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By, La Tache Weir
I accepted a challenge from another blogging buddy to take last week and eat only raw meals. I had done it a bit earlier the week before and figured, why not? So I hopped on Pinterest and started searching for some raw recipes to fill up our meals. And if you know me, I would never concede to having just plain raw veggies for dinner – that’s no fun!
Challenge #1. The Husband. Challenge Accepted. I knew that he would be on board as long as I was feeding him things he liked so what would he care? He isn’t picky if it’s raw or not so as long as his belly is full and his tongue is happy he is a trooper! Also dinner is really the only meal that we eat together because he is in school and I am at work, so for the rest of the day so he can fend for himself (it’s not like he starved! There were eggs and bagels in the fridge! And, c’mon he is a big boy!)
Challenge #2. Ingredients. Challenge Accepted. Apparently Soy Sauce, Chocolate, Balsamic Vinegar, Bread, Potato Chips, Beans aren’t raw?! Anything that has been ‘cooked’ above 115*F is not considered ‘raw.’ So where does it say the degree at which the item was cooked on the ingredients label? Well, in my experience, I haven’t found that spot 🙂 With this challenge, I asked Melissa about what she recommended and she gave me some great advice: “Raw foodies always tell me to keep it super simple. Salads, smoothies, nuts/seeds, raw fruits, veggies. Otherwise they say they get overwhelmed.” I can absolutely see how one could get overwhelmed with the plethora of recipes out there and the ease of access to it all! I ended up doing just that, making a lot of smoothies and salads.
Challenge #3. Equipment. Challenge Accepted. We don’t own a juicer or a dehydrator. Because of this, it was hard finding a variety of ingredients to use and items to make. Have you ever tried to eat a raw beet? …yeah me neither, but I can’t imagine that it’s edible/pleasurable. And you want to make ‘burgers’ or ‘crackers’ but don’t have a dehydrator – oh boy imagine the disaster! Fortunately we do have a food processor and a blender and both items came in handy almost every day and for most meals! Because of this challenge we just stuck with wraps, smoothies, salads and ‘pastas.’
Must have items in your fridge and/or pantry if you are eating a raw diet: since I was making meals and combining ingredients, and not just eating raw veggies, I found that I was always in need of bananas, lemons, raw cashews, raw walnuts, honey, greens,
The week of raw eating really wasn’t that difficult. We already don’t eat a lot of animal based proteins, we eat a healthy/balanced diet and we stay active so I did not experience any initial shock from the change in diet. It was fun trying new things and doing something good for my body in the process.
Now that I have explained my experience with a raw diet, I want to share my favorite raw recipe that I found:
Walnut Taco Mix
1 cup raw walnuts
1 Tbsp. nama shoyu (raw, unpasteurized soy sauce)
1/8 tsp. ground chipotle pepper (or more if you like it spicy!)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1. Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse just to mix. Don’t over-blend, or you will end up with walnut butter!
Cashew “Sour Cream”
½ cup raw cashews
juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
5 Tbsp. water (approx.)
1. Put all ingredients except water in a high speed blender or food processor and blend, adding water one tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. If you want a thick cream, use less water, for a thinner sauce, use more. (You will not achieve a perfectly smooth sauce with a food processor, but it is still delicious!)
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
½ red bell pepper, chopped fine
½ orange or yellow bell pepper, chopped fine
½ red onion or 4 green onions, minced
¼ cup chopped cilantro
½ clove garlic, minced
juice of ½ lime
1 tsp. raw honey
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
pinch of sea salt
1. Whisk the garlic, lime juice, honey, olive oil and sea salt in the bottom of a bowl and set aside.
2. Cut up the veggies into rather small pieces, chop the cilantro and add everything to the dressing bowl. Fold to combine and let sit for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Melissa Schollaert is a Holistic Health & Nutrition Counselor and founder of Real Nutritious Living. Helping others achieve their health goals to attain their healthiest, happiest life is her greatest ambition.