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A Nouveau Raw Food Diet

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The term “raw food diet” refers to the consumption of foods that haven’t been cooked or treated at temperatures above 115 degrees (F).

We have been eating raw foods our whole life; we just never gave it much thought.  I grew up eating apples, grapes, bananas, watermelon, just about any fresh fruit that I could get my hands on…raw.  Who here hasn’t eaten a green leaf salad loaded with sliced carrots, peppers, onions, tomatoes, celery?… raw.   Now to fast forward to this day and age,  we have become accustomed to eating fast foods, microwave

Now to fast forward to this day and age,  we have become accustomed to eating fast foods, microwaved foods, and prepackaged foods… so I guess I can see why the idea of eating fresh, raw food is entirely foreign to many.

Let’s Simplify Raw Foods…

Let’s compare the core of a raw food diet to the primary color wheel.  A color wheel consists of primary colors, secondary colors, and complementary colors.  The “primary colors” of a raw food diet are; fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts, fresh herbs, and seaweeds.

With those foods as the foundation we add in some “secondary colors” such as; cold-pressed oils (coconut oil, olive oil), raw coconut products (Young Thai coconut flesh, water),  fermented foods (miso, kimchee,  sauerkraut, etc), raw apple cider vinegar,  raw nut / seed “milks” and butters, raw cacao products (cacao powder, butter, nibs), dried fruits, and sprouted grains (millet, buckwheat, quinoa, oats).

And to bring it all together, we add in the “complementary colors,” which help us create dishes that consist of the five basic tastes; sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and umami (pleasant savory taste). For this, we turn to; Raw and natural sweeteners (raw honey, raw agave nectar, coconut nectar, etc.) Dried spices and herbs are used to help elevate and compliment flavors.

Through the “color wheel,” we can create hundreds of different shades of recipes, which will bring an array of nutrients into our bodies and a variety of flavor and taste.  I mean, really, just look at all these fantastic pictures of recipes that I have created using ingredients from the “primary color wheel”!!

How I eat…

I want to be very clear in stating that I don’t eat a 100% raw diet, but I believe that by adding a more significant percentage of raw foods into your diet, you can experience amazing health benefits.  Whether you eat 100% raw, high raw with some cooked or  just some raw, no matter where you stand, I think we can all agree that consuming more fresh greens, vegetables, fruits, fats, sprouted

Whether you eat 100% raw, high raw with some cooked or  just some raw, no matter where you stand, I think we can all agree that consuming more fresh greens, vegetables, fruits, fats, sprouted nuts/grains, fermented foods, and proteins is an excellent way to reach or maintain your optimal health. You have to choose your own path, one that resonates with your own body.

The Nouveau Raw site consists of raw recipes only, but you might notice here and there that I may use a cooked ingredient.   I have done this either because I am not sure what I can use as a raw alternative, it might be the only ingredient that I am aware of to create a particular flavor, or I may not have access to anything else.

Lastly, it might be because that there are just some foods that I digest better in its cooked state because remember… this is all about eating according to YOUR body and what helps you achieve optimal health.

This site of recipes wasn’t designed to persuade you to become 100% raw; it is just a vessel that I use to share recipes that may help you increase the amount of fresh whole foods in your diet. I am not here to argue the raw food beliefs, or to say that there is only one path in obtaining health.  I want to share recipes, encourage you to be creative in the kitchen, and to nourish your body with love and the best quality of ingredients.

Arm yourself with knowledge

  • Much to my delight, raw foods are starting to make their presence felt in the market.  Raw foods are nothing new; the concept has been around forever.  But as the percentage of people who are concerned about the effects of what they eat has on their health, this dietary choice has become more and more popular.
  • The Internet can entertain you with raw food ideas, recipes, and concepts until the end of time!  Not to mention all the wonderful books on the market that break it all down in so many ways.

Prepare yourself

  • If you are considering switching over to a high raw diet or even in just adding a few dishes here and there, I recommend that you arm yourself with a little knowledge ahead of time.  If you don’t, you are setting yourself up for some frustrations and possibly failure.  And I sure don’t want anyone to have that experience.

Where do I find raw ingredients?

  • It is essential to check out all your local grocery stores, health food stores, and farmer’s markets.  Compare products and prices.  Also, don’t be afraid to ask your local grocery store to start carrying a specific product. It never hurts to ask.  You might even find better deals online.  I do try to shop locally whenever I can.  I  do, however, buy several items from companies such as Nuts-On-Line and even  Amazon (who I can usually get next day free shipping!). Still, there are tons of excellent Internet sites that offer wide varieties and selection.  Google is your friend!
  • I also have an Amazon store on my site where you can find most of the ingredients that I use.  All the products and pieces of equipment listed are ones that I have tried and enjoy using.

Amie-Sue-picking-pears-2012

Buying Produce

  • Be sure to purchase ORGANIC produce whenever possible. Organic food doesn’t contain toxins like pesticides, heavy metals, dangerous industrial chemicals (for example, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives).
  • And everything in it is natural: it’s real food, not “Frankenfood” created in a laboratory for profit regardless of the fact that genetically modified, synthetic foods have massive, well-known health hazards.
  • This is a topic that could on and on, so I recommend that you do some research to better educate yourself about the hazards of consuming non-organic produce.
  • Try to buy everything organic if you can.  But if you need to buy conventional, be sure to refer to the “Dirty Dozen” site.

 

 Buying Raw Ingredients

The idea of raw foods goes beyond just fruits and vegetables.  The raw food diet also includes nuts, seeds, some raw dairy (if you are not Vegan), raw sweeteners, and many other items.  But what does that mean when it comes time to buy?  Here are a few examples:

Raw Nuts and Seeds

  • Raw nuts and seeds are alive. Still, unfortunately, almost all nuts and seeds that are sold in stores have been roasted, toasted, or pasteurized to extend their shelf life. The heating processes cause the nuts and seeds to die, as well as lose some of their nutritional value, and to make matters worse, most of them have also been dipped in salt.
  • You want to make sure that the nuts and seeds that you buy are RAW, this will be indicated on the packaging but if you want to make sure that they are 100% raw, call the manufacturer.
  • More and more raw nuts are showing up in the bulk bins at your local grocery stores.  Always test for freshness.  Nuts in bins can go stale or rancid.
  • Learn how to sprout them to increase the nutrients and digestibility.  Click here.

Raw Sweeteners

  • One of the secrets to raw food recipes is finding a proper raw sweetener to substitute for the refined sugar, which is in virtually all conventional desserts.  Fortunately, you don’t need to look far to find something you like to sweeten your foods.
  • The best spices are organic, air-dried spices because they don’t contain caking agents and other preservatives.  Better yet, grow your own, dry them and grind them up!  Be sure to read labels!

 

Vegan-Saffron-and-Cardamon-Yogurt2Kitchen Equipment

  • Having the right tools in the kitchen will make things much easier and more fun.  Personally, I just had to ask my husband; his garage is well equipped with all the right tools to get the job done.  The kitchen is no different.
  • To prepare raw dishes, you don’t need a lot of different pieces; just a few good quality ones will help you be on your successful way.  I often find excellent deals on Craigslist.  I have purchased a Vitamix Blender and an Excalibur Dehydrator for a fraction of the new price.  So to start, check Craigslist, eBay, or even ask friends or family if they have stuff that they would be willing to lend to you.
  • If you are a kitchen gadget lover as I am, there are all sorts of other tools of the trade that are fun to play with.  I have created a section on the site that talks about supplies and tools, it is forever growing, and I will keep adding to it, so check that section often.

Eating Out

  • Really? Why would a person eat out with foods like these?!  hehe Ok kidding…
  • Many of us don’t have excellent raw food restaurants in our hometowns, and if that is the case, what do we do?  I am going to speak strictly from experience here.  When I decided to try the raw food diet, I went 100% overnight.  I am not sure I would recommend this to everyone, but for me, it worked.  Eating raw at home was a tad bit of a challenge when I first started my new way of eating, but eating out was a whole new cat in the bag.
  • Whether you eat 100%, 80%, or 50% raw, take the time to educate yourself about the restaurants in your area.  These days you can Google just about every restaurant and view their menus online before going out.  Doing this step will save you time and many headaches.  When I didn’t do this step, I found that it took a bit of time and many questions to the waitress as to what they might have in the kitchen to accommodate my diet.  This then caused the whole dinner to revolve around MY eating habits with those around me.  It’s not that I don’t mind talking about raw foods to others,  I love to, but sometimes I want to enjoy my food and focus on other things.
  • So again. as you read through the menu, take note of all the fresh veggies or fruits that are offered in various dishes.  From there you can build your own personal salad or plate.  Many times I would just explain to the waitress that I would love for the chef to build me his own creation, using every raw vegetable that he had in the kitchen.  Often times, the chef’s loved this freedom to make something new and beautiful.  So don’t be discouraged, be creative!
  • Disclaimer
    This website is not intended to provide medical advice.  All content, including text, graphics, images, and information available on this site is for general informational, entertainment and educational purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment. The author of this site is not responsible for any adverse effects that may occur from the application of the information on this site. You are encouraged to make your own healthcare decisions, based on your research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.