Although I am certainly not 100% raw, I have been adding LOTS more raw food to my diet. However there have been some challenges. Since I like variety–in my food as well as in most everything else–I have been searching the web for raw recipes. There are tons of them! But many take quite a bit of time to create or use equipment which I don’t have and presently have no room to store. And unfortunately I have become somewhat spoiled by the abundant availability in this area of resturants where I can quickly get a little something that satisfies my taste buds for the moment.
I have tried a few recipes, with varying degrees of success. I do ok for breakfast. Often I will blend up a mix of greens, fruits, and veggies and nuts. Sometimes I add sprouted grain that I have on hand. I can’t really call these smoothies (they are more like a thick drink) becuase I am only using my Osterizer blender which I’ve had for several years. The only other equipment I have is a tiny food processor which does about a cup at a time. It works for me becuase that way I can eat what I fix in one setting.
Another breakfast I make with my little processor is grated soaked almonds, apples and a slice of ginger root. Very fresh and filling! Since I am still trying to use up the un-raw food I have on hand, I have added Grape Nuts cereal to the apple/almond breakfast. Sometimes I made a wonderful mango pudding, adding a little coconut, bananas and ginger root.
One of the reasons I have been frequenting restaurants is because I still haven’t broke myself of the habit of buying too much produce at one time. Some of the raw sites even say to purchase lots of food so you always have something on hand whe a craving strikes. But this hasn’t worked for me. I will buy food items thinking I will make some recipe, only when the time comes I either don’t want to take the time to fix it or I’m not in the mood for that food. Then before I know it, the food has spoiled. And I am again berating myself for wasting food and money. Other times I will sprout beans, greens, and grains, but leave them too long before using and they get tough.
At times, I will buy food that I have rarely if ever used–like mangos. The first ones I purchased were the large kind which seemed to have an aftertaste. I added them to my morning drink. But then I discovered the smaller mangos and found they were wonderful. That is also case with the fresh coconut. Once I finally got it opened, I found several uses for it. I ate some fresh and cut the rest up in pieces and stuck in the freezer. I do this with my ginger and turmeric too. It makes it so easy to slice off a bit and add to a dish. So, yes, there have been some successes.
Someone at my last Raw Food Potluck had fixed a great cauliflower recipe. Although I had never been a big cauliflower fan, I purchased one at my last grocery visit. And it has set in the refrigerator for nearly a week. But today I decided I am going to use it. So I searched for raw cauliflower recipes. Some where it is chopped into a rice like size and used like rice as a base for sauces. Other recipes for different salads. I finally found one on www.food.com titled Raw Cauliflower Korma. I’m not sure what Korma means but I liked the list of ingredients. I’ve been frequenting Indian resturants lately and this recipe seemed to fit right in.
Yes, the recipe sounded good. The fact that I didn’t have some of the ingredients didn’t stop me. I hardly ever follow a recipe exactly! So I went about substituting and mixed up a spice mixture that apealed to me using sumac seasoning, dried mint, dried thyme, coriander seeds, cinnamon, and galangal. It seemed to need a little more sweetness so added some crystallized ginger. I used 4-5 cauliflowerettes, about a half cup of carrots, some tamarind paste, two dates–hey I followed the recipe on the dates– a clove of garlic, two green onions. Oh, tomatoes–no sun dried tomatoes in cupboard. But I did find a can of garlic herb pasta sauce and a can of tomato soup. After considering I decided on the tomato soup. For liquid I used the water from soaking the nuts. Directions always say to discard tries water, but I’ve developed a taste for it. It tastes a little like the fermented drink rejevenic made from spouted grain. Anyway, I added that. And today I created enough (nearly raw) tasty Cauliflower Gaspacho for two meals! Probably in the time it would have taken to drive to a restaurant. Plus saving money, I know what all the ingredients are and know it is fresh! And, hopefully, since the cauliflower didn’t really taste like cauliflower, I will be able to find other recipes that I like and make them before the rest the head spoils.
Another success was the dish I made for the Raw Food Potluck. I call it Butternut Slaw. Raw grated butternut squash, fresh squeezed orange juice, ginger and turmeric root. I let the flavors blend overnight. The recipe, which I changed completely, called for cranberries. But I liked the flavors of the slaw just as it was. So I made a relish side dish with cranberries, apples, oranges, olive oil, rice vinegar, a bit of stevia and some of my espresso vinegar. Both were a hit and the slaw especially was so pretty and fresh looking!