When starting a raw food diet, it can be challenging to know everything you're supposed to do, how we're supposed to prepare meals, what should we eat, and what are these new terms like, “enzyme inhibitors” or “soaking nuts”.
I know that I had so many questions when I started, so I've put a list together of 10 tips for beginners of raw food eating.
1. Soaking Nuts
Soaking nuts is an important method used in raw food eating. Soaking the nuts allows you to digest the nut and releases the enzyme inhibitors so that you get the most nutrition out of the nuts. To soak the raw nuts (not toasted), place in a bowl, then cover with filtered water and allow them to soak overnight or about 8 hours. Rinse the nuts and then use them in your raw food recipe or you can eat the nuts plain.
2. Raw Food Temperature
Raw food can be warmed as long as it is less than 118 degrees; anything hotter kills the enzymes in the food. The best way I have found to warm raw food is to heat a pot of water, then place a glass bowl on top of the pot with your raw food in the glass bowl to let the steam warm your food slowly.
3. Storing Greens
The best way to store your greens for green smoothies, salads, and wraps is to use a BPA free container that will control moisture. I wash the greens, dry them on a towel by patting them down or I'll spin them in the salad spinner. I found a BPA free container, the Rubbermaid Produce Saver containers, has a small insert at the bottom of the container that allows moisture to be removed from the greens and vent out the top. I place my greens in the container and then add a paper towel on the top. Using this method, my greens have lasted up to two weeks without rotting.
4. Thick and Creamy Green Smoothies
Adding a banana to your green smoothies will make it thicker and creamer. I like to freeze mine to make it even thicker and colder.
5. Read Green for Life
Read the book Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko to educate yourself more about green smoothies and why we should eat more greens in a smoothie as raw foodists. This is a must read!
6. Raw Food Recipes
Search YouTube.com for many raw food recipes, how to dehydrate raw food for breads, cookies, fruit leather, and flax seed crackers. I've also started blogging on recipes I've tried and really enjoyed. There are some great transition recipes as well.
7. Stop the Cravings
Eating 64 ounces of green smoothies a day and a salad, or various vegetable or fruit snacks throughout the day will keep you full all day. I wouldn’t have believed until I tried it! I no longer crave the old foods or cooked foods and I rarely think about what I’ll eat next.
8. Traveling on a Raw Food Diet
You can travel on a raw food diet. Watch the following YouTube.com video about traveling that really helped me since I do travel quite often. Planning is the key and knowing where your local markets are in the city you are traveling to for vacation or business.
9. Buy a Vita-Mix Blender
Buy a Vita-Mix blender! I cannot say enough about this blender. It’s a meal maker and will make your life easy, smoothies smooth, nuts into a nut butter, and makes an amazing sorbet. It is not like any blender you’ve ever owned. Trust me. I’ve blown through 3 other blender motors until I found Vita-Mix and none of them could do half of what the Vita-Mix blender can do.
10. Young Thai Coconuts are for Green Smoothies
Young Thai coconuts are an amazing source of electrolytes by drinking the coconut water. These coconuts have a white outer shell and are much easier to open than the other coconuts with a brown exterior. I've provided a video below on how to open a coconut. I use the coconut for some meals; however I mainly use it for green smoothies. I like to use 1/2 of the coconut for one day and the remaining half the next day. It won't stay fresh much longer than this in the fridge, so use it within 24 hours. I drain half of the coconut water into the Vita-Mix blender for my green smoothies and then scrape out half of the coconut meat with a spoon. It's really amazing and will make your smoothie creamier instead of using dairy or soy.
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