Raw food has been hot news in nutrition for years, and the trend is here to stay. So let’s look at some of the best raw food techniques we can all use for better health and wellness.
When raw foods first hit the headlines, it was seen as a difficult and pretty technical food preparation technique, which was best left to the elite few who had enough time to spare.
But as raw food techniques have settled themselves into the everyday lives of real people, it’s clear that there are loads of raw food tips and tricks that are quick and easy not to mention hugely beneficial to health.
5 Raw Food Techniques For Everyday Health
Today’s juicers and blenders are far from basic. The best ones tend to press the juice out of the fruit and vegetables, meaning you retain more of the fibre and nutrients of the whole food. Your juice will be absolutely packed with micronutrients, vitamins, minerals and plant nutrition.
Juice ideas: start your morning with a 100% raw juice, aiming to include at least 50% vegetables (leafy greens are good). You could add avocado for healthy fats (Important Note: Avocado should be blended in with the juice once the juice has been made, rather than the avocado being actually juiced).
Fermenting was a big food trend last year, and it’s now easy to set up a home fermenting kit to make sauerkraut, kefir and other healthy fermented foods and drinks. The value of fermented foods lies in the healthy natural bacteria, which balances gut health and promotes better digestion.
Fermenting ideas: homemade sauerkraut is cheap, easy to make, and a great addition to lunches, salads and snack plates.
Spiralisers are cheap and easy to store in your kitchen so you can use them as often as you want. Spiralise vegetables (good choices are courgettes/zucchini, sweet potatoes, carrots) to make long, noodle-type strips which can be used in salads or main meals.
Spiraliser ideas: spiralised vegetables noodles with homemade hummus or pesto makes a delicious and fresh meal.
Dehydrating used to be the preserve of only the most elite raw foodists, but dehydrating kit and techniques are now more widely available and practical. Dehydrating uses very low temperatures to preserve the raw integrity of the ingredients. You can dehydrate fruit, vegetables and even pulses, like chickpeas.
Dehydrator ideas: for kids lunch boxes, make your own fruit leathers. For grown-ups, make homemade kale chips.
Spouting beans, pulses and vegetables at home is a fun and very heathy way to add raw food into your daily diet. It can also be very educational for children (young kids seem to love watching “their” sprouts grow).
Sprouting ideas: add sprouted beans to salads for a super-boost of nutrients.
Are There Benefits To Going Partially-Raw?
Do you need to be 100% raw to use these techniques in your own kitchen? Definitely not. Raw food techniques like juicing and spiralising can be used alongside regular cooking and food prep ideas. How about raw spiralised courgette (zucchini) noodles, with a cooked topping like a traditional mince ragu? Or a juice for breakfast, a raw and sprouted salad for lunch, and then a cooked meal for dinner?
The truth is that even a small shift towards raw food will boost your health. These are some of the benefits of even a 10% shift to raw food:
- Harness the goodness of plant nutrition from more vegetables and fruit
- Pack your diet with micronutrients you may currently be missing
- Extra hydration (vegetables, leafy greens, fruit and berries contain water)
- Gut-healthy fibre (raw food from veggies and fruit is naturally full of soluble and insoluble fibre)
- A wider recipe repertoire (raw food will encourage you to get creative in the kitchen and break the recipe rut)
- Cut back on animal fats (too much reliance on meat can be negative, and raw food gives the body a break)
- Potential savings on food costs (fresh produce costs less than meat, and you can use up all your vegetables and fruit)
Would you go 10% raw, 50% raw, or 100% raw? What would be the first steps you’d take towards eating a raw-food diet?