An introduction to Raw Food, with The Good Greek…
I delivered this as a workshop at Wilderness festival once, but I love raw food so much, I wanted to share it again here! I always feel full quicker and for longer when I eat raw. Some foods are toxic raw, but most foods, many you wouldn’t even realise, can and should be eaten raw!
Cooking is thought to denature the enzymes naturally present in food. According to raw foodists, enzymes are the life force of a food, helping us to digest food and absorb nutrients. If we over consume cooked food, our bodies are forced to work harder by producing more enzymes. Over time, a lack of enzymes from food is thought to lead to digestive problems, nutrient deficiency, accelerated ageing, and weight gain.
Cooking food can diminish its nutritional value. For example, the cancer-fighting compounds in broccoli, sulforaphanes, are greatly reduced when broccoli is cooked. Certain vitamins, such as vitamin C and folate, are destroyed by heat. Other foods, however, become more healthful after cooking, because the fibrous portion is broken down. For example, cooked tomatoes contain three to four times more lycopene than raw tomatoes; (men listen up Lycopene naturally protects the prostate – eating 3 table spoons per week will protect the prostate!).
Cooking also promotes the formation of potentially harmful compounds in food during high heat cooking, such as advanced glycation end products and heterocyclic amines.
Making raw food interesting!
To make raw food interesting we have to understand flavours and spices.
Using herbs and spices we can add depth and warmth to any raw food recipe so that you still get the warming effect. Warming up food to 30-50 degrees will not damage the enzymes of food.
Experiment with sauces, dips and toppings to add excitement to a raw meal! Keep it simple for the best results!
(Continues after advert…)
Simple recipe ideas:
- Seaweed wraps with sprouts, garlic and avocado guacamole and thinly sliced vegetables (carrots, chives, red peppers, cucumber), salt, pepper, paprika
Mash the garlic and avocado, adding salt, pepper and paprika; thinly slice the vegetables and then place a dollop of the guacamole on half a seaweed wrap, place some of the vegetables inside, sprinkle with sprouts and roll!
- Herby spinach and tomato salsa, with Thyme and Dill
Chop a handful of spinach, add a pinch of dill, thyme and half a diced tomato, and mash it up with some salt and pepper, and a drop of olive oil and then add to some iceberg lettuce or chicory leaves
- Marinated courgettes, sun dried tomatoes, tomatoes, parsley, mint with orange juice, salt, pepper inside Dolmades/vine leaves
Dice the courgettes, sun dried tomatoes, and tomato, and add to a bowl with the parsley, mint, salt and pepper and orange juice and leave to marinate for a few minutes, then roll a spoon of the mixture in vine leaves.
- Banana, cinnamon, honey and walnut stuffed apples
Puree the banana, cinnamon, and a touch of honey with some crushed walnuts in a bowl. Scoop out a bowl shape in your apple and scoop some of the mixture inside. Top with some more honey, walnuts and cinnamon; yummy!
- Citrus and raw honey marinated courgette slices:
Very thinly slice courgettes and place in a bowl
Add lime, orange juice and honey, mix together and leave to marinade for a few minutes
- A Herby spinach dip:
Soak some cashew nuts in a bowl with water
Drain and add to a big handful of spinach, a pinch of dill, thyme and half a chopped courgette, salt and pepper to taste and blend it all together until its a paste
- Simple Waldorf salad:
Chop apples, celery and walnuts and add to a bowl, cover with lemon and olive oil and stir!
Raw food photogallery: Click on the arrows to scroll, or on the image for a larger version (in a pop-up)