Monday, 20 August 2007

Eating raw

Well, the first day of our rawfood week yesterday (Sunday) went quite well. Considering it was L's idea to be raw this week, he was having a hard time feeling hungry and didn't seem to want the food that was on offer. The rest of us were fine.

We made it through the day on smoothies and fresh fruit and I made a huge mixed salad for dinner. I also made a raw date square recipe that is in my Raw Gourmet book. The "crust" is made from almonds and steelcut oats, ground up in the food processor, with maple (or in this case agave) syrup as a binder. The date filling is Medjool dates soaked in orange juice and processed to a puree in the food processor with a little extra water. It's better than the cooked version!

I also made some tamari almonds....soaked the raw almonds for a few hours, drained them, soaked them in tamari for an hour or so, then dehydrated them on low heat overnight. This sounds like a lot of unnecessary work, but the soaking removes the enzyme inhibitors in the nuts and gets them ready to sprout, so they are living food.

Today, after I'd blitzed the house (it felt so good to feel fit enough to clean the bathrooms, vacuum the house, do the laundry, water the plants and empty the compost buckets that I actually enjoyed it) I spent the rest of my time in the kitchen thinking up a meal that we would all enjoy and that the kids wouldn't complain about. I pulled some beets out of the garden and made a raw soup in the blender and a beet salad dressed with "Notmayo", a mayonnaise type sauce made mostly from cashews. R and I ate both - the soup, thumbs down, the salad, two thumbs up! I also made a tomato salad and a green (lettuce, cucumber and green onion) salad which they liked.

Dessert was, not unpredictably, the most successful part of the meal. I ground up almonds and brazil nuts in the food processor, mixing in a little agave to sweeten it. Sliced banana went on top of that, and on top of THAT was a divine mixture that was "chocolate almond fudge" from this book, made very simply from raw almond butter, agave and cocoa powder. (OK, so the cocoa powder wasn't strictly raw but the kids were getting so much good quality almond protein in there it justified it!)

I could quite easily eat like this all the time. It's much easier when the whole family is doing it - it was way more challenging when I wanted to be raw and I was cooking for the rest of them. The "gourmet" recipes in many of the living and raw food recipe books look fantastic and I have no doubt they taste fantastic too, but they require so much preparation that it is offputting. My choice would be to keep it simple. However, sometimes you have to make a bit more of an effort, especially when catering to various family members who all have their likes and dislikes.

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