One of the big reasons why raw food is getting so popular is that many people react badly (weight gain, chronic disease, etc.) to the artificial preservatives, sweeteners, colors and flavors of prepared foods. Going on a raw food diet can help you with those problems as well described in Diet Wise: Let Your Body Choose the Food That’s Right for You by Keith Scott-Mumby, MD, PhD..
The thing you need to know about preparing raw food as opposed to cooked food is that cooked food or prepared foods always taste the same. Pasta always tastes like pasta. Not true of fresh tomatoes or pepperoncini. Sometimes more flavor, sometimes less. So measuring is out. Tasting is in.
Besides these pages on raw food, visit our Raw Food Forum for more recipes and buddies to share with.
Always try to ensure you have all five flavors in dishes: sweet, sour, salty, spicy and bitter (usually herbs). They don’t have to be intense, but just a little of each really enlivens the taste.
The next thing to know is that when you transition to raw vegan from cooked food, you generally want complex prepared dishes, like the veggie dip or maybe the veggie dip done so that it has a thicker consistency and with tomatoes or avocados and rolled up in nori seaweed (like that used for sushi). Put some Nama Shoyu (organic aged soy sauce) on it!!
After a month or two, I just wanted an apple with almonds that had been soaked in Nama Shoyu to make them salty and hot sauce to get them a kick; or raisins and almonds with some kalamata olives and pepperoncini; or a glass of fresh carrot-apple juice. Or apple-fennel juice—unbelievable!
Evening or 4 pm snacks were sometimes figs or dates with almonds. Every once in a while, sliced apples with raw almond butter and sea salt. Wow!
Don’t eat any food every day. Variety helps keep your body supplied with all its nutritional needs and doesn’t develop food allergies.
Nuts and seeds are great for protein. Greens also, such as spinach, have a great deal of protein by weight as well as being great sources of calcium and magnesium. You should try to include different dark greens each day. Your protein requirements are much less when you are getting vegetable protein. Most nuts should be soaked for 12 to 24 hours before eating. They have enzyme inhibitors that prevent them sprouting unless they are soaked for a long time. These same enzyme inhibitors will inhibit your complete digestion if you don’t soak them off. You’ll see the tannic acid in the brown water that you pour off. Seeds typically don’t require soaking.