We are currently in the process of trying to incorporate more of a raw diet into our lives as you might have read about in our last post. The goal of course is to promote health and wellness by filling our bodies with what it was designed for and with materials it can fully absorb and break down. The best way to do that is to eat raw fruits, vegetables and some nuts. We are working our way towards completely raw but at this point our goal is somewhere between 50-75% raw food. Most people’s palettes are adapted to high fat, high calorie foods that are packed with flavor. A lot of our satisfaction from food comes from how things taste and so adapting to a raw diet will take time. You may likely find fresh foods to be bland or may not like the taste at all. However over time, your taste buds will get used to the subtle flavors in fruits and veggies and learn to love them. The best way to add flavor is to use fresh herbs. We are eating a lot of salads and in order to pack them with flavor and make them a little unique each day, I have been creating some of my own dressings. The dressings are made almost entirely of raw foods as well and can be made fat free if you desire. Vinegar is a staple in most salad dressings but it is extremely acidic so try to avoid it. A great substitution is citrus juice, my favorite being lime. All you need to make fresh dressings are an array of fruits, veggies and fresh herbs, a food processor or blender, and an imagination. Here are a few I have made this week:
Spicy Avocado Dressing
- 1 avocado
- handful of fresh cilantro
- lime juice
- half raw red pepper
- jalapeno (I used about half but you can use more or less depending on the spiciness you desire)
- clove of garlic
- Handful of grapes (Weird right? The grapes add a touch of sweetness and help balance the spiciness of the jalapeno)
- A little bit of olive oil and sea salt and pepper to taste
- Throw it all in a blender/food processor and puree til creamy
- The avocado gives this dressing a creamy texture reminiscent of ranch minus all the calories. It’s packed with flavor and you will love it!
Strawberry Pepper Dressing
- Half of a red pepper
- Handful of Strawberries or more if you want a sweeter dressing
- Lime juice
- Handful of fresh oregano and basil (you can use any herbs you desire. Mint would be good too)
- A bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. (Again you can omit the olive oil if you want to avoid the fat. I just add it to help blend everything together. You could use water.)
- Blend it up and pour over salad.
Like I said, if you use a little creativity you can make a new dressing each night. The mix of flavors satisfies the palette and makes eating tons of salad much more enjoyable. Mix up the ingredients you put in your salads for some excitement. Try things you wouldn’t expect in salads like pieces of fruit, chopped asparagus, or corn. Of course you don’t have to eat only salad, we made a semi-raw soup last night.
Beet and Squash Soup:
- Chop up ingredients and put in a food processor RAW. (You will need a high-powered blender or food processor to chop up these hard root veggies. If you don’t have that you may need to lightly cook them first.)
- 3 Beets
- 1 Sweet Potato
- Half of a butternut squash
- Half of an onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Coconut milk
- Veggie Broth
- Cinnamon, salt and pepper
- Fresh oregano
- Once it was all blended up, I poured it in a pot and put it on the stove just long enough to warm it. Cooking destroys many of the valuable nutrients in food so avoid frying, sauteing or over cooking. I didn’t put portions on everything because I didn’t actually measure. You can adapt the recipe depending on the portion size you want to make or the texture you desire. Mine made enough for about 6 servings.
If I come up with any other tasty options, I’ll be sure to share! Do you have any favorite raw recipes?