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The Art of “Cooking” Raw Food May 22, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Humor.

To counter health issues, my sister is on a Gluten Free Vegan diet with lots of Raw Food tossed into the hopper.

I equate Raw Food with crisp crunchy salads . . .


Fresh fragrant fruit requiring little or no preparation . . .


A plate of crisp crunchy crudités . . .


Or better still, a pairing of fresh veggies and fresh fruit . . .


But what do I know?

A few weeks ago, my sister went to a Raw Food Sampling Event in Mount Dora, Florida.  Attendees received samples to try and recipes to take home but did not observe any actual food preparation because . . . preparing Raw Food would have taken too long.

I find that amusing.


As it turns out, many Raw Food Recipes take hours longer to prepare than their cooked equivalents.  A few examples:

* White Basmati Rice takes 25 minutes to prepare in boiling water.  On a Raw Food diet, rice must be soaked overnight to become digestible.

* White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies take 8-10 minutes to bake, all the while perfuming the kitchen with delicious aromas that make it hard to eat just one.  In contrast, raw cookies must be dehydrated for hours before becoming (barely) edible.  And, even after all that time, they are still hard.

No, not hard to resist.  Just hard.


When I asked my sister about the sampling event, she said, “Interesting talk and good food, especially the crunchy raw live crackers.”

“Did you enjoy any of the samples enough to recreate the recipes at home?”

“No.  Probably not.  Too much work.”

“Don’t you find it ironic that RAW food takes longer to prepare than COOKED food?”

“I suppose.”

“At least they didn’t call it a Raw Food “Cooking” Demo.  That would have been oxymoronic.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

What are your favorite Raw Food “Recipes”?

Smoothies?  Salads?  Fresh Fruit?  Or something more involved?

Related Articles:  The Raw Food Diet, Overcooked (David Katz, M.D.) * Raw Food Diet (WebMD) * Pros & Cons of a Raw Food Diet (Prevention)


1. Pix Under the Oaks - May 22, 2013

Raw Food to me is what you have pictured. If I had to work any harder at preparing it I wouldn’t eat it. That would be bad, no veggies and fruits which I get too little of now. CH does not like veggies and likes the kind of fruit that is cooked in a pie or cobbler with a ton of cream on it.. 😀

nrhatch - May 22, 2013

I didn’t realize that you and CH were not “gung ho” about fruits and veggies . . . I do recall you both enjoyed Yoder’s “best ever” chocolate chip cookies. Yay for cookies! 😀

If you ever need any ideas to “sneak” some extra “fiber” into his/your diet, let me know. I find veggie lasagna to be a great vehicle for onions, peppers, tomatoes, spinach, grated carrot, and broccoli . . . and it goes great with a salad of raw food.

2. countingducks - May 22, 2013

This is just the kind of food I really enjoy

nrhatch - May 22, 2013

We eat fresh fruit before, during, or after meals ~ apples, pears, oranges, grapes, bananas, watermelon, pineapple. Yummy!

3. Tammy - May 22, 2013

About a year and a half ago, my husband and I decided to go raw. I am pretty organized and kept menu plans and charts about when to soak what and when to dehydrate, etc. etc. After 8 days, my health results were fantastic but I was so stressed due to the prep that I abandoned it.

I really do appreciate those who create live meals. They are amazing and there are some terrific restaurants including 2 here that due wonderful meals but it is hard.

Ani Phyo makes it simpler and I still try to throw in raw meals here and there and I admit that I feel better when I do so.

nrhatch - May 22, 2013

Good experiment, Tammy. I would find it stressful too.

Some things are tastier, easier, and “just as healthy” when cooked (since our stomach acid destroys many of the live enzymes on contact). Tomatoes are a great example of a food that benefits us MORE once cooked.

That said, we usually have some raw food at each meal ~ salad, raw veggies, coleslaw, fruit. And we are moving farther away from pre-packaged convenience food because “whole foods” can be mixed and matched in so many delightful ways. But we still cook rice, pasta, beans, pizza, bread, AND . . . cookies! :mrgreen:

4. katecrimmins - May 22, 2013

Way too much work for me! Salads yes, all that other stuff, no!

nrhatch - May 22, 2013

I do occasionally toss a bunch of stuff into the blender for a smoothie . . . or a milkshake! 😛

katecrimmins - May 22, 2013

I will do that if it’s fruit. I am not into those green vegetable smoothies.

nrhatch - May 22, 2013

I agree! I prefer my green on a plate, not in a glass. :mrgreen:

5. Andra Watkins - May 22, 2013

I once attended a raw food dinner. It was so packed with cilantro that I basically looked at every little plate and sent it back.

nrhatch - May 22, 2013

We enjoy some of the raw food my sister and brother-in-law have “cooked,” but none of it contained cilantro. 😉

6. SuziCate - May 22, 2013

I guess the raw food part of my diet will remain salads!

nrhatch - May 22, 2013

Same here . . . salads, fresh fruit, and other easy to fix raw veggies. But I shall continue to bake my potatoes and steam my green beans.

7. colonialist - May 22, 2013

My raw favourites are crispy carrots, and salads generally with special emphasis on fruit salad. The only never-left-out ingredient of the latter as made by me is lemon juice, as the preservative.

nrhatch - May 22, 2013

Lemon juice is great for brightening up the taste of food . . . and keeping cut fruit from turning brown.

8. Jodi - May 22, 2013

Tried Almond milk Chia pudding and both me and my toddler love it. 2 cups Almond Milk, 1/3 cup Chia seed, honey to taste (I like about 2 TB) and lemon zest to taste. Shake well, let set overnight in fridge. Serve with diced fresh fruit.

Terrific for breakfast.

nrhatch - May 22, 2013

Hi Jodi! I’ve only heard of Chia pets, not Chia seeds to eat. Does it act as a “gel agent” to help the pudding set up?

I’ve have to do a quick google. And swing round to see what you’ve been up to.

Jodi - May 22, 2013

Chia is awesome, a nutritional powerhouse and kinda fun to boot. When soaked in any liquid it forms a gel around itself made of soluble fiber and protein. It can be used in shakes, added to baked goods, and used to create odd but yummy raw food recipes.

nrhatch - May 22, 2013

That sounds very cool. Thanks for the info.

9. Booksphotographsandartwork - May 22, 2013

Well today I had a huge slice of tomato with olive oil drizzeled on it and shredded mozzeralla on top then toasted instead of the usual southern style tomato sandwhich. Maybe I should not have had the cheese before I went somewhere. And darn now I really want a good old fashioned tomato sandwhich, which I am going to get right now.

nrhatch - May 22, 2013


10. dearrosie - May 23, 2013

Good gracious Nancy I also thought raw food meant salads and fruit as per your photos. I didn’t know anything about the complexities of “a raw food diet” – illustrated perfectly by
Tammy’s comment
“I was so stressed due to the prep that I abandoned it.”

How can soaking rice cook it?

nrhatch - May 23, 2013

Soaking doesn’t cook rice with heat . . . but the added moisture softens the grains enough to make them edible.

dearrosie - May 23, 2013

have you eaten “soaked” rice? I imagine it to be very “chewy”

nrhatch - May 23, 2013

I haven’t, Rosie. I expect you’re right . . . chewy (like al dente pasta, maybe?).

11. JannaTWrites - May 23, 2013

I guess Oreo cookies aren’t ‘raw’ are they? 🙂

I can tell you this is something I wouldn’t do just because of the time factor. Silly me, I thought ‘raw’ was washing some baby carrots and serving with ranch dressing!

nrhatch - May 23, 2013

The more I read up on the diet, the less inclined I was to change my eating habits. When the CONS outweigh the PROS, I tend to go with the status quo. 😀

12. Perfecting Motherhood - May 23, 2013

Well, I’m pretty sure that’s why man mastering making fire was a HUGE advancement in our society development. I have no idea why anyone would make to go back to the times before fire…

nrhatch - May 23, 2013

I think the Raw Food Movement stems from disgust at how our food is grown and processed . . . becoming more and more plastic and genetically engineered by the year.

People want to eat closer to the source. They want whole foods that have no chemical additives and preservatives. They want to pick it, fix it, and serve it. That all makes sense to me.

But maybe they should pull a seat up to the campfire and roast it first?

13. spilledinkguy - May 23, 2013

I always shoot in RAW (when my computer is running, anyway).
Does that count?!

nrhatch - May 23, 2013

Of course! It’s all good. 😀

14. Three Well Beings - May 24, 2013

My husband got it into his head once that he would begin eating “raw”–it didn’t last long, but it was eye-opening. I didn’t even try. LOL! My idea of raw is yogurt and berries, too. I do understand the motivation, but it’s too much work. I think it does represent our desire to eat unadulterated food, and that is always my goal. Even that isn’t always easy!

nrhatch - May 24, 2013

It is easy to succumb to the lures cast in our direction. To increase our consumption of whole foods, our first stop in the grocery store is the produce department where we load up with fruits and veggies. We look for the “Fresh from Florida” logo to buy locally grown produce, but it’s not all organic. We also shop Farmer’s Markets for produce and are “on again off again” CSA members.

We stop in the Dairy aisle for organic soy milk, butter, and cheese. We do buy certain convenience foods ~ jarred spaghetti sauce, dry pasta, canned beans, frozen pizza, etc. We have room for improvement, but I don’t want to “wrestle” with food issues all day either.

15. sufilight - May 24, 2013

I cannot see myself eating only raw food especially in the winter. However, I do have days when I eat mostly fruits, veggies and drink fruit smoothies but always drink hot tea or decaf coffee.

nrhatch - May 24, 2013

In one of the articles I read, it mentioned that cool and cold food really is better to consume during the warmer months . . . with warm and hot food for the cooler months.

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