CHILL OUT WITH RAW FOODS

Fourteen years elapsed between the birth of my first two children (1963 and 1965) and the birth of my youngest child in 1979. During that time I became a vegetarian, which changed my whole lifestyle. The transformation was exciting but terrifying. I had discovered a world of foods I had never tasted before, from the truly exotic, like Asian sea vegetables, to riffs on common vegetables prepared in different ways. But I wasn’t sure how to feed my family well without the traditional meat, potatoes, and vegetable menu I had been fed all my childhood and the dishes I had been eating for more than 35 years.

I was also an “older” mother-to-be (I was 40, for heaven’s sake!!), and made sure to read everything I could on maintaining a healthy, meatless diet. One book, Love Your Body, by Viktoras Kulvinskas,* was probably the biggest eye-opener. I wrote about that book in my last posting: “User-Friendly Foods.” It really challenged all my thinking about the years of eating the Standard American Diet (or S.A.D., appropriately coined). Another book was Enzyme Nutrition* by Dr. Edward Howell, which I am rereading. (Love Your Body was an easy read; Enzyme Nutrition is a little more technical.)

Dr. Howell was a pioneer in the area of biochemistry and nutritional research. His book is filled with studies conducted during the latter part of the 20th century to support his theory that we do not have an endless supply of digestive enzymes. By eating more raw foods and possibly supplementing the diet with enzyme tablets, we can help the body maintain its supposedly finite supply of the enzymes necessary for digestive health. These basic substances are more than catalysts, as the dictionary defines them. Dr. Howell calls them, among other things, “the body’s labor force” and a protein carrier with a vital energy force, destroyed by the high temperatures used to cook food.

I don not expect you to change to an all-raw foods diet, but I would still encourage you to add more uncooked foods and possibly a digestive enzyme supplement to your diet as a way of experimenting with enzyme nutrition, as I did. By the time I gave birth to my third child, Basha, I was 41 and well into nutrition. I was also concerned about getting back on my feet to help my husband with the family business and care for our older two children.

Because I gave birth in May and the weather was warm, I decided to experiment with eating mostly raw foods and juices immediately after childbirth. To my surprise, I discovered that my energy levels returned quickly, in fact, much more quickly than after the birth of my older two children, born when I was in my mid-twenties. That experiment and Dr. Howell’s enzyme information motivated me to change my vegetarian diet to include many more uncooked foods and to include a fresh salad or fresh fruit at every meal.

With warm summer days and balmy evenings to sit outside, who wants to cook over a hot stove, anyway? Not me!!! So here are some “no heat” recipes to help you chill out.

*Both available from Amazon.com used books.


FRUIT SOUP
(NOTE: Fruit and fruit juice are high in calories and natural sugars, so when you serve this, a 4 oz. Serving is suggested.)

 

Fruit Soup

 

Ingredients
24 oz of liquid (I mixed about 1/3 pomegranate juice. 1/3 unsweetened cranberry juice, and one third herbal ice tea.)
Dash of vanilla extract
Cinnamon stick (optional)
Fruits of your choice. I used:
1/4 c. dried apricots (adds sweetness without table sugar)
1/4 c. dried mango
one nectarine
one fresh apricot
2-3 fresh figs
one sliced of fresh pineapple

Directions
1. Place fruit juice mixture in a large, deep bowl or pot. Add vanilla and cinnamon stick, if using.
2. Add dried fruit and fresh fruit, cut into small pieces.
3. Chill and serve with a dollop of applesauce or yogurt, if you wish.
Variations: Add slivered almonds for crunch. Soak dried fruits overnight in the refrigerator with enough water to cover. When ready to make the soup, drain the water and use in place of the ice tea for a sweeter soup. Cut up the fruit and add to soup.


Crunchy Curried Cauliflower Salad


cauliflower salad


Ingredients
1/2 head (purple) cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1 stalk organic celery, diced
1/2 grated carrot
1 slice of red onion, diced
2 red radishes, grated
1 small grated red or yellow beet
1-2 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped

Dressing:
1/2 cup water
1/2-1 tsp. minced garlic
I-2 tsp. curry powder
1 small or 1/2 large avocado
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Dash of soy sauce or Braggs Aminos

Directions
1. Wash all veggies; prepare as described above. Place in large bowl.
2. Puree all dressing ingredients in blender and pour over salad. Toss gently.
3. Sprinkle on sesame seeds, if available. Add sprouts for crunch.


GUACAMOLE


IMG_0058-guacamole.jpg


Ingredients
2 very ripe medium avocados (or one large)
(Stick a toothpick in the top of the avocado. If it comes out easily, it is ripe.)
one small onion, chopped (optional)
2-3 t. minced garlic (more or less to taste)
juice of half a lemon
salt to taste
sprinkle of chili powder

Directions
1. Peel and scoop avocado flesh into a bowl.
2. Add onion and garlic and mash to a somewhat smooth consistency.
(A few unmashed pieces will add texture, so don’t worry about a few lumps.)
3. Add juice of half a lemon, sprinkle in some salt, and mix well. Taste and add more of each, if necessary.
4. Place in an attractive bowl and sprinkle on a little chili powder and serve with baked tortilla chips and fresh veggies.
Variations: Add a few tablespoons of organic salsa for guaca-salsa.


GAZPACHO


IMG_216-gazpacho.jpg



This is a chilled soup made with tomato juice and fresh veggies, almost like a chunky V-8. Feel free to add any other veggies that you like and that are in season. Be creative and make your own personal gazpacho. Use organic ingredients whenever possible. (Side bowl shows croutons made with tofu-recipe in a future blog.)

Ingredients
One half org. cucumber, peeled & chopped
2-3 chopped org. tomatoes
one lemon or lime, juiced
2 garlic cloves, peeled
one cup org. tomato or vegetable juice
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper, kelp, or cayenne pepper

Optional toppings (any or all):
1/2 avocado, peeled and slivered
2 sliced spring onions (scallions)

Directions
1. Puree 1/2 cucumber, tomatoes, garlic, and lemon juice in the blender.
2. Add one cup tomato juice and herbs and spices.
3. Garnish with parsley, slivers of avocado, and slices of yellow squash.
4. Yield: Approximately 2 1/2 cups

36 Responses to “CHILL OUT WITH RAW FOODS”

  1. ellen sue spicer Says:

    Thanx! Raw foods are best in summer for me.

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  13. ellen sue spicer Says:

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