I’ve been playing around with raw food recipes for the past year. I love the way raw food makes me feel and the energy I get from it.
Raw food is not heated over 115 degrees Fahrenheit — many raw food recipes are not warmed at all. Raw food doesn’t mean cold food, though. It means the food is not processed, so you’re eating produce at the height of freshness and getting all the nutrients possible from legumes, seeds and other ingredients. If want something warm, you can heat it just a bit but not over 115 degrees.
You can eat raw on the cheap, or spend more cash to try some of the specialty foods. I rely on some of these specialty foods to re-create some of my favorite dishes (like brownies and Alfredo sauce!). The raw re-creations of these typically fatty dishes are nutrient and fiber rich.
I’ve price shopped my local health food stores as well as Whole Foods, but for certain ingredients, no place compares to Amazon price-wise.
Here are some raw food ingredients you should stock in your pantry:
1. I’ve shopped around a lot and haven’t found a better deal on this amount of cashews. Cashews are great for raw sauces — Alfredo sauce, creamy salad dressing, cream for soups, and garlic sauce for tacos. But beware — you can actually gain weight from a raw food diet by eating lots of nuts, so make these nut dishes only a few times a week, unless you’re aiming to add on some pounds. This bag will last you awhile!
2. Raw cacao powder. Another great deal and great product. This raw cacao powder is organic and tastes amazing. I use it mostly in smoothies and chocolate puddings (yum!). Think of any chocolate dessert you like and chances are there’s a raw recipe using raw cacao and some sort of sweetener (I often use dates). Raw cacao contains polyphenols that help rid your body of free radicals. Cacao is also a natural stimulant, so adding cacao to a morning smoothie is a great way to get some energy and antioxidants.
3. Raw food will be much easier to make with a high-powered blender. I have a VitaMix and I use it for smoothies, puddings, finely shredding lettuce or cabbage, mixing hummus and other dips, and much more.
4. Nut milk bag. This is great for making creamy nut milks without particles. I’ve used cheesecloth from the grocery store, and that works pretty well, but this bag specifically for nut milks really results in a creamy milk more so than the cheesecloth.
5. Coconut oil. I love using coconut oil for cooking and on my body. Coconut oil is a great butter substitute in “baked” desserts and puddings. And it’s naturally antibacterial, so I use it as a salve on cuts and scraps. There are so many benefits of coconut oil, both inside and out! Again, too much oil will make you gain weight, so be sure to use it sparingly.
If you’re interesting in the raw food diet but don’t want to invest money in it yet, try some basic recipes like salads and wraps made with cucumber or collard greens as wraps. Also, go to your local raw food restaurant to get an idea for how raw food is prepared and tastes. If you’re feeling ready to commit to more raw food meals, I highly recommend getting a high-powered blender, like a VitaMix.
Share your favorite raw food dish in the comments!
Image courtesy of Flickr via Tim Reckmann