Have you ever noticed how good you feel after eating a big, veggie-laden salad or demolishing a bowl of fresh berries? It’s nice, right? That’s why some people are taking a love of raw foods to the next level.
Raw foodism, a diet consisting mainly of uncooked and unprocessed food, goes far beyond blueberries and lettuce. Techniques like fermenting, spiralizing, dehydrating and blending transform raw ingredients into nutrient-dense masterpieces.
There are a few types of raw food eating patterns, most of which are based on an abundance of delicate, easy-to-digest plants. It’s a different way of “cooking”—and spring is the perfect time to try it out for a meal or an entire day!
Breakfast: Coconut Cream Melon Halves with Spiced Almond Sprinkles and Berries
An almost entirely edible melon bowl holds a rich, vanilla-imbued coconut cream, gently spiced almonds and fresh berries. Bursting with flavor, this beauty takes your morning fruit salad to the next level.
Chill your canned coconut milk overnight to get it to separate. Once you’ve scooped out the cream for this dish, reserve the remaining coconut liquid for use in a smoothie the following morning.
1/3 cup (80 mL) raw almonds
1 Tbsp (15 mL) raw sesame seeds
1 tsp (5 mL) coriander seeds
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
14 oz (400 mL) can cold, unshaken full-fat coconut milk (cream top only)
2 tsp (10 mL) raw honey
1/2 tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
2 small cantaloupe or honeydew melon, chilled, halved crosswise and seeded
1 pint (475 mL) fresh blackberries or raspberries
In food processor, pulse almonds, sesame seeds, coriander seeds and salt until finely chopped.
In medium bowl, beat cream of coconut milk, honey and vanilla with whisk until fluffy.
Cut small a slice off the bottom of each melon half so the halves sit on a plate. Fill each hollowed melon half with a scoop of coconut mixture, handful of berries and a scattering of almond sprinkles. Serve.
Each serving contains: 359 calories; 6 g protein; 26 g total fat (17 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 34 g total carbohydrates (24 g sugars, 7 g fiber); 193 mg sodium
Lunch: Miso Corn Soup with Blueberry Chipotle Swirl
This quickly blended soup uses fermented miso paste, sweet raw corn, green onions and zucchini, turning creamy without any dairy whatsoever. A sweet-spicy fruit swirl brings everything together.
4 ears fresh corn, husks and silk removed
3 cups (750 mL) water, plus more for swirl
1 zucchini, peeled and roughly chopped
2 green onions, white portions only, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) sweet white miso
2 tsp (10 mL) raw apple cider vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup (250 mL) fresh blueberries
1/4 tsp (1 mL) chipotle chili powder
For soup, cut kernels off cobs. Reserve 1 cup kernels (250 mL/1 ear). Add remaining kernels to blender along with water, zucchini, green onion, oil, miso, vinegar, turmeric and black pepper. Puree until smooth. Stir in reserved corn kernels, leaving a few to garnish (do not puree). Transfer to large bowl and chill until ready to serve.
For swirl, in food processor or blender, puree blueberries and chipotle with water to thin until a jam-like consistency. Ladle soup into bowls and swirl on blueberry mixture. Sprinkle with additional corn kernels. Serve.
Each serving contains: 187 calories; 5 g protein; 9 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 27 g total carbohydrates (8 g sugars, 5 g fiber); 342 mg sodium
Dinner: Raw Zucchini Pad Thai with Jackfruit and Candied Almonds
Whether you build this meal in a bowl or a jar or serve it family style, this raw “noodle” main course will satisfy your need for the punchy tastes of Thai cuisine.
1/2 cup (125 mL) raw almonds, soaked in water overnight
1 Tbsp (15 mL) coconut sugar or other raw granulated sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) sesame seeds
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) salt
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1/4 cup (60 mL) raw almond butter
2 tsp (10 mL) minced fresh red Thai chili, or to taste
3 Tbsp (45 mL) orange juice
2 Tbsp (30 mL) lime juice
1 Tbsp (15 mL) low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp (15 mL) raw honey
1 tsp (5 mL) grated fresh gingerroot
Water, to thin
4 zucchini, spiral sliced or shaved into long ribbons
2 – 20 oz (565 g) cans young green jackfruit in water, drained and shredded
1 cup (250 mL) fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 115 F (46 C). For candied almonds, rinse almonds and drain well; add to medium bowl and toss with sugar, sesame seeds and salt. Spread onto large parchment-lined baking sheet and dehydrate for 24 hours. Or use dehydrator and follow manufacturer’s instructions. Once dehydrated, roughly chop.
In medium bowl, whisk together all sauce ingredients, thinning with water until desired consistency, if necessary.
To serve, divide and layer components, including zucchini, jackfruit and cilantro, into 4 large glass jars. Or arrange components in serving bowls and let diners add sauce and candied almonds to taste. Or toss everything together. Serve.
Each serving contains: 433 calories; 12 g protein; 20 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 63 g total carbohydrates (12 g sugars, 8 g fiber); 241 mg sodium