Just Raw: Traditional Raw Meals Morning, Noon, or Night
Living a raw lifestyle can be one of the best things you do for your body, especially after the holidays. Whether you are a raw foodist for the long run or just to cleanse yourself from some overly processed foods, your body will feel great.
But what does raw mean? Each person that decides to go raw puts their own parameters on the diet, but traditionally it means choosing products that have not been baked, cooked, fried, or grilled. This is done because of the loss of enzymes that occurs in food at around 112 degrees.
One reason to go raw is to increase the fruits and veggies in your daily diet. This will help keep your body at an ideal weight and keep sickness in check. Another reason is that it can simplify your meals. Granted, some raw food recipes are labor intensive, but many meals are fresh and simple so you can put good food on the table without logging hours in the kitchen.
Here are some great food staples to keep in the kitchen that will ease you into this new lifestyle:
>> Abundant fresh fruit such as avocados, blackberries, and strawberries
>> Find vegetables that are in season and local
>> Get ahold of raw nuts and seeds like cashews, pistachios, or sunflower seeds
>> Use sprouted or steamed quinoa, millet, or other ancient grains for making your meals
Just because you choose to have a raw lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to skip out on all the foods you grew up loving. Many dessert, dinner, and breakfast items can be done in a way that does not require baking. All you really need for most recipes is a blender, a dehydrator, and a whisk.
Take the following pancake recipe for example—it contains loads of healthy ingredients and still manages to be completely raw. It comes from Alissa Cohen’s Raw Food for Everyone, a great cookbook full of tips, tricks, and raw recipe versions of your favorite foods.
Morning, Noon, and Night Pancakes
2 cups pecans, soaked for 8 hours
2 cups pine nuts
2 ripe bananas
1 cup agave nectar
Seeds from 2 vanilla beans
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 cups blueberries, muddled
A dollop of coconut cream (recipe below)
Put the soaked pecans, pine nuts, bananas, agave, vanilla seeds, and salt in a Vita-Mix. While the machine is running, carefully remove the lid, and using a rubber spatula, stir the mixture along to make sure it is continuously turning over. Add a tablespoon of water if necessary. Blend until smooth. Using a spatula, fold in the muddled blueberries. With a ladle, drop 1/4 cup measures of the batter onto Teflex-lined dehydrator racks, leaving at least 1/2 inch between the pancakes. They should be thick like pancakes, about 1/2 inch thick, not thin like crepes. Dehydrate for eight hours. Flip the pancakes onto clean Teflex sheets and dehydrate for eight more hours. These should be soft and fluffy and have the consistency of a pancake. Don’t dehydrate them for too long—they shouldn’t be hard. Cover and refrigerate for up to three days. Garnish with blueberries and coconut cream. To make cream, put two cups fresh coconut meat and one cup coconut water in a Vita-Mix. Blend until the mixture is thick and creamy, like heavy cream. Source: Raw Food for Everyone by Alissa Cohen