I recently used my Groupon for a 5 hour raw food cooking class at Leaf Organics in Culver City. The class was enlightening and has encouraged me to introduce more raw food into my diet. Added bonus, sprouting is a major aspect to preparing raw food. This is super since I just learned how to do it and it is extremely easy. The overarching idea behind eating raw is that when food is heated above 116 degrees, the nutritional value and enzymes are destroyed. How does preserving the “life force” of raw food benefit you and your body?
- Increased energy
- Better digestion
- Weight normalization
- Naturally detoxify
- Beautiful skin
How can you start introducing raw food into your diet?
- Choose a percentage of raw that will fit your lifestyle
- Start slowly using a phased approach
- Drink more water and fresh juices, cutting out processed beverages
- Add more salads to your lunch/dinner menu
- Buy organic food as much as fiscally possible
- Pick up a raw food cook book or find recipes online
Here is a sampling of some food from the class. For lunch we made our own collard green wraps with hummus, greens, tomatoes and multiple kinds of sprouts. For dessert, brownie balls made with dates, Brazil nuts, almond butter, carob, cacao and coconut. Both were excellent and surprisingly filling.
Believe it or not you can have a raw soup that is warm. After sampling this fantastic creamy mushroom soup at the class, I will definitely make it at home. Here is the recipe.
Creamy Mushroom Soup:
First, blend the nuts and water well until liquid is smooth and silky. Then add in rest of ingredients and blend. (For warm soup, use half the water in making the soup and then when serving mix half a portion of the soup mix with hot water while stirring constantly.)
Coconut is very important to the raw food diet. So I will leave you with a crash course in photos on how to open a coconut. Using a serrated knife, such as a bread knife, slice off the skin on the pointed end of the coconut until you get to the inner hard woodie layer.
Using a knife with a 90 degree rear edge of a thick blade, pierce the side without a rib. Note the coconut juice spraying when the skin is pierced with the knife. Lift the knife up and away from the coconut to expose the milk and meat inside. Enjoy!