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Why You Should Incorporate More Raw Foods in Your Diet

When you hear the term "raw" food, what comes to mind? From now on, I hope you think about gourmet entrees, luscious desserts, and incredible smoothies that will make you wonder how fruits, veggies, and nuts could ever taste so good!

Most people associate rawfood with unbaked cookie dough, sushi, or heaven forbid, undercooked meat. Incorporating more raw ingredients into your recipes is a first step on a journey to optimal wellness, a journey that begins with your taste buds and ends with a vibrant, healthy,and energized you.

The main difference between raw food and traditional cooked food is that raw food contains ingredients thatare never heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit.

Raw recipes are prepared with fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and superfoods like the coconut butter,Spirulina, or delectable cacao (chocolate.) What you`ll notice when exploring the world of raw foods is that all of the ingredients are plant-based. No animal flesh or byproducts areinvolved.

Some of the most popular ingredients in raw recipes come from the land, as well as the sea. You`ll never believe what incredible raw dishes you can "cook" up, such as a creamy cheesecake using Irish moss as a gelling agent or a chocolate mouse that gets its rich texture from avocado.

Raw collard greens are put to work as wonderful wraps, which can easily hold lentils and green split peas, carrots, cashew sour crème, and sauerkraut. Delicious raw sandwiches are made with sprouted grain bread, and filled with curried almond pate, walnut spread and fresh cranberry relish. A new take on raw pasta includes kelp or zucchini noodles, kalamata olives, and an Alfredo sauce made with nuts, nutritional yeast, and basil. Its almost a given that most smoothies are raw, so how does a vanilla shake with home made almond milk, fresh vanilla beans, and a raw vanilla ice cream made sound?

Raw Restaurants are Showing Up All Over the Globe

The raw food movement that is sweeping across the world is not new. Health nuts and granola crunchers have been eating raw for decades in America, and in other parts of the world cultures have thrived on raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts as ingredients for many years. But a good portion of the global population`s experience with raw fruits and vegetables has been limited to sides dishes and garnishes of sliced carrot sticks with dip. Therefore, it might surprise you to learn that you absolutely can enjoy exquisite culinary masterpieces created from all raw ingredients.

Eating raw means that you can enjoy lasagna, pizza, burritos, nachos, and cheesecake without your food every hitting an oven, grill, or microwave?Chefs all over the world are turning out fantastic raw meals in high-end restaurants like San Francisco`s Millennium or New York`s Pure Food and Wine. Incredible dishes that you`d never expect were both vegan and raw.

Raw food has so much more going for it than just a hearty helping of fruits and veggies.

Eating raw usually means that your food will be infused with a generous serving of fruits or vegetables, and everyone knows thats a good thing. Especially if you are trying to lose weight or heal from disease. The food we eat is not any good to us unless we can absorb its nutrients and utilize them for energy, and that is the benefit that raw enthusiasts are preaching.

Plant foods are special because they come with their own enzymes, which help us to break down and digest the food that we eat. When food is cooked and heated above

118 degrees, those vital enzymes are destroyed and we lost the ability to get much, if not all, of the nourishment from the food.

Raw flax crackers, kale chips, and crepes can all be easily made in a dehydrator, which dries the food at low temperatures, reducing moisture but retaining precious vitamins and minerals. If you`ve never tried a raw chia seed pudding with cinnamon, agave, and fresh berries on top, you`ll want to head on down to your local health food store and buy what you need to make one right away! And for those of you craving tacos and enchiladas, raw cafés have got you covered there too.

The only things you`ll be missing from a menu full of raw goodies are a bunch of saturated fats, artificial colors and flavors, and pesticide-laden produce. And no one wants to consume that anyway. Try one of our raw recipes and let us know what you think!