We finally did it! We stopped procrastinating, pontificating, and analyzing and just dove in, head first, into a week of RAW! Well, as RAW as we can do in these here parts sans specialty ingredients and high-tech equipment.
The idea of a RAW diet swam in and out of our consciousness for years. “You should be eating this RAW”…”If you soak this, it would give you more nutrients”…”You would feel better if you ate more RAW food”…were the thoughts that would arise, and I would inevitably be smitten by enzyme guilt! I don’t even know these enzymes but I would feel so bad about heating them and destroying them! Sigh.
It’s easy to revert to what you know well and know you can cook well, so that kept us hesitant from trying some new raw dishes. Then, we had to deal with our issues: RAW food lacks warmth, lacks “umph”, lacks soul! When we would read about raw foodists eating 30 bananas a day or that their daily menu was green smoothies, fruit salads, and a brazil nut, we were admittedly turned off. If we are going to do RAW, it has to be sustainable and soulful!
A new friend in our lives took the time to show me and some others how to make a delicious dish called Carrot Supreme and it was eye-opening. A RAW dish with flavor and funk! As for the lack of warmth, we learned that we can make some “very warm” soups and dips and they would still be considered RAW. Equipped with a mediocre blender and an equally mediocre food processor, we gave it a whirl (no pun intended!). No dehydrator, no VitaMix, but still very satisfying. These are a few highlights from our RAW-ish trial.
soaked almonds, walnuts, and dates, topped with chopped apple, coconut shreds, cinnamon, coconut oil, and soy milk (not RAW)
Cucumber and Turnip Salad, chickpea hummus (not RAW), served on red cabbage leaves.
Carrot Supreme, sprouted mung beans, and sliced cucumber, served on cabbage leaves.
Okra, Green Bean and Mushroom Salad
sunflower seed pate, cucumbers, carrots, and apples, wrapped in seaweed (not RAW)
Our “Week of RAW” went well. We felt better and experienced improved digestion and elimination. The challenge, for us, was finding filling, protein-rich, hearty dishes, so that we didn’t have to spend the day grazing. For me, a typical RAW day started with a fresh fruit smoothie with spirulina and ground flax seeds, a bowl of RAW granola at around mid-day, and a RAW dinner that revolved around a nut/seed based dish or bean sprout based dish. Three meals is more than enough for us, so this is why our RAW dinners have to be hefty.
As for sustainability, keeping up with the produce purchasing was a challenge. To eat a completely, 100% RAW diet would mean much more fruits, veggies, seeds, and nuts. How much more? Much more than we’re keen on at the moment. Maybe when we have our dream Raggamuslim farm, our home-grown produce will fuel the RAW-volution, but for now, we’re content with alternating high-RAW with half-RAW throughout the week. We’re still eating more RAW foods than before and we’re completely sold on making only RAW desserts (because they’re sooo dang good and healthy!). So, for that reason alone, we consider our week-trial a huge success!
Some examples of our half-RAW dishes would be a RAW soup with cooked beans added to it or a vegan pizza with RAW cashew cheese ricotta atop. Even though Lil’ Z was enthusiastic about our RAW trial too, we’re still cooking about half of her diet and a little less than half of our own for now. So, to summarize: Give RAW a chance! If even for a day, stop the slaughter of those helpful enzymes in your food, reinvigorate your palate, and taste how good RAW can get!
Note: There are TONS of great RAW recipes online and I don’t think I followed a single one to the “T”. So, I won’t publish any recipes or links here. Just search a little until you find something appetizing, give it a try, and let us know how it turns out. Cool?