11 Delicious Raw Recipes to Try This Summer

By Marla Walters on 11 May 2016 0 comments

Like most diets, the "raw diet" has its pros and cons. If you are interested in increasing your intake of healthy foods, and losing a little weight, you might want to experiment with some raw food recipes.

Basically, proponents of the raw diet favor a plant-based diet that advocates eating raw foods. Nothing is to be heated above 104 degrees. Most foods are eaten fresh, dried in a dehydrator, or are fermented. Going all raw is very difficult, largely because it is a diet low in nutrients that your body needs (calcium and protein). For me, the best way to look into this diet was to substitute an unhealthy food choice for something healthier, like raw fruit or veggies. For instance, instead of eating some cookies, I'll have a cacao bite, or veggies and guacamole in place of chips. (I also continue to eat fish, lean meat, dairy, and cooked foods.)

I was surprised to learn how much preparation, ironically, goes into raw diet cooking, and just how expensive the ingredients can be. But if you're more into living frugally and efficiently, like I am, here are 11 recipes that are relatively inexpensive and quick to prepare.

1. Raw Hummus

I got all excited when I saw this hummus recipe, thinking, Hey, I love hummus. I could totally eat that. But then it occurred to me that hummus contains chickpeas (garbanzo beans). You have to cook those. The recipe's author tells a little about her journey to come up with a raw hummus, but she wasn't crazy about the suggested substitution of sprouted seeds instead of garbanzos, so she substituted zucchini.

This is technically dip, not hummus. But it's really good dip. The cumin and lemon juice keep it tangy and light. I really liked dipping crudites into it. Plus, I felt zero guilt.

2. Guacamole

Guacamole is acceptable on the raw diet. Combine chopped avocados, tomato, onion, sea salt, lemon juice, and cilantro. Tortilla chips, sadly, are not approved. There is a method, using a food dehydrator, whereby you can make corn chips. I preferred to just use slices of veggies, like cucumbers or sweet peppers, to scoop up the guac. You also get more veggies down the hatch, that way.

3. Cacao Bites

I found this recipe for three-ingredient raw cacao bites. Yum! These are a nice afternoon pick-me-up, or dessert. When those 3:00 p.m. chocolate cravings arise at work, I reach for these instead of a candy bar.

4. Pad Thai "Salad"

Pad Thai traditionally contains fish sauce, shrimp or chicken, rice noodles, and egg. Those are all "raw" no-nos. This pretty salad does a good job of picking up some Pad Thai flavors, thanks to the almond (or peanut) butter, lime juice, and tamari. Zoodles, or zucchini made with a spiral cutter, sub in for the traditional rice noodles.

5. Almond Butter

This nutty, healthy almond butter is good on bananas, apples, and celery sticks. Trust the author about using a food processor instead of a blender. Also, don't panic about how much time it takes. I thought I had botched mine and created flavored sawdust, but it finally came together.

6. Poke

Some raw foodies eat fish; others do not. I love raw fish, especially poke. Plus, it's a great source of protein — something that is lacking in the raw diet. Here is how I make mine.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ pound fresh ahi, cut into ½ inch cubes (sushi or sashimi-grade — ask someone at the fish counter if you need help)
  • ¼ Maui onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ green onion, sliced
  • 1 T sesame seeds
  • 3 t sesame oil
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • Tamari, to taste (normally, I would use soy sauce)
  • Hawaiian sea salt, to taste
  • 2 T chopped cilantro (optional)

Gently combine all ingredients. Refrigerate at least an hour. Serve.

7. Sushi

Nori is an acceptable food product on the raw list. Yay! Here's what I did to make some (mostly) raw sushi.

Ingredients:

  • Poke (above)
  • One package Enoki mushrooms, gently washed and dried
  • One red sweet red pepper, washed, thinly sliced
  • "Rice" (see below)
  • Nori, for wrapping sushi

Here is where it gets tricky. Rice is not on the raw diet. You can make cauliflower rice or parsnip rice, but I'll warn you — if you are a food texture person like me, you will miss the tender bite of rice in sushi. I cheated and used brown rice.

8. Gazpacho

A traditional Gazpacho has day-old white bread in it, but I honestly didn't miss it. The bread does give it more body, however. This raw soup came out more like a veggie smoothie, or a homemade V-8. I left mine more on the chunky side than is pictured in the recipe.

9. Dehydrated Fruits

A hallmark of a raw foods cook is a dehydrator, because it is believed that foods should not be heated to over 104 degrees.

With a dehydrator, you can make chewy banana chips, dried apples, strawberries, etc. You can also make vegetable chips in a dehydrator. Most things come out chewy rather than crispy.

10. Chia Breakfast Pudding

If you haven't tried chia seeds yet, you will find that part of their appeal is that they fill you up. (Always rehydrate them; don't eat them as is.) This chia pudding is a nice substitute for oatmeal, even if it isn't hot.

11. Date Energy Balls

This is one of my favorite raw recipes. I find that if I eat one date energy ball for dessert, it completely satisfies my sweet tooth.

Like all fad diets, you owe it to yourself to do a lot of reading and investigating before you jump in. For me, snacking is a pitfall, so I was pleased to find some recipes for healthier alternatives that I actually like. Before you make any major diet changes, it's always a good idea to consult your physician.

Have you tried the raw diet? How did you like it? Share with us!

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