When looking at shelves in the cooking section of book stores, you will see the trend of raw foods taking off. More and more nutrition conscious people are jumping on the bandwagon. Why? Is it just another diet trend or does it really provide health benefits? Over the next few weeks I’ll be showcasing some of my favorite raw food recipes and explain in more detail what it is, what it does, and how you can use it for the healthiest you.
Today, let’s start with what raw food is.
A raw food diet consists primarily of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains and beans, all of which have not been heated over 48ºC/118ºF. When eating a raw food diet, we are eating pure and clean. We are returning to the state food was originally found in. This means minimal processing: no nasty additives, no extreme heating, cooking or frying.
Most of us will have tried raw food in its easiest version at some point: salads are often just raw vegetables chopped up and mixed with a dressing. There are many more creative ways to make raw foods interesting and versatile. I will showcase some of the recipes over the next weeks, so wait and see. :-)
For today, let’s start with a simple cauliflower tabbouleh - one of my favorite salads for summer. It’s light, yet so filling! Regular tabbouleh is traditionally made with bulgur (made from wheat). In this version, I use cauliflower to get the grainy texture. All you need is a food processor and a few quick pulses.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
For 1 serving:
2 cups cauliflower, roughly chopped (about ¼ of a head of cauliflower)
1 cup fresh parsley (curly or Italian flat)
½ cup fresh mint
6 olives (green or black), halved
5 cherry tomatoes, chopped into eighths
½ small or ¼ big cucumber, chopped finely
juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place cauliflower, parsley, and mint in food processor. Pulse twice and check the texture; it should resemble rice. Do not over process, otherwise you will have a mushy mess!
Add olives, tomatoes, cucumber, half of the lemon juice, and olive oil, and mix well.
Season with sea salt and black pepper and taste it. It may need more lemon juice - don’t be greedy with it :-)
You can chill for 15 minutes before serving or eat right away. The salad keeps in the fridge for 24 hours.
Bonus note: Non-traditional additions like sun dried tomatoes and avocado go really well in this salad. Give it a try! And check back soon for the next raw food post.