Raw food is hugely beneficial to our bodies, as it contains all of the minerals and vitamins that would normally be leached through cooking methods. This is not to say that cooked food is unhealthy, in fact, cooked food can supply us with completely different beneficial compounds that you wouldn’t find in the food’s raw state. This is why a mixture of cooked and raw foods is a healthier balance than going on a strictly raw diet.
Kerry Torrens, Nutritional Therapist, shares with the BBC: “Eating your fruit and vegetables raw is indeed sometimes the healthier option. After all, some vitamins are sensitive to heat, for example, cooking tomatoes for just two minutes decreases their vitamin C content by 10%. However, while cooking may cause the loss of some valuable nutrients, like vitamin C, there are some vegetables which offer useful health benefits when they’re cooked.”
Kerry further explains which vegetables should be heated up, and which should be kept raw, for optimum nutritional content. See her list here.
Without further ado, the drool-worthy raw food recipes:
Raw food recipe Nº1 – From Scratch: Strawberry Tart with Cashew Cream
Made with vegan Irish moss – Irish Moss is a sea vegetable loaded with minerals, is anti-inflammatory and is a softer, raw vegan version of gelatine.
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1 cup dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup almond meal (or almond flour)
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked 20 minutes, drained
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 10 drops lemon extract
- 1 pinch mineral salt
- 1/2 cup raw agave or coconut nectar
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp water – or more if needed
- 2 tbsp Irish Moss paste – make by soaking 2 tbsp dried Irish Moss in water until soft (approx 2 – 4 hours) then drain and blend with just enough water to make a paste.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 3/4 cup Irish Moss paste
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 10 drops strawberry extract
- 1 pinch mineral salt
- 3/4 cup strawberries, hulled
- 1 – 2 punnets of hulled strawberries for topping
- 4 tbsp raw agave or coconut nectar
For Base: In a food processor combine all ingredients and process until breadcrumb like, but holds together. Press base into a 9″ springform round cake pan. Push base halfway up the sides to create a lip to hold all the filling ingredients. Place in fridge while you make the cashew cream and berry gel.
For Cashew Cream: Place all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Pour over base. Place in fridge while you make the berry gel.
For Berry Gel: Place all ingredients except the punnet of strawberries for topping in a high powered blender and blend until smooth. Pour over base. Place strawberries from punnet in berry gel mix, facing up. Keep working your way around until you can’t get anymore strawberries in there! Place in fridge to set overnight.
To serve, you can decorate with a chocolate sauce, and serve with extra sauce and berries on the side. I know it’s extra work, but it does top it all off nicely. So I’ll leave the sauce recipe here: Combine equal parts melted coconut oil, cacao powder, a pinch mineral salt, 1 tsp vanilla essence with coconut nectar. Whisk. Pour into squeezy bottle and decorate as preferred.
Raw food recipe Nº2: Quinoa and “Roasted” Cauliflower with Cranberry & Pumpkin Seed Salad
- 1 cup quinoa (preferably sprouted but doesn’t have to be)
- 1 medium cauliflower, broken into florets
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 3/4 cup cranberries, reserving some for garnish
- 1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley – chopped
- 1/2 bunch mint – chopped
- 100g rocket
- 1/4 red onion, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 1 tbsp ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar)
- 1 tbs olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
Cashew Miso Dressing:
- 1/4 cup shiro miso
- 1/4 cup coconut nectar
- 1/4 cup ACV
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup cashews – soaked in water for 20 minutes, drained
- 2 tbsp – 4 tbsp water for thinning if necessary
- salt & pepper to taste
Salad: In a bowl toss the cauliflower florets in the tamari, paprika, raw honey, ACV, olive oil & salt and pepper. Place on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 115°F for 4 hours. Set aside while you make the rest of the salad. If you don’t have a dehydrator you can do a normal roast in the oven with the cauliflower.
In a bowl, combine the remaining ingredients including the quinoa and cauliflower and toss together. Set aside while you make the dressing.
Dressing: Place all dressing ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Add water if necessary. Pour dressing ingredients into a mason jar and serve with the salad.
Raw food recipe Nº3: Spicy Mango Ginger Soup
- 1 large mango
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- ½ cup water
- 1 chili pepper
- Juice of 1 lime
- ½ tsp grated fresh ginger
Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Garnish with fresh herbs of choice and serve.
Raw food recipe Nº4: Raw Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo Over Kelp Noodles
Makes 3-4 small meals
- 1 package kelp noodles or 8-10 oz rice noodles, fully cooked
- 1/2 cup cashews, raw
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, raw
- 1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds
- 1/2 cup cashew milk
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 whole lemon juice only
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (I recommend using a full teaspoon if you are not going to salt your pasta!)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper corns
- garnish: asparagus, raw, chopped finely
- In a high speed blender container add the nuts and seeds and nutritional yeast. Blend until they turn into a flour consistency.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again. until almost smooth but maybe a tad grainy still for some interesting texture.
- Meanwhile, you’ll want to prep the kelp noodles by washing them in warm water and cutting them into desired lengths.
- Garnish with your favorite fresh herbs, salt and pepper add pretty chopped raw asparagus like I did.
Note: you can soak the nuts and seeds first for an hour if you’d like a creamier sauce and germinated nuts and seeds are easier to digest, but this step isn’t crucial for the final product or taste.
Raw food recipe Nº5: Raw Lemon Poppy Seed White Chocolates
Makes approx 12
- ½ cup melted raw cacao butter
- 1/3 cup melted raw coconut butter
- 1/3 cup raw cashew butter
- 3 Tbsp raw coconut nectar or maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp organic lemon zest
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
Method: In the top of a double boiler, melt the cacao butter and coconut butter over low heat (being careful not to heat it above 118F (47ºC). Add the cashew butter, maple syrup, lemon zest and juice, and poppy seeds and heat until it is all melted together, whisking it until smooth. Pour into molds, and set in the freezer for about 30 minutes until set. Store chocolates in the refrigerator.
A couple of lame vegan jokes:
Why did the guy get fired from the orange juice factory? He couldn’t concentrate!
Why was the mushroom invited to lots of parties? Because he was a fungi to be with!
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