The raw food – that is, the unprocessed vegetable foods, of organic origin and cooked at less than 40 degrees of temperature– has become a culinary trend that is gaining more and more followers. In the United States, live food (as its followers also call it) has been consolidated since the 1990s thanks to chefs such as the well-known Hollywood raw food chef Juliano Brotman, restaurants such as the New York ABC Kitchen and celebrities such as Natalie Portman, Donna Karan or Demi Moore.
The reason for this growing demand is that “there are more food sensitivities, allergies and intolerances than ever,” says Yorgos Ioannidis, doctor and chef at Crucina, the first raw food restaurant that emerged in Madrid in 2011. “People are looking for more conscious, balanced food alternatives
What is raw food?
But what exactly does this way of eating propose? “Return to the origins, to food that is not processed, pasteurized or cooked; to eat live, raw, whole, fresh, seasonal, vegetable, organic, local and organic farming foods; free of pesticides, fertilizers and chemical additives”, lists Consol Rodríguez, raw vegan cookery trainer and author of the book Raw Food Anti-Aging (Uranus).
It is about moving to sprouts, fruits, vegetables, vegetables, mushrooms, legumes, algae, roots, flowers, nuts, vegetable oils, seeds, sprouts, herbs, spices, fermented and vegetable milks, and to avoid any product of animal origin or exploitation, as well as farinaceous, gluten, salt and refined sugars, sweeteners, transgenic, processed and industrial products.
That is the basis. Afterwards, the plan can be taken as raw as desired: “The greater the amount of raw included, the more benefits we will achieve. However, a diet that include a minimum of 70% of your food raw“Consol points out.
Raw food: What foods does it include?
At first glance, it seems that ‘rawfoodians’ survive on boring raw carrots and alfalfa sprouts. Nothing is further from reality. They eat all the food they can eat raw and whole, but the rest they cook in their own way. They opt for cooking gently or for dehydrating, fermenting, marinating, pickling or beating the ingredients. “These preparations preserve all the properties of the products and even convert them into probiotics that take care of the intestinal flora”, says Yorgos Ioannidis. They avoid boiled, fried, roasted and baked at high temperatures. “The reason is that, at temperatures above 40 degrees, food loses its vitamins and minerals and even generates carcinogenic toxins,” says Consol Rodríguez. That you are not an expert cook? “It is enough to have a small garden in the kitchen with sprouts, seeds and sprouts and replace the pressure cooker, the oven and the microwave with a blender, a food processor, and a blender”, says Javier Medvedovsky.
Raw food: what advantages does it have?
“You get all the antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, oils and essential fatty acids you need to stay healthy and full of energy. You need less sleep, you perform better, you increase creativity and concentration, you balance the pH of the blood and rejuvenate”, says Medvedovsky. In addition, according to Rodríguez, “the immune system is strengthened.” And although it is not a slimming diet, it helps to lose volume, “since it eliminates the toxins that are stored in localized fat,” says this expert.
However, as healthy as raw food sounds, it is hard to give up traditional preparation methods. “Cooking and baking were invented to be able to eat safely,” explains Jesús Román Martínez, president of the Healthy Food Foundation. “In addition, this diet would lack protein (cellular turnover), iron (prevents anemia) and vitamin B12 (strengthens the nervous and neurological system) provided by meat, fish, milk and eggs,” he says. he.
Is the raw food diet suitable for everyone?
Among the cons of raw food, it would also be worth mentioning that all that glitters is not gold in vegetables. “These foods contain vitamin-robbing substances, such as oxalates, citrates and certain tannins, which are eliminated precisely by cooking. And they are highly diuretic foods that prevent some minerals and water from being fixedwith which they can end up producing muscle weakness”, says dietitian Laura Pire. “It is important to add that so much vegetable fiber is not recommended for delicate stomachs, people with intestinal disorders, irritable colon, diverticula, anemia or pregnant women, as it causes slower digestion and heavy”, warns Pire. It is more sensible to carry out this plan without going to the extreme: “Step by step, starting with eating more salads, fruits, vegetables and fish, and less meat, and betting on vegetable milks and mild preparations – steam, bain-marie, iron– and for the healthiest option in the restaurant”, recommends Mercè Passola, raw vegan and author of Creative Raw Cuisine (Ocean). As almost always, virtue is found in balance.
Raw food: Menu
If you dare to try it, here are three tasty ‘gourmet’ recipes, by the raw vegan expert Consol Rodríguez
250 ml of coconut milk, 4 bananas, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla powder, 4 tablespoons of raw virgin coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of maca powder and 2 tablespoons of pure raw cocoa powder. In addition, you will need 4 rectangular molds of about 20 X 8 cm each.
Step by Step:
Cut the bananas lengthwise into your molds and set aside. Mix the remaining pieces of banana, milk, coconut oil and vanilla in the blender until you get a cream. Place a first layer in the molds with half of the bananas and the cream. Sprinkle the maca and cocoa powder with a small strainer. Make another layer with everything the same and reserve in the fridge for 12 hours before serving.
PIM PAM PIZZA
For the base: 250 g of almond flour, 1/4 cup of raw coconut oil, 2 cups of red cabbage sprouts and 1 tablespoon of dried oregano leaves.
For the tomato sauce: 1 medium tomato, 6 dried tomatoes, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 cup of filtered water, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric.
For the filling: 1/2 cup of oyster mushrooms, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 8 ‘cherry’ tomatoes, 8 black garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon of capers and 2 cups of mixed leaves (purple lettuce, red beetroot, arugula…).
Step by Step:
Mix the dough ingredients and work with your hands. Place it between two sheets of baking paper and flatten it with a rolling pin to form a circular base about 1 cm thick. Let it rest in the fridge for 1 hour. Pass the ingredients of the sauce through the blender. Chop and mix the mushrooms with the oil and salt in a bowl and marinate for about 30 minutes. When the ‘pizza’ base is hard, spread the sauce with a spoon and decorate with the rest of the ingredients.
4 tablespoons of chia seeds, 8 sun-dried tomatoes, 1 and a half cups of filtered water, 2 tablespoons of pink pepper, 4 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, the juice of 2 limes, 4 tablespoons of raw coconut oil, 1 pear and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
Step by Step:
Soak the chia seeds in half a cup of water and let them sit for between 2 and 8 hours (they will release their fiber and oils and activate their nutrients, so they are better digested later). Mix all the ingredients except the oil in a blender until you get a cream with ‘stumps’. Decorate with the oil.