By Denise Tam, Holistic Nutritionist
What is Raw Food?
Raw food is essentially food that hasn’t been heated above 48 degrees Centigrade (or 117 degrees Fahrenheit). As a result, raw food typically means whole foods that are safe to eat in its most natural form (e.g. fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds etc).
Why Eat Raw?
We eat so we can live. Without oxygen, food, water, nutrients we simply cannot survive in this world. And this is true also for the foods we eat. Once it is void of the essentials for life it becomes ‘dead food’. Foods that have been heated and treated are generally depleted of what gave the food life in the first place – enzymes, oxygen/chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, hormones and much more. We can certainly get by on dead food with the little nutrients it gives us, but why simply survive when we can thrive! Digestion, headaches, weight issues, skin problems and a host of other health issues can be avoided or alleviated with proper nutrition. It is not about a diet so much as it is about proper nutrition which is often derived from raw, whole, living foods that offer life rather than disease.
How Do I Eat Raw?
There’s no special formula. Some can maintain a fully raw lifestyle while some (particularly us Asian women!) have a more difficult time. I tend to try to live by the 80:20 rule of raw to cooked. And in the winter months I will include more spices and ‘heat forming’ foods like ginger, pepper and onions. It is also important to remember that raw doesn’t necessarily mean cold out of the fridge. Eating foods at room temperature are best for digestion and so to heat your soup in a Vitamix or gently over low heat would still mean you are eating RAW.
Asian ‘Noodle’ Bowl with Ginger Nut Dressing
(rich in fibre, protein, omega 3 and antioxidants)
This can be a fully raw dish using grated carrots or zucchinis or you can add some cooked rice noodles to make it a warmer dish.
Noodle bowl ingredients:
1 carrot, grated
1 zucchini (if making zucchini noodles/zoodles)
1 small cucumber cut into quarters
2-3 Chinese mushrooms (soaked overnight at least 8 hours)
1 tbsp hemp seeds for sprinkling
Basil to garnish
1 tbsp tahini or nut butter (not peanut)
4 tbsp Udo’s Omega 3.6.9 oil
1 tsp tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp coconut flower nectar
2 tbsp water
- Lay the carrots and zoodles/noodles at the bottom of the bowl.
- In a separate bowl mix together all the ingredients from the dressing so it is thoroughly combined. A hand blender will help with this.
- Next add in water to the mixture until it thins out. Mix thoroughly again. To make it a thinner dressing you can add more water.
- Pour 1/3 of the the sauce over the ‘noodles’
- Layer the remaining ingredients on top and drizzle with the remaining sauce
- Sprinkle with hemp seeds and basil