I'm confused - what's raw?

newbienewbie Raw Newbie

Ok, I’m new to raw food, but determined to transition to a healthier raw lifestyle. My question is this – what ingredients are raw? I see so many delicious looking recipes posted here that have ingredients that I read to be not-raw on other sites. For example, cashews, pecans, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, agave, dried fruit (raisins?), oats, nut butters (due to blanching), etc. http://www.purelyraw.com/deadfoodlist.htm Eventhough these are marketed as ‘raw’, they may be killed in the processing. Pretty soon, almonds may be added to the list with the proposed/pending pasteurization ruling.

I want to eat healthier and make the transition, but I’m confused at this point. Can anyone shed some light?



  • jenny2052jenny2052 Raw Newbie

    Newbie, it is true that the ingredients you listed are usually heated in processing. Not everyone who is into raw food thinks it is necessary to be 100% raw—-a lot of people hang out at 80-90% raw, so that is part of the equation.

    However, there are raw sources for most of the items you mentioned!

    David Wolfe (http://www.sunfood.com/) carries truly raw cashews, pecans, macadamias (in shell), and brazil nuts. I think (not completely certain on this, though!) that most nuts that you find in their shells are generally raw. If I understand correctly, the heating and processing usually happens in the shelling. However, it is definitely possible that they are pasteurized in-shell, so you definitely want to be sure of your supplier. You’ll never find cashews in their shell, though, since the inside of the shell is toxic.

    There’s a lot of contention on the rawness of agave. There ARE sources that insist that they do not heat it above 118 degrees during processing, but many raw foodies are still skeptical. You should research it a bit more and see what you feel comfortable with. If you’re not a vegan, raw unprocessed honey is the easiest substitute. An alternative solution is to replace the agave with date paste (soaked dates blended with their soaking water to a jam consistency).

    For dried fruits, it’s best to make your own. That way you can control the temperature.

    Alissa Cohen sells truly raw oats (http://www.alissacohen.com/shop/product.php?pro…). You can also sometimes find them locally.

    Raw-food dedicated sites sell truly raw nut butters, though they can be quite expensive. (Oneluckyduck.com even sells sprouted nut butter!) Again, the best way to handle this is just to make your own out of raw nuts you are sure of.

    So it is very possible, with a little effort in sourcing or recipe adjustment, to make most of these recipes truly raw! One of the most fabulous things about raw “cooking” is that you’re not dealing with complex reactions that require precise combinations of ingredients. Substitutions are effortless: Just let your tastebuds be your guide to adapting recipes to your needs and level of rawness!

    Finally, even when they aren’t completely raw, many of the recipes here are absolutely excellent as transition recipes. If you’re transitioning, there’s no rule that says you have to go 100% overnight (but of course you can if you want to!). See what feels right for you. When I was first transitioning, I tried out a lot of recipes with regular store-bought cashews, which was great because I was able to find out what I liked. Now that I know, I buy them every once in a while from Sunfood for an occasional “treat.” Like many, I find myself gravitating towards simpler food the longer I am raw, so it’s not like I need to place a standing order! But some recipes are nice to have for company and such, so it’s great that these sources exist.

    Good luck!

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Hi Newbie, Purely Raw is run by my husband and I. I hope that we fully explain why certain items are not raw though sold as raw on our website. 

    People have asked us to list resources on The Dead Food List where non raw items can be bought truly raw.

    We cannot do this because unless we have actually investigated each product by randomly dropping in on the people who produce it, we cannot verify it’s truly raw status.

    We cannot just go by what the sellers of these products claim. Our experiences in talking to raw food sellers about items such as “raw” agave nectar, nori and cacao have been jaw droppingly flaky to say the least.When we have asked about these products for our own personal use, we have been lied to, mislead and told it is “nearly raw” on many occaisions. Nearly raw is not raw!Especially if you are spending

  • Hi Zoe. I want to do the master cleanse but is there anything I can substitute the maple sirup with? Thanks

  • newbienewbie Raw Newbie

    Thanks for your responses. I want to be 100% raw!

  • jenny2052jenny2052 Raw Newbie

    lushpapaya, how about dates?

  • I dont know if its the same, I think that the maple may have a specific purpose.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Hi lushpapaya, like jenny said dates are great! You can blend them with a little water to make a sweet syrup.

    You could dry your own apricots or buy sun dried ones and make a syrup out of them too. Or mix it together and have date and apricot syrup, yum yum!

    Sun dried raisins and sultanas are also excellent raw sweetners, read labels though people often put vegetable oil on them.

    Maple syrup is not raw, so when you eat it your body will react to if as if it is a poison, halting your detox and causing digestive leukocytosis. I believe whatever the claimed properties of maple syrup, raw food is far, far healthier than that.

  • Morning_theftMorning_theft Raw Newbie

    But isn’t the reason maple syrup is chosen for the Master Cleanser (specifically, grade B) is because it has more minerals in it? Dates are relatively low in minerals… Also, cayenne pepper would be most likely unraw as well, no? I think Master cleanser in general isn’t a raw thing…

  • I know the master cleanser isnt a raw thing, but a lot ofthe people in here have tried it and I thought it could be “fun” to do. I will figure something out with the dates I think because, as Zoe said, I dont respond that well to cooked stuff. I do believe youre right morning_theft. The grade b is chosen because of its mineral content but I just dont feel well digesting th stuff.

  • Morning_theftMorning_theft Raw Newbie

    So maybe consider mono-eating as a cleanse? That can be very good as well. You can try juice fasting on orange juice for a week or so. No irritants like cayenne and no cooked maple syrup.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    I’m about to do the “Amazing liver and gall bladder cleanse” and a parasite cleanse. From what i have read about it it can really change emotions, eye colour and all kinds of cool stuff.There are a couple of threads about it on here and some links to some truly disgusting photos!!

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