No two books fit the philosophy and focus of Spiritualitea quite so well as this pair from Café Gratitude. Inherent within them is the idea that food is nourishment for both body and spirit. Take, for example, the titles of each of the dishes, both at the café and in the book I Am Grateful:
The Café Gratitude menu gives you the opportunity to start practicing saying something new and affirming about yourself by simply placing your order. All the items on our menu have self-affirming names like I Am Adoring, I am Loved, or I Am Fulfilled, which is how we encourage customers to order what they want. Then when the servers bring them their food and drinks, they place them down saying, You Are Adoring, Your Are Loved, or You Are Fulfilled!
The recipes in I Am Grateful are fairly straightforward, though a good many of them require you to have a dehydrator. The recipes in Sweet Gratitude on the other hand can seem involved at first they may entail learning to use unfamiliar ingredients such as Irish Moss (a sea vegetable) or learning to create your own liquid vanilla but once youve learned the techniques, the recipes arent as complex as they first seemed and the results are oh so worth it. In one taste test, non-raw friends sampled the Sweet Gratitude pecan pie side by side with one from Marie Callendars and deemed the former superior. With regular desserts, you can expect only sin and guilt from your indulgence, but with these recipes you get living enzymes, protein, and healthy fats. I can personally attest to the fact that even with desserts like these as a semi-regular part of my diet, my previously pre-diabetic glucose levels have remained stable and I continued to lose weight. What more could you ask?
While of the two books I loved Sweet Gratitude more I’ve been blown away by every recipe Ive tried in it Id recommend getting I Am Grateful if you are deciding between the two rather than planning to purchase both. I Am Grateful not only includes a broad range of raw entrees, salads, sauces and drinks, but also includes some of my favorite desserts from Sweet Gratitude, such as the Pecan Pie and Banana Cream Pie. I Am Grateful also includes the inspiring story of restaurant founder Terces Engelhart and a bit on the philosophy behind her creation.
I am so inspired by the food of the underlying philosophy of the restaurant, I hope to make a pilgrimage of sorts next time Im in the Bay Area of California where it is located. Its no doubt a favorite destination of raw vegan pop star Jason Mraz he mentions it in his song Make It Mine (from the album We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things) and used a reference to the restaurant as the title for his recent tour. Like Jason Mraz, I am grateful for many things, and among them are these two books.