There is a huge buzz around raw food diets at the moment, with everyone from Gwyneth Paltrow to Demi Moore espousing the virtues of eating raw plant based foods.
Embarking on the diet, you’ll need to say goodbye to processed food, breads, and avoid cooking our food. But if all that seems a little daunting right now, why not introduce elements of powerful raw nutrition into your diet. It’s really a matter of finding what level right for you.
Andrea Baines from the raw vision has compiled a list of the essential items to pick up in your local l health food store. In the video attached she talks us through the top 10 items you need, and how you can prepare and them.
1. Coconut oil (raw, organic, cold pressed) - Coconut oil is a healthy saturated fat that actually has a positive effect on cholesterol levels and brain function. It’s a fantastic ingredient for making raw desserts and chocolates.
2. Chia Seeds - Chia seeds are an extremely versatile source of protein and omega 3. They are best eaten after being soaked in water for a few minutes or ground down to release all the nutrients. They can be added to just about anything and make a lovely porridge when soaked in coconut milk and honey.
3. Goji Berries - are a super-food and an amazing source of vitamin C which make great energy bars when processed with nuts, seeds and other dried fruits.
4. Wheatgrass Powder - is packed with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids and is known to help regenerate the cells of the body. Mix a tablespoon each day into a smoothie or juice to help raise your energy levels.
5. Natural Low-Glycaemic Sweeteners – (Date syrup, Agave, Coconut Palm Sugar, Stevia, Raw Honey) - Some alternatives to refined white sugar that are used in raw food preparation are the more natural and less processed sweeteners that won’t spike your blood sugar levels too much.
6. Raw Cacao – Raw Cacao is the unroasted version of cocoa and one of the richest food sources of magnesium. Its stimulating affect can help to lift the mood and it makes delicious chocolate milkshakes and desserts.
7. Hemp Powder or Hulled Hemp Seeds – are a perfect protein. The seeds are delicious sprinkled on breakfasts, soups and salads or added to smoothies. You can even use them to make your own hemp milk.
8. Raw Almond Butter – is very high in calcium and it makes a delicious spread, but you can also make the perfect creamy health-shake by blending it with some almond milk and frozen banana.
9. Sunflower Seeds – make a very nutritious snack, but can also be soaked and sprouted and then processed with herbs and spices to make raw patés or nut burgers.
10. Dried Sea Vegetables (kelp, dulse, wakame, nori) – a much under-used and necessary source of vital minerals. Delicious sprinkled onto salads and soups.
Here are two quick and easy recipes using the ingredients
Chia, Chocolate & Goji Porridge
This delicious, raw super-food, high protein breakfast can be made up and kept in the fridge to last for 2 to 3 days. You may prefer to add the fresh fruits when serving.
180g Chia Seeds
1 tbp Raw Honey / Agave
Handful of Goji Berries
1 Banana (sliced)
Handful of Blueberries
½ tbsp Cacao Nibs or Cacao Powder
500 mls Non-dairy Milk (Coconut, Almond, Rice)
In a large bowl mix together the Chia seeds, milk and honey/agave, stirring well with a wooden spoon.
Allow to sit for a few minutes before stirring again. The seeds will be begin to soften and turn “gelatinous”. If the mixture is very stodgy simply add a little more milk or water.
Now stir in the rest of the ingredients, and any other fruits you like, for a super nutritious. If you are using cacao powder it will turn your milk chocolaty! Add more milk as desired.
Sunflower Seed & Sundried Tomato Paté
This easy to make raw paté is perfect with vegetable crudités or on crackers and keeps very well for several days in the fridge.
180 g sunflower seeds (pre-soaked in water for at least 2 hours or overnight)
10 sundried tomatoes in Oil
1 tbsp raw Tahini
1-2 cloves Garlic (pressed or finely chopped)
Juice of half lemon
Small bunch fresh parsley
1 tbsp mixed dried herbs
Pinch cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground cumin powder
½ tsp Salt
Drain the water off the sunflower seeds and put them into a food processor. Process on full power for several seconds, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Add all the other ingredients and process again on full power, stopping the machine periodically to scrape down the sides again until you have a smooth, paté consistency. Taste test, you may need to add more herbs or spices.