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OMG it’s raw!

October 7, 2010

What? Yes, you read right. We’re going raw this month. But raw doesn’t mean healthy (code for boring and yuck!) only. It can be as delicious as any other meal you enjoy – you just need to know a few secrets and we’ll let you in on them here – just keep reading.

So why raw? Good question and worth asking. Raw isn’t simply the next fad. It’s really worth checking out, even if you only do one or two raw meals a week. First and best reason: enzymes. You can only get what you need from food if your digestive system works properly. On top of that, most diets have far too much refined sugar and going raw will decrease your intake of excessive sugar. You will also be cutting down on grains and carbs, especially types not needed by the body.

So what constitutes raw food? Basically, it’s food that hasn’t been heated above 115 degrees Fahrenheit (enzymes are destroyed above this temperature). Eating organic raw food allows the body to release toxins and keep more vitamins. Simply put, this means more energy, and improved general health which can often first be observed in the condition of your skin and hair.

There are great new products readily available from most health stores which make going raw pretty easy. Try to source organic fruit, vegetables and products to ensure that you are getting the most out of your food. Back to basics can be a lot of fun if you approach it with a spirit of adventure and see it as adding to your lifestyle rather than something that cramps your style. And you’ll be surprised at how many of these ingredients you already have at hand. If you’d really like to kick-start your energy levels, try eating one raw meal a day. You’ll be surprised at the changes in your body!

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Pink Elephant in the Room

This smoothie can brighten even the gloomiest day. I love starting my day with it. It’s packed with enzymes that give your metabolism a kick-start and you’ll get all the iron your body needs from this drink. And it’s so pretty you’ll forget you’re actually drinking vegetables.

Serves 1. For 2 servings, simply double up the pineapple and add more water.

Ingredients

200ml purified water

½ large pineapple or 1 small pineapple, chopped into small blocks

1 beet, peeled and chopped

A thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and chopped into three blocks

Method

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth.  Serve immediately or place in the fridge to chill.

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Marinated Red Cabbage Spring Rolls

These spring rolls make a delicious lunch or entrée. They can be prepared in advance so you can easily make them for your lunch box. Lip-smacking goodness in a bundle. Be sure to try this sauce – it’s a keeper and can be used as a dip also.

Serves 2.

Ingredients (Spring Roll)

1 cup cold-pressed olive oil

2 zucchini cut in thin strips

2 carrots cut into thin strips

1 yellow or orange bell pepper, cut into thin strips

4 whole red cabbage leaves (for the wraps), marinated in olive oil for 1 hour

Spring onion, cut into thin strips or chives to tie the rolls

Ingredients (Sauce)

½ cup cold-pressed olive oil

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup sliced or pitted black olives

¼ cup raisins

½ cup dried tomatoes, soaked in olive oil with fresh basil overnight and drained

1 teaspoon salt

4 cloves of garlic

Method

Start by placing all the ingredients for the sauce in a blender and blend. The sauce should be chunky but well mixed. Now remove the cabbage leaves from the olive oil and fill with zucchini, carrot and bell pepper strips. Add the sauce, wrap and tie with thinly sliced spring onion strips or chives.

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Cashew-Carob Cookies

These cookies have only three ingredients and you don’t even have to bake them. On top of that, they’re protein boosting snacks that are high in fibre and full of minerals. These are great for on-the-go-energy.

Ingredients

1 cup raisins

¾ cup cashews

¼ cup carob powder

1 tablespoon water

Method

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until sticky and fine. Now roll the dough into balls and then roll the balls in finely chopped cashews or coconut before serving.

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Chantelle Van Heerden loves playing the piano and composing music. She teaches Yoga focusing on power yoga and Suyra Namaskar Classes. She is interested in the philosophy of Yoga and how we can incorporate it in modern living. Chantelle supports ethical living and veganism and has opened a vegan restaurant in Muizenberg Cape Town called Closer.chants_za@yahoo.com

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