Fresh Idea: Raw, Vegan Dinner & Dessert

Eating healthyThere is no better time of year to experiment with new recipes than during the abundance of summer. It’s also a great time to try raw foods! Reach for sprouting veggies, herbs, edible flowers and vibrant greens for dishes that are colorful, nutritious and truly inspired.

Why raw? Raw foods are an easy way to discover new flavors and textures and give our body optimal nutrition. Raw foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients, which can often be destroyed by cooking or long-term storage. Eating foods fresh and unaltered offers nutritional diversity and unique flavors that should be enjoyed.

One highlight of eating raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds is that these foods are rich in enzymes that are critical for proper nutrient assimilation. Enzymes are powerful chemical structures that help us convert food into the pieces and shapes required for living tissues. Enzymes convert foods into the active constituents allowing them to pass though cell membranes and carry nutrients through the GI tract and bloodstream. Enzymes also break down immune components, metabolic wastes and release and store energy. In short, enzymes convert food to energy and energy into activity.

Ready to try a raw dinner? Here are a few tasty recipes to get you excited.

Asian Spring Noodles

Kelp noodles stand in for rice noodles in this raw version of Pad Thai.

Veggie mix

•1 bunch baby bok choy, thinly sliced

•1 package of preferred mushrooms

• Handful of fresh peas &/or green beans (chopped if desired)

Sauce

• 2 tbsp raw almond butter

•1/3 cup melted coconut oil

•1 tbsp Nama Shoyu or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

•1 tsp ground coriander

•1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded

•2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

•1/3 cup purified water

•1 package kelp noodles

• Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

Follow instructions on kelp noodle package to prepare.

Whisk almond butter, coconut oil, Nama Shoyu/Bragg’s, jalapeno, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper (or use a blender) until you get a smooth, sauce-like consistency. Set aside.

Drain and rinse the kelp noodles, cutting them into shorter pieces if desired.

In a large bowl, combine the noodles with veggie mix. Cover with sauce over and mix thoroughly. Top with a tbsp of chopped cilantro or crushed peanuts.

 

Peach “Ice Cream”

A perfect treat for a hot day—especially in the midst of peach season! This one is adapted from here.

• 1 cup cubed peaches (1/2 cup separated & used at end of churning)

• 1/2 cup frozen banana, in chunks

• 1 14 oz can coconut milk (regular, not lite)

• 1/2 cup soaked cashews (or 1/3 cup raw, unsoaked)

• 3 tbsp coconut sugar

• 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

• 3 tbsp pure maple syrup

• Couple pinches powdered stevia

• 1/8 tsp sea salt

• 1/4 tsp (rounded) guar gum

• 1/8 tsp pure almond extract

In a blender, combine all ingredients except the 1/2 cup peaches reserved for end.

Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides of blender as needed (this may take a few minutes).

Transfer the mixture to an ice-cream maker and churn until the mixture is of soft-serve consistency (follow the directions for the specific model of ice cream maker). Add reserved peaches and churn briefly so as not to disturb texture.

Transfer to a container to store in the freezer or serve!