Health and Wellness 12 Seriously Scrumptious Recipes for the Reluctant Raw Foods Eater
12 Seriously Scrumptious Recipes for the Reluctant Raw Foods Eater
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The raw food diet is one of the many popular diet trends among health buffs today. It involves eating mostly raw, uncooked and unprocessed foods. The raw food diet mainly consists of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds, but other raw food enthusiasts eat raw animal products such as milk, meat and fish, too. Others also include a small portion of cooked foods for variety.

Raw food enthusiasts are fast growing in numbers, so if you’re thinking of jumping on the bandwagon, read on to learn more about the benefits of eating raw. There are some simple recipes included, too.

What are the benefits of eating raw foods?

raw foodFood is considered raw if it is uncooked or heated below 116°C. It is at this temperature food starts losing some of its nutrients.

The concept of the raw food diet came from the idea that cooking and processing food will strip off the nutrients and enzymes. Some nutrients, including vitamin C, B vitamins and folate are sensitive to heat. Therefore, cooking foods that contain certain nutrients will only destroy them. On the other hand, some nutrients, such as lycopene and certain types of antioxidants increase in amounts when food is cooked.

Another advantage of not cooking food is the preservation of enzymes. Enzymes aid in digestion and nutrient absorption. Eating cooked foods makes your body work harder to produce enzymes. Over time, a lack of enzymes may lead to digestive problems, nutrient deficiencies, weight gain and faster aging.

To date, there are not enough studies to prove that a raw food diet can treat certain health conditions. However, the promoters of a raw food diet claim it provides the following health benefits:

  • Increased Energy
  • Youthful Skin
  • Improved Digestion
  • Weight Loss
  • Reduced Risk of Disease
  • Stronger Immunity

In one study, the long-term consumption of raw food was linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. Most of the participants had reduced plasma total cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Additionally, eating raw foods is environmental friendly. Organic foods rarely come in huge packaging of plastics and cans. It also does not require much energy to prepare; thus, it does not contribute much to waste and pollution. A raw food diet will benefit both you and Mother Earth.

A good way to start a raw food diet is to incorporate raw foods slowly until you transition to a 90 to 100 percent raw food diet. Begin with 50 percent raw food and 50 percent cooked food until your body learns to adjust.

Choose Organic

fruits and vegetablesEating raw food is not simply just coming up with recipes, preparing them and eating them. Due to the modern farming techniques with the extensive use of fertilizers, pesticides and genetic modification for mass production, most food products today contain more toxins and less nutritional value.

How do we obtain optimal nutrition from raw food? By choosing organically grown foods. Organic farming uses materials and methods that are environmental friendly. It does not guarantee to produce a 100 percent toxin-free food, but organically grown food is guaranteed to contain the least amount of toxic substances and residues.

Organic fruits and vegetables are sold in many grocery shops. You can also find them in a local farmer’s market near your area. Local and small-scale farmers are less likely to use modern agriculture methods for mass production.

Better yet, you can grow your vegetables and fruits in your garden just as long as you do not live in a polluted area or near pollution sources such as refineries and heavy industries.

Raw Food Diet Risks

Raw food diet may be beneficial for you, but it has its downsides, too. While not cooking food retains most of its enzymes and nutrients, you could also be keeping harmful organisms and toxins that may cause food poisoning if the food is not prepared properly.

food poisoningContaminated food causes food poisoning, an illness that usually comes with vomiting and diarrhea. Symptoms may vary depending on the infection, but it can be life threatening if bloody diarrhea and dehydration occur. The presence of bacteria, virus, molds and parasites in food is the main cause of food poisoning. Since raw food is uncooked, these organisms are likely to thrive in your food.

Food contamination can occur from growing, storing and processing to preparing ready to eat raw food. Thus, it is important to store them safely and be hygienic when preparing your raw food.

Animal food and its raw products are the number one source of bacteria, such as e-Coli, listeria and salmonella. Parasites are mostly found in uncooked meat and fish. Molds and fungus are usually found in nuts, seeds, sprouts and grains.

How can you avoid food poisoning, especially in raw foods?

Here are simple ways you can prevent food poisoning:

  1. Buy food from trusted grocers and shops.
  2. Store raw meat and ready to eat raw foods separately.
  3. Place meat should be placed on the bottom shelf of the fridge to avoid contact or dripping into other food.
  4. Do not leave raw foods unrefrigerated for more than two hours especially animal products.
  5. Wash vegetables and fruits before storing them in the refrigerator.
  6. Always wash hands thoroughly before preparing and eating.
  7. Keep separate chopping boards for meat and plant products.
  8. Wash worktops with soap and warm water after every meal preparation.

If you follow these tips, you are less likely to be food poisoned from raw food.

Raw Recipes

One concern of many people shifting to a healthy diet is the length of time it will take to prepare healthy meals, and their less appetizing flavor. You’ll be surprised to know that raw and healthy meals are as flavorful as cooked meals with less preparation time.

If you still aren’t sure if you want to give raw foods a try, here are some seriously scrumptious recipes for the reluctant raw foods eater:

1. Cabbage and Apple Salad with Ginger Vinaigrette

This recipe is a mix of contrasting flavors that will surely surprise your palate, not to mention the healthy fats, fiber and protein you will get with every bite. This is because it contains a healthy blend of mixed fruits, vegetables, seeds and spices.

CabbageWhat you need:

  • Three tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • One teaspoon pure honey
  • One 1/2 teaspoons peeled gratedfresh ginger
  • One teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Three tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Two cups Granny Smith apples, sliced thinly
  • Two cups shredded red cabbage
  • Two cups shredded Napa cabbage
  • Two teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sweet raisins, soaked in hot water
  • 1/4 cup toasted andunsalted sunflower seeds

How to prepare:

  1. Start with the dressing by whisking the first five ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Next, whisk in olive oil, pepper, and salt. Set the dressing aside.
  3. Toss the red cabbage and Napa cabbage in a separate bowl.
  4. Add the apple slices and the lemon juice to keep the apples from turning brown.
  5. Add the raisins and half of the sunflower seeds to the cabbage.
  6. Toss with the dressing.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining sunflower seeds on the servings.

Avocado and tomatoes are ideal for the raw diet, so read on to learn how to prepare them.

2. Guacamole

Health buff or not, who does not love guacamole? This heart-healthy recipe contains monounsaturated fats from avocados and lycopene from tomatoes.

GuacamoleWhat you need:

  • Sixripe avocados, peeled
  • ½ cup chopped tomato, seeds removed
  • ½ minced jalapeño pepper
  • Six finely chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • One ¼ teaspoons salt

How to prepare:

  1. Make sure your hands are clean.
  2. Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix with your fingers gently.
  3. Season to taste. Adjust seasoningsto your preference.
  4. If you are not eating your guacamole right away, transfer it to another container and cover with plastic wrap, making sure there is no space for air to prevent browning.
  5. Remove the wrap right before serving.

Instead of chips, you can also use crunchy vegetables instead, like celery, carrots, peppers and radishes.

3. Salad Stuffed Avocado

Refreshing and nutritious are the best words that describe this recipe. It’s a mix of ingredients you would never think would taste good. The combination of sweet, spicy, creamy and crunchy,will make your mouth happy.

Salad Stuffed AvocadoWhat you need:

  • One avocado, cut into halves and seeded
  • One pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Fresh lime juice
  • One teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup diced yellow bell pepper
  • ¼ cup baby tomatoes, sliced
  • Three diced radishes
  • One tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • One tablespoon chopped scallion
  • One tablespoon grated cheese, such as feta or cotija

How to prepare:

  1. Put garlic and cayenne in a small bowl and add a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
  2. Toss in the radishes, tomatoes and bell paper. Mix well and set aside.
  3. Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed.
  4. Take a scoop of your salad mixture and put it on the hollow part of the avocado halves.
  5. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro, scallions and cotija or feta cheese.

4. Watermelon Gazpacho with Feta

Soups are best during the cold season to warm you up, but you can also have soup to cool down hot summer days. This healthy recipe is a blend of different flavors that requires little preparation time and less effort.

GazpachoWhat you need:

  • Six plum chopped tomatoes
  • Two cups cubed seedless watermelon
  • Two seedless English cucumbers, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup diced Vidalia onion
  • 1/2 minced jalapeño pepper
  • One garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • Fresh lime juice from two limes
  • One cup tomato juice
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, for garnish

How to prepare:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor except for the feta and salt. Blend until your preferred consistency is achieved.
  2. Season with salt.
  3. Pour the blended mixture into serving bowls and garnish with feta for added flavor.

Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, the next recipe is for you.

5. Vegan Brownies

Is it possible to make brownies without baking? Yep, you can now enjoy a vegan brownie without having to use the oven.

Vegan BrowniesWhat you need:

  • Two cups rolled oats
  • One cup raw cashew nuts
  • 8 pitted dates
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • One ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

How to prepare:

  1. Place all the dry ingredients in a food processor except for the banana and walnuts.
  2. Blend until it reaches a flour-like consistency.
  3. Add the applesauce and banana then blend until it becomes sticky or doughy.
  4. Spread the mixture into a pan and push it firmly and evenly with a spatula.
  5. Add the chopped walnuts by gently pushing them into the dough.
  6. Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the dough to toughen. Slice and refrigerate the slices left.

You can enjoy it for dessert or snacks.

6. Sweet and Sour Cucumbers

This is one of the simplest raw food recipes, but the flavor will surely not disappoint you. Made from the simplest ingredients, this healthy food is refreshing and delicious.

CucumbersWhat you need:

  • Two unpeeled English hothouse cucumbers or one 1/2 pounds total, thinly sliced
  • One tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
  • Three tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

How to prepare:

  1. Cut the cucumber into thin slices and place it in a colander.
  2. Sprinkle with salt then toss the cucumbers to make sure it is seasoned Set aside.
  3. For the dressing, mix the vinegar, sugar, pepper and dill in a bowl. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add the cucumbers to the vinegar dressing and mix well.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes if you want to eat it cold.

Enjoy your summer treat.

7. Mango Red Pepper Salsa

Making salsa could not be easier with this recipe. Enjoy taking succulent bites for lower fat and calories.

MangoWhat you need:

  • Two ripe mangoes, peeled and diced
  • One red pepper, diced
  • A half of one red onion, finely chopped
  • Three tomatoes, diced
  • Three tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Three tablespoons of fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • Salt
  • Pepper

How to prepare:

  1. After chopping, dicing and slicing them, put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Transfer to a covered container and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  3. Cooling it overnight makes it taste even better.

You can dip in chips or eat it as it is.

8. Cherry Almond Coconut Protein Balls

Thinking of a delicious protein boost after working out? This recipe is the perfect solution to your post workout protein need. It tastes great with lesser calories than protein shakes.

CherryWhat you need:

  • One cup raw almonds
  • One cup cottage cheese
  • One tablespoon maple syrup
  • One teaspoon cinnamon
  • One cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries, chopped

How to prepare:

  1. Grind the almonds in a food processor until it reaches a grainy consistency.
  2. Blend in the cottage cheese, cinnamon, and maple syrup until the mixture turns into a paste.
  3. In a bowl, mix the coconut, cherries, and rolled oats.
  4. Add the paste to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  5. Form into balls and put them on a sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Put in the freezer for at least half an hour before eating.

You can put them in a small container and take it to the gym with you.

9. Fish Crudo with Lemon Oil

The name may sound like something you would read on fancy restaurant menus, but it’s actually a simple recipe that requires less effort than you may think.

The key to making to making this dish perfect is to use fresh raw fish and high-quality ingredients.Enjoy this appetizer for half the price for the same thing served in restaurants.

halibutWhat you need:

  • One pound of halibut, yellowtail or any other sushi-quality fish
  • Flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • One tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • One tablespoon thinly sliced chives or slivered scallions

How to prepare:

  1. Slice the fish evenly into thin slices, and arrange them neatly on a chilled platter.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, and scallions or chives then whisk.
  4. Spread over the fish with a spoon.

To get neat slices, put the fish into the freezer 20 minutes before preparing.

10. Raw Tomato Basil Zucchini Pasta

This recipe is a healthy vegan alternative for pasta and sauce. It got loads of fiber, protein, B vitamins and enzymes. Prep time may take a bit long but worth it.

Raw TomatoWhat you need:

  • Four zucchini squashes
  • Two cups sun-dried tomatoes
  • Two fresh tomatoes
  • ½ cup packed fresh basil, leaves only
  • ½ dietary cup yeast
  • ¼ medium onion diced
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • One garlic clove, minced
  • One teaspoon dried oregano
  • One teaspoon Himalayan rock salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

How to prepare:

  1. Drop the sun-dried tomatoes in boiling water and soak for five minutes.
  2. In a bowl, mix the remaining ingredients except for the zucchini and walnuts.
  3. Put it in the food processor with the soaked tomatoes.
  4. Add one cup of soaking water and blend until smooth.
  5. After blending, add ¾ of the chopped walnuts.
  6. Cut the zucchini in half vertically and use a grater or spiral slicer to make the strands.
  7. Arrange the zucchini strands on plates.
  8. Pour over sauce and sprinkle with the remaining walnuts.

11. Coconut Chia Pudding

Thinking of a delicious and healthy treat? This recipe will delight your taste buds as it gives you omega-3 fatty acids and a load of fiber all for just a few minutes of your time.

raw chia seedsWhat you need:

  • One cup full-fat or light coconut milk
  • ¼ cup raw chia seeds
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • Diced fruits of your preference
  • Nuts

How to prepare:

  1. Combine the first three ingredients in glass jar or bowl.
  2. Store it in the refrigerator overnight. Chia seeds will turn into agel-like
  3. Remove from the fridge and top it fruits and nuts or seeds.

Mangoes, berries, almonds, walnuts and chia seeds are among the popular topping choices.

12. Berry Smoothie

Antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, all in one quick and easy recipe. This smoothie can be your breakfast-on-the-go or your post-workout treat.

Berry SmoothieWhat you need:

  • One cup of chilled green tea or almond milk
  • One cup of fresh or frozen berries
  • Two medium blood oranges
  • ½ ripe peeled avocado
  • Two to 3 small dates, pitted
  • One teaspoon hemp seeds
  • ½ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon of spirulina powder

How to prepare:

  1. Soak the pitted dates in warm water for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a blender except for the hemp seeds. Blend until smooth.
  3. Transfer to a glass and sprinkle with hemp seeds.

If you prefer a thinner consistency, add more chilled tea or almond milk.

For more raw food recipes, you can visit rawfoodrecipes.com.

Reap the benefits of raw food diet with these simple recipes that take less time to prepare. Plus, they are equally delicious as the cooked food.

 

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