The Raw Food Pantry
As a raw foodist, will I be condemning myself to a diet of carrots, celery sticks and lettuce?
On the contrary, the art of live food preparation has evolved greatly over the years. There is an incredible variety of ingredients and flavors to experience while eating raw. The many gourmet raw restaurants opening up around the planet are testimony to the diversity and elegance that is possible with this form of cutting edge cuisine. Even world-renowned chef Charlie Trotter has published a raw recipe book.
As a raw foodist, you will be feasting upon all of your favorite fresh fruits, berries, vegetables, herbs, nuts and seeds in every configuration imaginable. Many grains such as wheat, rye, quinoa and buckwheat are included – soaked and sprouted and added to many dishes. The raw pantry also includes wonderful milks, cheeses and yogurts from nuts and seeds. You will experience superfoods, sea vegetables, sauerkrauts, kimchi and even home-grown micro greens.
Creating raw food is fun and easy and sometimes it’s just as simple as using your blender or food processor. You may be surprised to learn that you can even create live breads, wraps, burgers, ‘pastas’, ice creams, and even tacos. The raw menu rivals that of any cuisine and includes the full range of foods from appetizers to desserts and everything in between.
What type of equipment will I need to prepare all of these delicacies?
You can start simply, as your means allow. A good knife is your most trusty companion and will allow you create countless salads. With a blender, you will be astounding your friends and family with delicious soups, sauces, dressings and puddings. With a food processor you can create wonderful spreads and pates. For those serious about raw food preparation, look into purchasing a dehydrator. Dehydrators allow you to heat food at low temperatures, which preserves vital nutrients and opens vast new realms of culinary creation as you enjoy flavorful dehydrated crackers, breads, cookies and granolas.
Can you share a simple raw recipe with us?
Here you go! Try this innovative Key Lime Ice Cream with Raspberry Sauce courtesy of The Complete Idiots Guide to Eating Raw coauthor, Jennifer Murray.
Yield: 2 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Freezer Time: 3+ hours minimum
Lime Ice Cream
2 cups avocado, mashed
6 TB. plus [3/4] tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
[1/2] tsp. lime zest
[3/4] cup agave nectar
[1/2] tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt
[1/4] lb. fresh or frozen raspberries
- Place avocado, 5 tablespoons lime juice, lime zest, [1/2] cup agave nectar, vanilla extract, and salt in a food processor fitted with an S-shaped blade or a strong blender. Process on high speed for 40 to 60 seconds, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides.
- Freeze in an airtight container for at least 3 or 4 hours to overnight. Depending on the temperature of your freezer, you may need to let ice cream thaw before serving.
[1/4] lb. fresh or frozen raspberries
[1/4] cup agave nectar
[3/4] tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
- While ice cream is freezing, place raspberries, remaining [1/4] cup agave nectar, remaining [3/4] teaspoon lime juice, and cardamom in a food processor fitted with an S-shaped blade. Process on high speed for 25 seconds.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds. Refrigerate to chill at least 30 minutes. Pour into a small bowl, and top with [1/2] cup scoop of lime ice cream and serve immediately. Enjoy the flavors as well as the colors!
Note: The best time to use an avocado for this recipe purpose is one that’s at that perfectly stage of ripeness. Just a little before or after this point and you may need to adjust the flavors slightly to accommodate the stronger as the flavor of the avocado is stronger. More agave nectar might may be desired, but go slowly when adding lime juice or zest. A good way to check for ripeness is to remove the stem end and stick a toothpick into the avocado. If it goes in easily, it is ready. If there’ is a stronger stronger-than-desired avocado flavor, the delicious raspberry sauce covers it wonderfully.
Have a question for the natural chef? Please email mark [at]veganfusion [dot] com