I think that many folk out there visualize eating raw as scarfing back carrot sticks and apples by the dozen. Which, of course, happens, but there's so much more to it than that! It isn't all about eating fruits and veggies, au naturel.
There are so many wonderful raw recipes out there to choose from as you well know. However, here are a few more techniques that will add some kick to your raw diet.
The following methods will certainly ramp up your raw repertoire. Some you already know about (but have you tried?) like juicing or dehydrating. Other techniques are a little more obscure (marinating, for one).
Note: This isn't a detailed how-to list, rather it's just to enlighten you on the various ways to spice up your raw diet.
I'm pretty sure you've all made smoothies. But how many of you have tried juicing? It's sooo simple (but yes, you do require a juicer). There is nothing more refreshing than a glass of fresh juice made from (preferably organic) fruits and veggies.
A big glass of juice is a great way to kickstart your day. It's also super hydrating and invigorating after your workout. Certain veggies (like beets) are known to detoxify, while fruit juices provide you with a natural energy lift. A great juice to start with is Raw Carrot Juice. All you need are a bunch of carrots!
Check out Juicing with The Rawtarian and watch me whip up a glass of fresh juice!
Ah yes, this is raw food taken to a new level. I said "new", not "difficult"! You might balk at dehydrating, concerned about the time involved, or "getting it right". Don't be! I've had so many people tell me that once they finally tried their first dehydrator recipe, they never looked back.
What can you make in the dehydrator? Well, you can make a wide variety of crispy crackers and crunchy chips. You can make pizza crust and even onion bread! You can make entrees like meatloaf, veggie burgers and meatballs! Then there are sweet treats like carrot cake, cookies and granola bars! Are you surprised? And of course, there's always good old banana chips and fruit leather!
Learn how to make delectable raw vegan snacks in How to Dehydrate.
We all know that steaks can be marinated, but what about veggies? Of course! First, chop up your veggies (any kind of veggie, be creative!). Then toss them in the marinade, voila! you are done! A marinade can be a combination of oil (usually olive), salt, lemon, a sweetener (if desired), plus any of your favorite seasonings.
The length of time you marinate your veggies is flexible. If you're "winging it", there is no set time. Just taste test until the texture and flavor is just right! You can also marinate overnight in the fridge, so you have an awesome snack ready for the next day.
Try these Raw Marinated Mushrooms for starters. The marinade is simple, yet delicious.
Sprouting your own alfalfa seeds is super easy and satisfying. All you need is a glass container or jar, and some cheesecloth. It only takes a few days, and trust me, you'll be thrilled after your first "harvest" of yummy, crunchy sprouts!
Other seeds you can sprout are mung, radish, broccoli or adzuki. If in doubt, just ask at your health food store.
Fermented vegetables are becoming increasingly more popular with vegans and non-vegans alike. Touted for their health benefits, fermented foods are especially probiotic-rich, meaning they are super good for your gut. A classic fermented food is sauerkraut. But you can ferment pretty much any vegetable with good results.
I've not tried my hand at fermenting veggies yet, so I leave it up to you to research the process and decide if you'd like to try it. But it is definitely yet another way to add variety & nutrition to your raw food diet.
Up for something new?
I hope some of these ideas have inspired you. It's easy to get into a set routine when it comes to meals, and that's not a bad thing! But sometimes it's good to shake things up. Add a little excitement to your everyday raw regimen!
Who knows, you might discover you're a dehydrating diva, or a sprouter supreme! Only one way to find out... !