Raw food refers to any food that has been processed but not cooked. One of the axioms of the raw food movement is that food shouldn’t be heated above a temperature that, depending on who you ask, ranges from 104 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit, because doing so will destroy the food’s enzymes. This restriction invariably invites sneering rebukes from nutritionists, who contend that your stomach acid will promptly destroy any enzymes that reach it intact. But regardless, there’s certainly something that makes great sense about basing a large portion of your diet on fresh, minimally processed food. And there’s no doubt some cooking methods, particularly deep frying, degrade the food’s nutritional value and generate substances that are potentially unhealthful.
A raw food diet primarily consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouted whole grains. These foods can be blended, combined, soaked, and otherwise prepared in order to create delicious and satisfying meals.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect to raw foods is how incredibly delicious much of the cuisine tastes. A skillful raw foods chef can produce an intensity of flavor, coupled with textures and aromas, that are not exceeded by anything in the world of cooked food. This is especially true for raw food desserts, many of which are certain to rank among the tastiest treats you’ll ever eat.
There are dozens of raw food cookbooks. Some popular titles include:
Raw Food Tools:
- Food Processors
- Spiralizer (to make raw zucchini noodles)
- Dehydrator (to make kale chips and more!)
Many raw foods chefs are vegan. But not all raw foods are vegan. Honey is a common ingredient; one that is easily replaced by maple syrup, rice syrup, or agave nectar. Some adherents of raw foods philosophy embrace unpasteurized dairy, raw eggs, and even uncooked meat.