Friday, October 30, 2009

Raw Talk

I've been wanting to do a post about some raw food topics for some time now. I really enjoy eating raw foods, and experimenting and developing raw recipes. I talk about more about my raw diet feelings in my new True/Slant post, and offer up a raw Chocolate Cherry Brownie recipe. Go get it!

In my article, I mention that I order raw ingredients from a local company. That company is Real Raw Food. I've been wanting to share their link with your for a while, because they supply wonderful raw raw nuts, dried fruits, and more. I buy raw cashews, brazil nuts, walnuts, goji berries, vanilla beans, coconut sugar - and more - from Real Raw Food. I have noticed a marked difference in the taste of their raw, organic nuts and raw nuts from a grocery store. Recently, I ran out of brazil nuts and picked some up at my local health food store. When I tasted them, I noticed a slightly rancid flavor coming through. Never with these raw nuts. They taste fresh and clean. The coconut sugar is my new favorite unrefined sugar. It has a caramel color and flavor, and is simply a beautiful sugar. I buy in bulk, and it is no more expensive than unrefined sugars at my health food store (in fact, it's often cheaper). Their goji berries and vanilla beans are also very reasonably priced, and both are softer and fresher than others I've tried. They also carry these pitted herbed olives which are freaking amazing! They are like a Moroccan dry olive - but far better. Very intense and pungent, and just a few chopped go a long, long way in a dish... if you like olives, you'll love these! Finally, their trail mix is a current obsession of mine. The walnuts in the mix taste particularly delicious, and with bitty pieces of mango, dried banana, and other fruits and nuts, it is not only healthy but entirely delicious. I don't know if orders will be economical if you live in the US, but if you are Canadian you should definitely check out Real Raw Food and stock up on some goodies.

And, the final bit of raw business I have is about a cookbook. I received a review copy of Raw for Desserts by Jennifer Cornbleet. Since raw desserts are particularly enticing to me, I was well chuffed to receive this cookbook! I don't have a full review to share with you, as I have only tried one recipe (and it was lovely). But, I can tell you that this is a tidy, appealing book that offers recipes that are not overly complex. At times, raw recipes can appear intimidating and laborious with required soaking, dehydrating, etc. Jennifer has a collection of sweet treats in this book that allow home cooks to dabble in raw cookery without feeling overwhelmed. Most recipes use just a handful of ingredients, many of which are quite common. Only a small number of recipes use less commonly known and used ingredients such as young coconut. These are raw recipes that can be prepared fairly quickly and without too much advanced preparation (apart from some soaking of dates and nuts in certain recipes). So, if you'd like to try out some healthful, simple, raw sweets, look into Jennifer's Raw for Dessert.

ta for now! :)

8 comments:

Veganmothering said...

I think a lot of the raw foods, not "salads," can be very inventive.

I agree with you--too many nuts, too time consuming/not convieniant, and I believe there's a time and a place for certain foods, like warm soups and other grain and bean dishes that must be cooked.

Raw foods are awesome though, in terms of variety and flavors, and I believe we can all benefit from getting more of them into our diets!

Those brownies look rich and decadent! Perfect for the holidays...

Jackie said...

I've become vegan in the last couple of years after 12 years of vegetarianism due to allergies. I also avoid wheat, yeast, sugar and processed foods. When I started figuring out how food affected me, and how I was going to deal with my new, more regimented diet, I started looking into raw food and was really intrigued. It was a fantastic opportunity to relearn how to "cook" and, though I still eat cooked food, it's been an awesome change in my life! I'm continually pleased by how nuts and seeds thicken sauces, coconut oil hardens to a delightful texture, and how produce changes the taste of the same recipe throughout the year. Oh and I absolutely LOVE cacoa nibs! Though I'm not the best chef in the world I've definitely become a lot more passionate about food since including raw in my diet.

Your book helped immensely with my transition and i recommend it to anyone who will listen. Seriously, you saved my taste buds! Your chickpea soup, white bean soup and hummus, coconut pancakes and sundried tomato are now household staples. So I am EXTREMELY stoked to learn that you will be continuing to pursue raw foods and i will get to partake in your recipes! Looking forward to it!

Tracie said...

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Laci said...

Perhaps for some people, the raw diet works for them- which is great. But I have to agree, it is honestly pretty inconvenient in many places, especially for busy families/kids. I also notice the (raw vegan) diet tends to be very high in produce, nuts/seeds, coconut oil and some times spouted grains... once, a friend of mine went to a raw restaurant for the first time... a few hours later she had the biggest, yuckiest hives all over her legs/stomach... I suppose it was a major allergic reaction? She recovered with 24 hours though... I'm certainly NOT trying to trash any raw people here, just suggesting it is difficult enough to get through society as a veggie/vegan, but to give up anything that was heated- hot tea/cocoa/coffee, bread/cooked grains, beans/faux meats, most processed foods, baked goods... that's a pretty intense decision only an individual can make for themselves.
-Laci ;)

Eugenia said...

Thanks so much for this, Dreena! I've been your biggest admirer from afar for some time now, and it's nice to see you dishing about raw foods.

VeganLisa said...

I use the same source for my raw ingredients. I have been really impressed the quality and the price. I know those south of the border have a number of options but for Canadians Raw Food World is the best source I have found.

I look forward to trying your brownie recipe. My mom is avoiding all processed foods-including flours for health reasons so raw snacks and desserts have been really helpful to have around these days.

Dreena said...

Thanks for all your feedback, guys.

Jackie, I hear your passion from what you've written! I've heard similar stories of people eliminating allergies and other conditions when moving to a raw diet - much like how many folks get rid of health issues moving from the SAD to a vegan diet. Thanks for sharing your story, and for your cheery words about my recipes!