See also: Six Myths About the Raw Food Diet
What do raw foodists eat?A raw food diet includes:
- all raw fruits and vegetables
- nuts and seeds
- roots, root vegetables and squashes
- fresh herbs and raw spices
- cold pressed oils
- unprocessed olives
- raw nut butters
- Raw nut "milks"
- fermented foods such as miso, kimchee and sauerkraut
- pure maple syrup
- unpasteurized raw soy sauce (nama shoyu)
- dried fruits and vegetables
- vinegars and foods cured in vinegar
- unprocessed raw cacao (raw chocolate)
There is some debate as to whether certain items are in fact, truly raw and thus suitable for a raw foods diet, and many people prefer to exclude some processed foods from their diet, even though they may be raw. If you are preparing food for others, its best to err on the side of caution, and prepare a dish that you know is 100% raw, such as a salad or fruit dish.
See also: Almost Raw Recipes
How do raw foodists prepare their meals?Raw food preparation is often light-heartedly referred to as "uncooking". While many raw food recipes require lots of processing and preparation, many meals require little or none, such as a salad or fresh fruit. If you are exploring the raw food lifestyle, you'll probably want to have a blender and a food processor at the minimum and may want to invest in a food dehydrator as well. Many recipes use a dehydrator to make raw crackers, breads and cookies. You may also want to purchase a juicer for making fresh fruit and vegetable juices.
Shopping for raw foodsRaw foods are everywhere! Fruits and vegetables are readily available, but you may like to shop around for variety. Try farmers markets for heirloom produce, and browse ethnic markets for exotic fruits and vegetables. Most health food stores now have a small raw food section where you can find raw breads, cookies and other snacks and treats. Can't find what you're looking for? Try ordering online. Sunfood.com is one of the oldest and largest purveyors of raw specialty items online. They've got raw chocolates, superfoods, coconut oil and just about everything.
See also: A raw food Thanksgiving
Concerned about raw food nutrition? You may want to consult a vegetarian RD.