The Abundance Diet Review + Giveaway + Raw Cashew Horchata


Abundance Diet Collage Photos by Annie OliverioI feel as if I’ve been writing this post for a long time – almost from the moment I learned from Somer that she had signed a cookbook deal with Vegan Heritage Press

When Somer first told me about it, my first thought was, “Well, DUH!!” followed immediately with a feeling of happiness for her and pride in what she’d accomplished. And then when she asked me to take the photos, well – I was beyond thrilled. And scared to death! I really cut my photography teeth on this book.

Taking the photos for Somer’s book not only gave me a buttload of food photography experience, it gave me a unique perspective on the recipes. I prepared, photographed and ate a good percentage of them. And every single recipe was hands down delicious. Not that that will surprise anyone who knows of Somer’s recipes.

The Abundance Diet: The 28-Day Plan to Reinvent Your Health, Lose Weight, and Discover the Power of Plant-based Foods grew out of Somer’s Green Smoothie Challenge shared via her popular blog, Vedged Out. So much more than just smoothies, GSC was a month-long diet plant-based feast that inspired many of her fans and followers to join in (including me and Kel!). A warm and supportive community grew around the diet; people who had struggled for years to lose those stubborn 5 pounds lost them; others gained energy and focus, some realized how much they loved fresh fruits, vegetables, and greens, still others saw an alleviation in their chronic illness symptoms. The Abundance Diet builds on the sturdy bones of GSC. It’s jam-packed with dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, and oil-free recipes, shopping lists, meal plans, fitness tips, and so much more. Somer leaves nothing to chance and guides you for a full 28-days of delicious, healthful eating that includes cheeses, desserts, soups, wraps, salads, casseroles, snacks – and of course, smoothies.

I have no doubt that this is a book that both plant-based eaters and omnivores will be turning to again and again. Many of Somer’s recipe testers and those who have already followed TAD report that they were too full to eat the amount of food included for each day! Kinda turns the word “diet” on its proverbial ear, don’t you think? You can expect to lose weight, gain energy, and feel a new appreciation for the power of plant-based foods.

I’m very pleased to be able to offer one U.S. reader a copy of this amazing book. You can enter the giveaway below. If you just can’t wait or you would like to give a copy to a family member or friend, click here.

Below are some photos that I took after the book’s completion, and a few that appear in the book. What can I say? Somer’s food is photogenic! 

Congratulations, babe. Love and guts.


Chia Limeade from The Abundance Diet Photo by Annie Oliverio

Chia Limeade from The Abundance Diet Photo by Annie Oliverio


Black Bean Burger Veg Salad from The Abundance Diet Photo by Annie Oliverio

Black Bean Burger Veg Salad from The Abundance Diet Photo by Annie Oliverio


Vegan Cowboy Pasta from The Abundance Diet Photo by Annie Oliverio

Vegan Cowboy Pasta from The Abundance Diet Photo by Annie Oliverio


Curried Brown Rice Salad Photo by Annie Oliveriio

Curried Brown Rice Salad Photo by Annie Oliveri


Roasted Veggie Lasagna from The Abundance Diet Photo by Annie Oliverio

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna from The Abundance Diet by Somer McCowan Photography by Annie Oliverio


Raw Cashew Horchata from the Abundance Diet Photo by Annie Oliverio

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Raw Cashew Horchata

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Somer McCowan
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Total Time: 10
  • Yield: 2 1x


Horchata is a delicious beverage from Mexico that is typically made from rice milk, lots of sugar, and cinnamon. There are a few Mexican restaurants that serve a vegan version, but most often dairy is added. I love this version made with cashews and dates.
Note: If you don’t have a high-speed blender, soak your cashews and dates in the 2 cups water in a pint mason jar for 2 to 4 hours before blending. (Recipe from The Abundance Diet, © 2015 by Somer McCowan. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press LLC.)


  • 2 tablespoons raw cashew pieces, or whole cashews, roughly chopped
  • 2 to 4 soft medjool dates, pitted and snipped into bits
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. In a blender, combine the cashews, dates, water, and cinnamon. Blend the ingredients until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.

Raw Cashew Horchata from the Abundance Diet Photo by Annie Oliverio

If you’ve already purchased THE ABUNDANCE DIET and noticed that the Meal Plans were inadvertently omitted, you can access them here.

Somer McCowan of Vedged Out

Connect with Somer:


64 thoughts on “The Abundance Diet Review + Giveaway + Raw Cashew Horchata

    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      I look at The Abundance Diet as a plan that leads to a lifestyle change. It really sets one up for a complete overhaul. And I agree with you – Eat to Live is definitely a lifestyle!

  1. Arlene Lafosse

    The only true diet plan I’ve ever followed has been through Weight Watchers. I had success as long as I strictly adhered to it, but once I strayed, that was the end of that! I’d much rather just eat good, healthy unprocessed food – this book looks like a beautiful way to help me maintain a healthier eating lifestyle.

    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      Arlene – Somer’s plan makes it so easy because the food is delicious, packed with nutrition, beautiful to look at – and most importantly, fills your belly! Thanks for the comment!

  2. Paula

    I’ve never followed a diet plan. Vegan is my way of life. This book looks to have lots of healthy & tasty recipes, though.

    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      This is a book for those struggling a little bit, who have chronic health issues, or who are transitioning into a plant-based diet. Yes, for SURE veganism is a way of life (and the author would 100% agree with you) for many of us – but it IS also a way of eating. This book affirms how nurturing and delicious vegan food can be while causing the least amount of harm to animals and the earth.

  3. jtolnayJen T.

    I’m committed to a whole foods plant-based diet, though I don’t always do it perfectly. Always vegan, but sometimes refined foods creep back in.

  4. Julie

    A few years ago I learned of the Plant-Based way of eating, after being diagnosed with type 1.5 diabetes. I changed my way of eating and haven’t turned back. Although I’ve gotten healthier, I’m still hanging on to that last 5 pounds…and entering menopause (bleh), so I think that’s not helping! I’m super excited to try the Abundance Diet and see if that helps. I think meal plans will work wonders with me. 🙂

    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      What I really love are the shopping lists that go w/ the meal plans! Takes the work out of organizing. So helpful. I hear ya on those last few stubborn pounds (and menopause…). When I last did the green smoothie challenge, I saw a big difference. Anyway – – thanks for entering the giveaway!

  5. Denice Overturf

    This book is waiting anxiously in my Amazon wish list. I just started eating better/vegan to rid myself of some health issues and also to try and lose weight.

  6. Shira

    Such an awesome project come to light! I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a copy soon – so good to see you guys work together on this! xo

  7. Brittany

    I just love that you took her photos, and it gave you such great experience. Both your cookbooks have fantastic images! This horchata looks great, love the dates as the sweetener.

  8. Lorena Blackmon

    This book seems to be exactly what I have been searching for. I have followed a vegan diet for 2 years but have plateau on my weight loss due to eating too many vegan possessed foods. I have been wanting to go plant based but did not know where to start. I will be checking it out. Photos look amazing!

    Oh and I recently tried to make vegan horchata and it was a nightmare! Spent over an hour expressing the horchata through a nut milk bag! Can’t wait to try out this recipe without the rice.

    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      Oh my gosh! You have to try this EASY recipe! You’ll love it. And best of luck making those really important changes to your diet. I know Somer’s book would be a great help to you. Thanks for entering the giveaway!

  9. dawn Bevan

    My daughter Lucy is about to open a small vegan cafe in Hitchin Hertfordshire on 29th August she is a dedicated vegan but not in your face , she just wants people to learn about the alternative foods that are available , and how delicious , nourishing, and good for you.
    Some years ago she had an eating disorder for 4 years, she has turned her life around , I’m so very proud of her.
    I will forward this to her to get some more deliciously , good health food in her Cafe
    Well done a you Vegans
    Hope some of you can make it on her opening day ,

    1. An Unrefined Vegan Post author

      Hi Dawn – your daughter sounds like an inspiration! I agree with her philosophy: sharing delicious food is the best way to reach people and change lives. I wish her the best of luck with her cafe – how exciting!

  10. tearoomdelights

    You and Somer make a superb pairing, all of these dishes look utterly delicious and I’m going to have a bash at making that lovely looking horchata this afternoon. Thank you both for the recipe and sumptuous pictures.

      1. tearoomdelights

        Tragedy – no dates! I substituted sultanas and a dash of agave nectar, which worked fine, but I’ll have to try it again when I’ve got some dates. I’ve got a heap of cashews that need using up so I’ve got a good excuse. 🙂

  11. Amy L

    Like many people, I’ve tried a number of eating plans. Haven’t been able to stick to a one! Except giving up meat several years ago. That was so much easier than I could have anticipated because I do it for compassionate reasons. I am working towards vegan despite my omnivorous husband, and this 28 day plan sounds like a huge help. Love the pictures!

  12. moonhonu

    yes as I am vegan (and before was vegetarian or pescatarian for 30 years) My family still finds this a bit funny as I grew up on a dairy farm 🙂 [ i just ordered this book yesterday but would love to win a copy for my daughter]

  13. Ricki

    SUCH. STUNNING. PHOTOS!!!!! 😀 And I want to make every recipe I’ve seen from the book! Everything sounds so incredibly delicious. Great review, Annie! Now I want to go have some horchata (which I’ve never had before). Yum!!

  14. GrammyKathy

    I’ve been vegan for 3 years but don’t eat as healthy as I could/should. Would love to win this cookbook. Great job on the photos – they look amazing!

  15. Rachel

    I began eating a plant-based diet 2.5 years ago, but would love to cut down on my sugar intake and avoid more processed foods.

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  17. Nicollette D

    I can’t wait to get a copy of this book. I love Somer’s website– the photos are gorgeous and the recipes are mostly easy and always delicious. Her kick ace cheese ball is my go-to app for omni friends. The only thing I’ve committed to long term is my plant based lifestyle, but I don’t consider that a diet.

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