– see recipes below
In this extract from her book, The Joy of Real Food, Australian author, Rowena Jayne gives us some feel good reasons why eating raw can be beneficial for our health with three taste tantalising raw recipes for summer.
The average person who has existed, and still does, on diets of junk, processed, packaged, and chemical and even sugar laden foods will without a doubt have perverted taste buds, and the idea of consuming fresh fruits and vegetables to many would certainly not conjure up and wet the lips of desire to change their lives. The thought of sitting down to a meal of lettuce and chopped carrots, while everyone around them is consuming fat and sugar-laden foods they desire and have become addicted to, is abhorrent. The most wonderful attribute that raw food plays in transformation of society
at large is helping people transition from junk food to health food through the means of texturally, visually and orally appealing food that attracts rather than repels. Inspired raw, plant-based recipes being created in the modern world are fun, fresh and enticing. They often mimic flavours of foods we all grew up with that don’t promote health.
We are emotional beings and most, if not all of us, have attachments and triggers emotionally to our food. As you open your eyes to the wonderful delights that raw cuisine offers, you will observe that these foods too can offer the same comfort and titillation of their sinful counterparts. As you begin to sample and try more raw creations you will relish this cuisine and no longer perceive health food as boring, tasteless and a punishment. Instead, you will be excited to eat better, feel better and live better.
Historical records indicate the Raw Food Movement has existed for many years in many cultures, including biblical times. There are reports of a living foods movement in the 1820s by Mormons seeking ways to enhance their spiritual connection and written reports by Pythagoras indicative of a diet of living foods. 7 However it is only in the recent years of the twenty-first century that a movement has reached the world at large. There are many pioneers who have contributed to dispersing the message to the masses worldwide, such as David Wolfe, Dr Gabriel Cousins, Susie Miller, Viktoras Kulvinskas and Dr Anne Wigmore.
A raw food diet is comprised of predominantly plant-based foods that are naturally and organically grown. This includes fruits, vegetables, sprouted grains, algaes, herbs, nuts and seeds. It includes no animal products, excluding raw honey and bee pollen which are widely accepted due to their known health benefits as Super foods. Vegans however will omit these foods. A raw food diet gives us energy and life force. When we increase our life force, we have the energy to function on a day to day basis and we no longer have the excuse that we are too tired to live fully. We lose the victim
mentality and take accountability for our lives. Swiss Doctor, Paul Kautchakoff, conducted over 300 detailed experiments which pinpointed the pathogenic nature of cooked and processed foods and showed evidence that eating cooked food increased the white blood cell count
(indicating an inflammatory immune response).
Can all Foods be Eaten Raw?
There are certain plants that are considered inedible raw due to their high levels of calcium oxalate. Taro and rhubarb leaves are two such examples and eating the leaves of these plants is poisonous and can cause anaphylaxis. There are some foods, seeds and nuts that contain enzyme inhibitors such as phytic acid. These enzyme inhibitors are present for the protection of the seed in the early stages of germination. When you eat raw nuts or seeds you swallow
Enzyme inhibitors, which will neutralize some of the enzymes your body produces. Most, but not all, nuts and seeds contain these inhibitors. Raw peanuts, for example, contain an especially large amount. Raw wheat germ is also one of the worst offenders. In addition, all peas, beans and lentils contain some. There are two ways to destroy enzyme inhibitors. The first is cooking; however, as we know, this also destroys the enzymes. The second way, which is more preferable, is sprouting or soaking. This technique neutralizes the enzyme inhibitors, increases the enzyme content and
the food’s digestibility. In the Staples section you will find a table and information on sprouting and soaking to disarm these enzyme inhibitors.
Pina Kaffir Colada (Serves 2)
“If you love coconut and pineapple you will enjoy this. The kaffir lime brings a unique flavour, but you can always omit
it and go with the more traditional version.”
Ingredients from nature:
1 cup coconut water
1½ cups fresh cut pineapple
¾ cup fresh coconut flesh (or dried coconut)
½ teaspoons coconut essence
1 teaspoon coconut oil
3 medjool dates, pitted
½ small kaffir lime leaf (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Add a squeeze of lime too.
Pumpkin, Coconut & Kaffir Lime Soup (Yields 3 cups)
“This Soup was created during the final weeks of my advanced chef course with Matthew Kenney and it made it to his social media page, which blew me away! I have always loved the flavours of kaffir lime, chilli and ginger and was inspired to create a raw soup with these flavours during the produce challenge we were set. Pumpkin is a wonderful, nourishing vegetable high in beta-carotene.”
Ingredients from Nature:
1½ cups pumpkin, chopped roughly
1½ cups carrot, chopped roughly
½ cup coconut milk (see Staples)
½ cup water
1½ tablespoons lime juice
½ red chilli, de-seeded
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 thin slices of ginger
½ large kaffir lime leaf
1 tablespoon shallots
1½ tablespoons coriander leaves
½ teaspoon sea salt
Coriander Herb Oil
Soup: Blend pumpkin, carrot and water until smooth. Add remaining ingredients except shallots, coriander and lime leaf (leave these to last so the soup retains its orange colour). Once blended, add the green ingredients. Pour into soup bowls and garnish with herb oil, carrot flowers (dehydrate finely sliced carrots) and edible flowers.
To increase the depth of flavours, dehydrate soup for 1-2 hours.
Sambhar Soup (Serves 1-2)
“This is a traditional South Indian soup served with dosa and chutney. It is usually cooked with one of my favourite vegetables called drumstick. I miss it dearly! Here is my raw version. Using tamarind creates quite a sour soup. If your taste buds prefer less sour, feel free to use less tamarind and even omit the lime juice.
Ingredients from nature:
1¼ cups tomato, roughly chopped
1 cup carrot, roughly chopped
1 cup coconut milk (see Staples)
1 tablespoon sprouted beans (lentils, mung, chick pea, etc)
1 sundried tomato, soaked
1 tablespoon coriander
1 tablespoon shallots
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
1 teaspoon lime juice
1½ teaspoons sambhar spice mix
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon coriander leaves, minced
1 teaspoon tomato seeds
1 teaspoon cucumber seeds
Blend tomatoes, sundried tomato and carrots until smooth. Add all other ingredients and blend again. Place in a small
side bowl top with coriander oil and all other garnishes.