On Monday, I shared all the reasons I eat plenty of raw foods on a daily basis. I also promised you I’d share some easy ways you can incorporate more raw foods in your diet. Today, I’ve got eight simple tips to help increase your rawsomeness!
Like I explained on Monday, we're not exclusively raw here, we just enjoy lots of raw foods and the health benefits that come with them. Raw food may seem complicated at first, but it doesn't have to be. I've made it harder than it needed to be in the past and learned my lesson. Keep your food simple!
Sub Your Cooked Noodles for Raw Ones
I love raw noodles. They're simple to make, they taste good and they're a great way to increase your veggie intake. You can make noodles out of lots of veggies- zucchini, carrots, radish, onion, beet, etc. I've got a nifty spiralizer that I love but you don't need a fancy tool. You can simply use a vegetable peeler.
Most noodles are neutral tasting and you can easily use them with any sauce. Sub them for spaghetti with your favorite meat sauce or a tamari based sauce with veggies for lo mien. The possibilities are endless and you'll greatly boost your nutrient intake!
Keep a Raw Salad in Your Fridge
Raw salads and slaws make quick and easy snacks. One of my favorite things to do is make a large batch of veggie slaw and keep it in the fridge without the dressing. I'll dress just what I want to eat and the rest will keep fresh for 4-5 days.
Trade Your Cooked Snacks for Raw Ones
With 2 little people in our house, we have lots of small meals. My kids eat great at meal times but their little tummies empty quickly too. I know how easy it is to eat too much snack food in a day. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing though, as long as those snack foods are nutrient dense. Below are some common cooked snacks and ideas for raw snack options.
Granola bars- trade these out for raw date and nut bars, or raw granola
Crackers- try some nutritious raw crackers
Fruit- trade apple sauce or canned fruit for a fresh piece of fruit (simple right?)
Nuts- choose raw nuts over the roasted ones, if you're feeling fancy you can marinate and dehydrate them!
Master a Raw Dip
A good dip can be used for so many things: a sandwich spread, a dip for veggies or a sauce for some raw noodles. Raw dips are also easy to make with some nuts and herbs. They’re also packed with nutrients and very filling. I love this spread- it's meant to be used in a wrap but it makes a great dip or sauce too.
Trade in Your Wraps
I love raw wraps because not only am I eliminating a processed wrap from my diet, but I’m also including more leafy greens in the process. Almost all large leafy greens make good wraps. I love Boston lettuce, kale, romaine and collard leaves for wrap making.
Raw-ify Your Smoothies
I’m a huge fan of smoothies because they’re so versatile. No matter what you’ve craving- protein, fats or some carbs- you can get them in your smoothies. The possibilities are endless but some of my favorite ingredients are veggies, fresh or frozen fruit, nuts, cacao, chia, hemp and coconut flakes or oil. Yum! For some raw smoothie ideas, check out my green smoothie, chocolate banana shake and piña colada smoothie.
Discover Raw Meals
When I first started eating more raw foods, I was a little intimidated by raw meals- specifically dinners. When you’re used to eating cooked foods, you might wonder if raw ones can be satisfying. I’m here to tell you, they definitely can. What I’ve found is keeping it simple is best. I’ve never successfully made raw “bread,” pizza, lasagna, etc. They just don’t turn out right. Instead I look for recipes that make the most of their ingredients. Some of my favorites are raw pad thai, avocado lettuce wraps and garden herb roll-ups.
Indulge in Raw Desserts
Ok people, if you have never had a raw brownie or some raw mouse, you are missing out. Raw desserts are fantastic and I usually prefer them to their cooked counterparts. There are some truly delicious raw desserts out there waiting for you to discover them. The best part is that they are all good for you! With fresh ingredients, natural sweeteners like honey and dates, and creaminess from avocado and hemp seed, you get fabulous desserts that you don't need to feel guilty about! Try this chocolate shake, these brownies, these nut truffles or this "cheese" cake if you need some inspiration.
I hope these tips encourage you to add more raw foods to your diet. If you're trying to eat healthier this year, this is a great way to do it. If you’ve got a favorite raw recipe, please share it... I'm always looking for more yummy raw food!