I originally wrote this years ago and I thought I would revisit it and update it with the experience I've gained in having lived the whole foods plant-based diet for over 10 years now. I'm looking at ways WE can add more raw food into our diet given the limitations we have right now due to not having all my tools or ingredients available at this time.
Even if you are not trying to eat completely raw food including more raw fruits and vegetables in your diet is important. Raw fruits and veggies provide the biggest benefit for our health and should always be part of what we eat. The higher the percentage of raw foods you include in your diet the better. While you can create many delicious gourmet raw dishes such as raw pizza, raw nut burgers and raw desserts there are many simple ways to increase your whole food plant-based food intake.
The Standard American Diet (SAD) is high in animal products and cooked and processed foods. This is the diet that is leading many people towards increasing levels of disease and obesity. But sickness doesn't have to be a part of your life! By letting food by our medicine we can claim our power to say no to chronic disease. (Want to know more? Check out our free Diet Not Doctors mini-course.)
Here are 10 EASY ways you can add more raw food to your diet.
1. Start your day raw. Breakfast is the easiest meal for me to do raw. I enjoy a fruit or green smoothie or fruit salad or raw porridge for breakfast. Here's how to build the perfect smoothie.
2. Raw snacking. Load your purse, briefcase or lunchbox with easy to snack on raw fruits and veggies like carrot sticks, apples, oranges, bananas, broccoli florets, raw nuts and seeds or raw trail mix. Enjoy these for between meal snacks.
3. Include salad with your meal when eating out for lunch. Choose the “_______ and salad” option. Or order an entrée salad or a smaller salad and an appetizer rather than a full entrée. Strive to make the raw portion of your meal at least 50%.
4. Sprouts. Add raw sprouts to your salads, sandwiches, and to top other dishes. Sprouts are inexpensive if you grow them yourself. There are a variety of types you can grow.
To sprout, soak a few tablespoons of seeds overnight in a jar with a sprouting lid or covered with cheesecloth. Drain and rinse and drain again. Place the jar on its side on your counter top. Rinse twice a day. After they reach the desired “sproutie-ness” store them in the refrigerator. They will keep in the jar with sprouting lid for several days. Rinse before using.
5. Enjoy fresh fruit for dessert. Especially during the summer when there is an abundance of ripe fruit.
6. Avocado. Avocados can be used in so many ways. Guacamole is a wonderful raw snack or entrée item. Avocados make a delicious sandwich filling, either sliced or spread if soft. Top with tomatoes, lettuce and sprouts. When I know I will be eating somewhere where the raw selection will be meager I often bring an avocado with me to liven up to the house salad.
7. Marinate your Veggies. This is a very simple and amazingly delicious raw treat. The basic way is to cut up broccoli and marinate it in Italian dressing for at least 20 minutes. If you can make your own dressing using fresh, raw, unpasteurized ingredients that is even better. Here is the Vinaigrette Recipe.
Vary this recipe by adding or substituting veggies. Use other dressings to complement your meal. Try snow peas and green onions with an Asian type dressing with sesame oil ginger. Zucchini, peppers, onions with a Mexican style dressing with cumin, cilantro, and chili powder. Let your imagination lead the way. Here's some inspiration for marinated vegetable recipes.
8. Mono Meals for ultimate simplicity. Why not try a meal of all one fruit. Eat a whole watermelon. Or eat several mangos. How about a bunch of bananas? Pick the fruit of your choice and eat until you are full.
9. Juice it baby! Get yourself a juicer and make your own fresh fruit or vegetable juice. Don't be tempted to buy it ready made, these are often pasteurized. The best and most flavorful juice is one you make yourself. Here's my favorite juice blend.
10. Salad, salad, salad!There are endless ways to enjoy salad that go way beyond lettuce and tomatoes. Find 3-5 recipes you love and make them a regular part of your meal rotation. Here's a bunch of vegan salad recipes to get you started .
Going Further. When you are ready to add even more raw foods to your diet you will find many recipe books available and recipes on-line or here at Food For The Soul.