Choose to Be Raw
Common sense has always indicated that eating fruits and veggies is good for you—what common sense failed to mention is how valuable it is to eat those foods raw. Sometime after we discovered fire, we abandoned our “rabbit food” palate for a predominantly cooked diet.
The tides, however, are turning, and many are choosing a raw food diet once again. The benefits are hard to ignore: increased energy, clearer skin, and reduced risk of disease, to name a few. Raw foods also have higher alkaline content compared to the acidic processed foods that our diet currently consists of. Eating fruits and veggies raw also preserves the enzymes—these are destroyed when food is cooked in temperatures over 118 degrees. In order to balance out the acidity that is bad for our bodies, our diet has to change. A great deal of the processed foods in our culture today can easily be eaten in their natural form and will taste just as good, if not better.
Dehydrating, juicing, pickling, blending, and fermenting your raw foods are just a few ways to mix it up and still receive ample nutrients. To help you along in the process of going raw, we’ve provided some great recipes for you to enjoy!
Raw Kale Chips
1 large bunch curly leaf kale
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil
1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
Tear the kale leaves off the stems and set them aside. (Make sure that the kale pieces are large enough so that they do not fall through the grates of the dehydrator.) In a large mixing bowl combine sea salt, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and yeast. Add the kale leaves to the bowl and toss to cover the kale with the seasoning. Bake in the dehydrator for two hours at 115 degrees. You can change the crispiness of the kale by modifying the dehydration time.
Red Cabbage, Lime, Honey, and Cilantro Slaw
1/2 large head of red cabbage (or 1 small head) with outer leaves removed
1 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon honey (or agave or maple syrup)
Thinly slice the cabbage (you can use a mandoline if you have one, but a sharp knife is also fine) and wash the cilantro, pulling the leaves off the stems. Juice the limes and add the honey and salt, stirring until the honey has dissolved into the liquid. Toss the cabbage with the lime juice, honey, and salt mixture, and add the cilantro. Stir well to combine. With time, the cabbage will soften slightly and begin to release more of its juices (bathing everything in a beautiful, brilliant purple), but it’s tasty at any point. Recipe provided by Eve Fox of thegardenofeating.org.
Goji Strawberry Smoothie
1 1/2 cups plain or vanilla non-dairy milk
1/2 cup water (or more non-dairy milk)
1 1/2 cups frozen sliced banana
1 cup frozen or fresh strawberries
1/2 cup goji berries
2 tablespoons flaxseeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
Place all the ingredients in a high-powered blender and purée for a few minutes to ensure the goji berries and flaxseeds are pulverized and well incorporated. Recipe provided by Let Them Eat Vegan! by Dreena Burton.
2 large leaves romaine lettuce
1/3 cup marinara sauce
1/4 Roma tomato, sliced
1/4 avocado, sliced
6 thin slices of onion
1 cremini mushroom, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped black olives
Dash of salt
Spread one of the lettuce leaves with the sauce and arrange the tomato, avocado, onion, mushroom, and olives over it. Sprinkle with salt. Put the second lettuce leaf on top. Serve immediately. Recipe provided by Raw Food Made Easy by Jennifer Cornbleet.