I have to admit that when I first heard the term “raw foodist” a few years back, I had no idea what it meant-and I certainly had no idea what gastronomic delights awaited me!
Raw foodism (also known as rawism) first appeared on the culinary scene in the early 1900s, although it actually dates back to 1060 when it was used in the personal pursuit of spiritual goals. While the raw food diet is typically characterized as a more dedicated or restricted form of a vegan diet, some raw foodists are not vegans or even vegetarians. A raw food diet is one that consists of unprocessed food that is generally (but not always) plant-based and is never heated above 115 to 120 degrees, lest the enzymes that aid our digestion become compromised. The diet is highly nutritious, free of preservatives and additives, full of beneficial antioxidants, and often organic.
Personally, I was delighted to discover the versatility of this diet after becoming acquainted with it during my progression toward veganism five years ago; the endless variety of menu choices absolutely amazed me. Most importantly, the diet offers an endless supply of rich, chocolaty raw vegan desserts!
Not only can raw foodists try many basic raw food compilations, they can also use a food dehydrator to prepare cookies, crackers, and other types of “baked” goodies without sacrificing taste or texture. And if you use an apple peeler or a nifty kitchen tool called a “spiralizer,” you can make raw “noodles” out of zucchini or vegetables and smother them with your favorite sauce or pesto. And don’t assume that you’ll miss the taste of the traditionally “heated” foods that you are used to-even “bergerz” are a possibility! By Googling “raw food,” you can find more sumptuous, flavorful raw recipes than you can imagine, and they will delight even the most discerning palate!
Raw foodism’s scope continues to expand; its reach is no longer restricted to just the vegan community. Its growing popularity is evidenced by the incremental inclusion of raw food items on the menus of mainstream restaurants. And a quick check of your local bookstore will show you that interest in raw food cookbooks is booming! You’ve probably already semiconverted if salads and raw veggies are part of your diet. Are you game to take your menu choices to the next level?
Have you given raw foods a try?