Today I wanted to muse a tiny little bit about the raw food movement, especially because I often get asked if I am a raw foodist and what my stance is on the matter. I know many of you are well aware what ‘eating raw’ means, but I also appreciate that not everyone has heard of raw foodism, so I thought I’d very briefly outline what it is all about.
As I understand it, some people choose to eat uncooked and raw plant based foods because they believe that fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables’ nutritional content is at its highest when in its raw, natural, whole and unprocessed form. They believe that once foods are cooked over 42C, they lose most, if not all of their nutrients. Raw foodists often refer to raw foods as ‘living foods’ because it is their belief that uncooked fruits and vegetables contain natural, living enzymes, which the human body needs to build proteins and to maintain optimum health. Many raw foodists argue that humans have thrived on raw, unprocessed foods for centuries and that cooked foods build up toxins in the body, thereby depriving us of much needed nutrients. They also believe that raw foods help us fight off illness and maintain youth.
Interestingly, some raw foodists are vegans, others include raw dairy products in their diet and yet others also consume raw meat and fish.
Although I am not a raw foodist, I am very drawn to this way of eating and am very attracted to this lifestyle. I just love the idea of eating food in its true, whole form. I believe that nature has been able to create perfect foods over millions and millions of years; we have developed alongside these natural foods, so surely they should be able to provide us with all that we need? I don’t think humans can create anything more perfect that can ever compare to what mother earth has provided for us. Hence from this perspective, eating raw makes utter sense to me.
I have met a number of people who eat a raw vegan diet and most have looked very healthy and nourished. I also found many to be quite knowledgeable about nutrition and to have a lot of insight into issues around food and health. I have great admiration for those who choose this path and I can completely understand where they are coming from.
But it is not my path. Why, you may wonder, after I’ve gushed about raw foods? I suppose mainly because in winter time, I am instinctively drawn to warm foods. Perhaps they don’t contain as many nutrients, but what they lack in living enzymes they make up for in nourishment for my soul. I also think eating lots of raw foods can place a bit of pressure on the digestive system and that would need to be balanced out by short periods of (juice) fasting for example. Finally, I think I really like the balance eating raw and eating cooked food brings to my body and spirit.
But as I write this post, we’re in the midst of summer: a perfect time to eat lots and lots and lots of raw foods and flood the body with nutrients! Hence, I thought I’d share a raw food recipe today. I hope you like it.
RAW CABBAGE AND APPLE SALAD
Preparation Time: 15 MINUTES
100g savoy cabbage
20g flat leaf parsley
230g red cabbage
Handful of dried cranberries or raisins
1-2 tbs olive oil
4tbs apple cider vinegar OR white wine vinegar
A pinch of salt
Wash the cabbage, parsley, carrots and apple.
Chop the cabbage and parsley really finely. Then remove the hard top/tail of the carrot and core of the apple. I used a potato peeler to get the carrots nice and thin and a sharp knife to chop the apple into small pieces. Add the dried fruit, olive oil, salt and vinegar and mix thoroughly. It’s that simple!
Tip 1: You can replace the savoy and red cabbage for white cabbage or kale. Whatever is local and seasonal and yummy.
Tip 2: Keep it simple and just eat this salad with a slice of sourdough bread. Or make a meal of it and also prepare my patatas-not-so-bravas and the summer courgette salad. Then invite some friends and enjoy!
Tip3: Make this a little bit naughty and add 2 tablespoons (please no more :) ) of mayo or veganaise. ;)