suffers from planning, thinking about, and anticipating future breakfasts, lunches, and dinners while eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner, then I have it. And I don’t want to be cured. But I wouldn’t be opposed to having this ailment named after me.

I was fortunate to be raised in a home with two excellent cooks: my mom and dad. Mom covered the basics of breakfasts, lunches in brown paper bags, and a square meal at night. She also covered Thanksgiving and Easter dinners. Dad took over on Christmas Eve or whenever an ingredientbe it a stinky cheese or olives or eggplant or artichokes or polentacaught his fancy. Sauce splatters and piles of pots and pans in the sink were guaranteed. Between mom and dad, my three siblings and I ate eclectically and well.

My own culinary journey got off to a rocky start when I began living on my own post-college. I went for convenience and speed (and sugary, fatty, salty) rather than quality. Slowly, however, I began buying more fresh and whole foods to make my own meals. At the same time, I was learning about what foods are best for our bodies. Long story short, my plodding and indirect journey led me to plant-based eating. I no longer rely on packaged, frozen, or prepared meals, and instead make everything we need right here in our own kitchen.

What about the non-food part of my life? Before escaping the mean city streets for the wild, windy plains of Oklahoma, I was an administrative assistant and office manager at a subscription fulfillment company in Boulder, at a think-tank in Santa Monica, at a university in Cambridge, MA, in the Green Zone in Baghdad, and at a non-profit in Washington, D.C.

I now spend a good deal of time walking the pastures trying to identify different types of grasses and insects, feeding hummingbirds, writing and reading, struggling to solve crossword puzzles (with a pen and a lot of Wite-Out), and blogging at An Unrefined Vegan and Virtual Vegan Potluck. I live in blissful satellite- and cable-free isolation with my husband, Kel, and our only son, Ike (part dachshund, part Labrador).

From Reidhead Randomness:

I saw a T-shirt that read: "There is no 'Chocoholics Anonymous, because NO ONE WANT to QUIT!"

That has been the story of my life!!!  I don't want to quit....I'm no quitter!  ;-)

The book Crave, Eat, Heal is a game changer!

She begins the book by sharing about cravings.  She shared that when she was a kid she would curl up on the couch with a book and a big stash of candy (I can relate).  As a young adult, she would eat popcorn chased by ice cream.  When a workout was completed, rewards of M&M's were in order (I too can relate, unfortunately!!!) The next thing she shares is all about cravings.  The varieties they come in: salty, sweet, tart, spicy, etc. She came to realize that her cravings are the body's way of telling that it is needing something it isn't getting.  That could be water, healthy fats, stress relief, comfort or exercise.

This is more than a cookbook.  It is a curb your cravings book!  Are you stressed?  Angry?  Bored?  She shares that more often than not, your craving is based on an emotional need (NOT PHYSICAL)!  WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT!?!

The fun and unique thing about this book is that the "CHAPTERS" aren't really chapters!  They are grouped by "CRAVING" instead! Salty, Comfort, Crunchy, and Chocolate are just some of the chapters awaiting you!  The photography is wonderful...and crave-worthy!

This is not just another cookbook, not just another fad diet, not just another 'plan', but a change in thinking and living.

She shares that she is vegan and her reasons.  I am not there yet...I still like meat and dairy.  BUT...These recipes are WONDERFUL!  Everything I tried tasted great!

With that said, I would like to share a WONDERFUL recipe!


One of my recipe testers told me that both she and her mother thought these cookies had a good “flavor profile.” I interpreted that to mean that they were satisfyingly chocolatey without a lot of guilt. High in fiber, protein, vitamin C, and vitamin A, bright red Goji berries also contain selenium, zinc, iron, and calcium. Beautiful blueberries have fiber, are low in calories, but high in protective antioxidants that block the activity of free radicals which may be a factor in the development of cancer.

Gluten-free, Oil-free


Makes ~18


1 Tbsp. flaxseed meal whisked into 3 Tbsp. water

1/4 coconut butter

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 very ripe banana

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch sea salt

1 cup gluten-free oat flour

1/2 cup cocoa or cacao powder

1 Tbsp. arrowroot powder

1 1/2 tsp. stevia powder

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Dash cardamom powder

3/4 cup vegan stevia-sweetened semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup dried blueberries

1/4 cup dried goji berries


Preheat oven to 375-degrees and line 2 baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseed meal and the water and set aside.  Put the blueberries and goji berries in a small bowl and cover with warm water for about 15 minutes to rehydrate.  Drain and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the coconut butter, maple syrup, banana, vanilla extract, salt and flaxseed meal mixture.  Process until very smooth.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the oat flour, cocoa or cacao powder, arrowroot powder, stevia, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and cardamom.  Carefully pour into the bowl with the coconut butter mixture and process at medium-low speed to incorporate the dry ingredients fully into the wet ingredients.  Add the chocolate chips, blueberries, and goji berries and pulse to blend into the cookie dough.  The dough will be very sticky.

Drop dough by the heaped tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheets.  Flatten and shape slightly.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, switching pans halfway through for even baking.  Let cookies cool on the pan for about 10 minutes before removing them and placing them on cooling racks.

Total time: 30-40 minutes


Make your own oat flour by pulsing rolled oats in a food processor or mini prep until finely pulverized.  For one cup oat flour you’ll need about 1 1/4 cups rolled oats.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Ann Oliverio and Front Table Books.


I received a digital copy of this book for review purposes, however all opinions expressed are my own.


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