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It’s in the newspaper, on TV, and over the Internet: if you want to reduce your risk of developing various diseases, you need to eat more raw food. You know you should, but your conception of raw food is a bunch of lettuce and maybe a carrot stick, and you would like to have a little more taste to your meals than that.
Today, let me help you change that conception. Most raw foods pack a lot of flavor and nutrients. And incorporating them into your eating routine is simple. To get you started on discovering the joy of eating raw food, try some of the following ideas.
1. Drink a green smoothie for breakfast (or anytime). You know what a smoothie is-fresh and frozen fruit blended together to make a sweet, tasty drink. A green smoothie is the same, only with a handful of raw greens added to it. Start by trying spinach or leaf lettuce, as they are the more mild-tasting greens (spinach will actually make your smoothie sweeter). The more bitter greens such as romaine lettuce and kale require either more sweet fruit added to the smoothie or an acquired taste.
2. Snack on celery sticks or cucumber slices with raw nut butter. The vegetables take little time to wash and cut up. You can make your own raw nut butter by whirling raw nuts in a food processor or buy raw nut butter online or at your local health food store.
3. Eat raw fruit for dessert. If you’re addicted to having something sweet after a meal, try some grapes, berries, or dates instead of the usual processed sweets. You could even get really adventurous and try some papaya, which will aid in the digestion process.
4. Eat a large, colorful salad once a day. Make it with at least two cups of lettuce, some chopped non-green bell pepper, and other raw veggies that you enjoy. Top it with your favorite healthy salad dressing.
5. Serve sauerkraut with red meat. I don’t mean the conventional kind of sauerkraut that consists of cooked cabbage soaked in vinegar. I mean sauerkraut made of raw cabbage that was fermented at room temperature using salt and/or whey. If you have time, you can make your own. Otherwise, health food stores (and some conventional grocery stores in the health food refrigerated section) carry Lacto-fermented sauerkraut in the refrigerated section, near the dairy products. The only ingredients on the label should be cabbage and salt, and perhaps whey.
6. Top your vegetables with sprouts. Growing your own sprouts in a jar is easy and takes little time. Seeds from alfalfa, clover, and broccoli are ready to be eaten in six or seven days and add nutrition as well as enzymes to a meal. Put a handful on your steamed vegetables or a salad, add some dressing, and dig in!
7. Replace cheese made from pasteurized milk with cheese made from raw milk. The raw milk cheese is healthier and can be found at any grocery store. Similarly, you may consider replacing one cooked meat meal a week with sushi.
Now you have a good starting place to begin to incorporate more raw foods into your diet without sacrificing taste. Bon appetit!
Emily Jacques is a natural health nut, mother, and online wellness coach. Want to improve your health and enhance your sense of well-being? What better way than to receive coaching every week from someone who wants to see you excel in every area of life!