Raw food basics are basically easy, especially since there is no cooking and baking required. As long as you plan in advance your meals and do the necessities like soaking, dehydrating, fermenting, and sprouting in advance, then everything is quick and easy. It is very important to soak nuts and seeds prior to using them in any recipes…. although, it may vary. If you want to know more about the importance, soaking times, uses, etc., read my post here. Although, doing the following is time-consuming – the end results are worth it! Plus, it just makes your raw food life easier when you plan meals ahead. It saves you time in the grocery store, you know your budget and so fourth.
The cool thing about raw foods is that you literally can’t mess up, since you can be creative with your recipes. I mean, you don’t have to be afraid of trying experimenting something new. You don’t need to worry about pesky timers, burning, over-baking, over-frying, or over-cooking. This lifestyle is too sweet to waste your time with that.
Since raw food preparations are easy, that also means clean-up is much more easier, and less messy. Food preparation can be fast, as long as no dehydrating or soaking is involved. This cuisine is easy and pretty much worry-free in the kitchen. Literally. Raw foods allows your mind to get creative – in other words, making mistakes is hard. Oh, guess what? You don’t have to worry about exact measurements either. I know it can be a hassle trying to get the measurement cups from the clipboard, finding the 1/2 cup, 1 cup, 1/4 cup, 2 cups, 1 tbsp, etc. – then you are worried because you added too much or too little. You no longer have to worry about exact measurements; you can pretty much use common sense and change the recipe as you desire, too. I can say, the only time you have to worry wonder if you did add too much or too little is when you are following a recipe for the first time, you don’t want to add to much of this or too little of that because it will either defeat the taste, ruin the entire recipe, or it will be strong (not to your liking of taste, and what not). The only time I can say that you ‘mess’ up is when you making a small batch of something such as chocolate sauce. You don’t want to add too much or too little of nut milk or water (liquids) the sauce will turn out watery. That’s the only times I can think of that you really ‘mess’ up. Just remember, with raw food, measurements are not precise, so just add enough of everything to get the consistency, flavour and texture you want. It’s that basic. But besides that, don’t stress it too much. You get my point, I hope.
You don’t even have to worry about food contamination. Everything is clean. You’re not dealing with any blood and flesh (which is dirty). So, cleaning up your plates will also be a breeze. You might have to rinse and then dry a dish clean. Yeah, being raw is rawesome!
Also, I don’t believe in counting calories, and none of my recipes will provide the nutritional values. Count the beautiful colors on your plate rather than counting the calories. You will find that counting calories is completely unnecessary. I do, however, believe in the nutritional benefits. With raw food, there really is no need to count calories. You may do it if you like, but I personally do not and I do not provide it in any of my recipes. This lifestyle is pretty much stress free! You shouldn’t be getting stressed anyways in the first place, as it’s not good on the body. When you feel great and happy with that you eat, then no need to count calories.
Notes on nuts: Of course, nuts are great for losing weight when eaten in moderation.Eating 3-4 cups per day, (all in one setting) is too much! Just eat little by little (in moderation). You don’t have to eat nuts everyday in your diet and you don’t have to add them into crusts, either. You can make the crusts totally nut-free. There are a lot of nut-free bases that are really epic. You may add buckwheat flour, oat flour or any raw meal flour really. Certain nuts aids in the help of weight loss, just remember, you can also gain weight by eating nuts if you eat too many. Just know your limits. Prior to using nuts in recipes, be sure to soak them to release any enzyme inhibitors. At least 2-8 hours (or overnight) of soaking is fine. To read more about the health benefits and which nuts to soak, read my post here.
You may notice that I note “more or less” next to the ingredients. For example, ½ cup raw coconut nectar (more or less). Meaning, you may need to adjust it to your taste, flavor and consistency. The thing is with raw food, measurements are not precise; so just add enough of everything to get the consistency, flavor and texture you want. You can pretty much eye ball everything and use your common sense. Simply ask yourself, “Did I add enough of everything? Good consistency? Did I add too little of this, or too little of that?” The great thing about raw foods is that if you add too much in the blending process, just add more of an ingredients as needed, and you’ll be fine! If by any chance you have leftover batter (like chocolate sauce), just preserve it for later, eat it right out the bowl or enjoy with a fruit or something. I mean, what could possibly go wrong, huh? Nothing, right? Just be creative and use common sense in the kitchen. You’ll be fine – I promise.
Last Note:I highly recommend reading my blog post about why coconut nectar is way better than agave nectar! Learn and read more here.
this is a great book that I recommend all raw foodist (and vegans) who are thinking about starting a raw foods 80/10/10 diet.The book was written by Dr. Douglas Graham, the Father Of Raw Foods!
Let’s move on to what the Top 5 Foods You Should Have as a Staple:
- Dates: they have numerous health benefits and they are a survival food! And along with other sweeteners such as raisins, prunes, figs, and raw coconut nectar.
- Filtered Water: (most important!) I recommend using clean, filtered water – not tap. Tap water is found to have many harmful chemicals in it. Bottom line: tap water is contaminated. Do you really want to drink tap, dirty, contaminated water? I sure don’t. Go green, clean, go filter! A great water system is Zero Water or another great filtration system.
- Bananas: have great health benefits, too. They are similar to dates.
- Citrus Fruits: oranges, clementines, tangerines, and grapefruit.
- Nut Butters: I like to at least always have nut butters in my pantry. They make an excellent, healthy snack.
- raw food staples can be any of your favorite foods, really. The five listed above are my favorite, and are commonly used by most raw vegans (like me). I recommend having them as your staple, too.
What I recommend having in your kitchen:
Choose truly raw, natural sweeteners such as raw coconut nectar. Buy whatever is affordable, but preferably local and organic. You should buy in bulk, and stock up! It’s totally recommended. It saves you time and money in the long run – plus, it’s just smarter. A smart way of buying is buying in bulk! I also think it is very important to stock up on foods when you can, and there are certain foods (spices, herbs, fruits, vegetables) that you just have to have on hand which are garlic, peppers, ginger, avocados, lemons, limes, and sprouts such as alfalfa. There are many different types of sprouts, but alfalfa sprouts are the top number one best sprouts out of all. Read my “eat your sprouts“ post. I usually have them on hand and I suggest you should too. I have put together a list of the “dirty dozen” and the “clean dozen” produce. You will WANT to go organic when you find out which produce is highly pesticide.
- Corn (found in the clean 15, but corn is the biggest genetically modified organisms – GMO, which is not clean)
- Bell peppers
- Potatoes (GMO)
- Zucchini (GMO)
- Papaya (GMO)
- Olives (farmers of non-organic olives spray groves to kill the olive fly pests. Conventionally olives are artificially oxidised in a sparging tank, add lye to artificially remove bitterness and then heat treated to kill bacteria. So it’s best if you opt for organic, not canned, un-artificial olives.)
- Dates (but sometimes, you can use non-organic ones if you find a good brand)
- Collard Greens
- Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries… berries of any kind are heavily pesticide.
- Sweet Peas
- Sweet Potatoes
- Figs (no need to buy organic, but if not organic – just rinse them out first and remove the stems!)
- Bananas (yes, they’re clean, but best to buy organic because they taste WAY better than the non-organic ones. Sometimes the non-organic peels contain traces of chemicals.)