Today is Day 2 of my going Raw diet.
Somehow I survived Day 1. Although, watching television in the evening was painful. Every other advertisement on TV was a food one. A juicy burger between a sourdough bread and lots of close up shots- seriously painful to watch. And I never noticed how many shows have their scenes around food. People talking with chinese take out boxes, or sitting at the table to eat warm beans and grilled chicken with mashed potatoes. I knew that eating raw would make my senses more active, but I did not know that just one day of raw food would make me so much more observant to what’s happening on TV. I never noticed that food was such an integral part of the idiot box’s life. Raw Food Revelation 1!
Day 2 has been easier for now. But it’s going to get tougher in a few hours. My friend’s kid has her birthday today and my friend is having a small get together- the food on the menu- pizza and cake. No, this diet is not going to be as easy as last week when I was only on the gluten free, sugar free diet. At least my food was warm last week. It was cooked. And I could eat cheese. But this week none of that. Just raw fruits and vegetables and nuts.
Day 1 I started my day with some watermelon, soaked almonds, and a cup of this homemade almond milk that I am sharing today. I added some pistachios, saffron and crushed cardamom seeds.
For lunch, I had a cauliflower “couscous” salad. The shredded cauliflower actually tastes and feels like couscous. Along with the shredded cauliflower I added some cherry tomatoes, red bell pepper, carrots, olives and some fresh basil and lemon for flavor. Topped the salad with some hemp seeds and nutritional yeast for added nutrition. It was pretty good. Well as good as raw food can be. I mean I could definitely see myself making this salad again- even when I’m not on my raw diet- and I would enjoy it, but probably because it is a side dish to some steamy hot grilled chicken or fish.
The reason why I added (and bought) nutritional yeast is because I read that people going on a raw diet are deprived of Vitamin B-12. Nutritional yeast is actually an excellent source of protein, containing essential amino acids. It’s also full of vitamins, especially B-complex vitamins (and often fortified with B-12) and is low in fat and sodium. It tastes nutty, cheesy and delightfully creamy. Many vegans actually use it as a cheese flavoring substitute, adding it to gravies, sauces, and even mac n’ cheese dishes. It is not raw (since it needs to be heated to deactivate the yeast) but since it has so many nutritional benefits lot of raw food enthusiasts have it in their pantry.
Hemp Seeds are another superfood that is a great addition to a raw or even regular diet. They look like sesame seeds but they have a milder taste. For those who are allergic to soy, hemp seeds are a great vegan alternative. Hemp seeds contain all 10 essential amino acids, and if certain sources are right 3 Tablespoons of Hemp Seeds = 11 grams of protein! It also contain an especially beneficial omega-6 fat called GLA, which is a direct building block of good anti-inflammatory hormones. Plus, hemp also provides a rich array of minerals including zinc, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and iron.
So even though this week is tough, I am glad (in a way) to go raw because I got introduced to these health foods, which my un-raw self would have never looked for. For your information, both Hemp Seeds and nutritional yeast are available through amazon.
(Note: I am not getting paid for promoting these item, I wish I was though. If you click on the link though I will get a percentage of the amount paid through amazon affiliates program; although, the amount wouldn’t be sufficient enough to buy even a milligram of either product. But please if you do consider buying, do click on the link. “Little drops of water, little grains of sand, make the mighty ocean and the pleasant land.” Of course it takes millions of ages, but well I can wait!)
HOMEMADE ALMOND MILK RECIPE
(makes 3-4 cups)
adapted from here
- 1.5 cups or 220 grams of raw almonds (unsalted, uncooked)
- 3-4 cups of filtered or spring water, plus water for soaking (depending on how thick you want your milk add the water. I add 3 cups but the recipe calls for 4)
- 1 vanilla bean; scoop out the seeds; alternatively, use 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence or extract
- 1 tbsp of agave nectar (optional or use a few pitted dates while blending the milk)
- Soak the almonds in water overnight or for at least 8 hours. Soaking nuts like almonds and walnuts increases enzyme activity, greater absorption of the food’s nutrients by the body and increased digestibility. Drain the water from the almonds.
- Blend the almonds in 3-4 cups of fresh spring or filtered water (see note above). Add the vanilla extract/ beans and continue blending until well mixed.
- If you want to sweeten the almond milk, add the agave nectar, or maple syrup/honey (if you aren’t going raw).
- Strain the almond pulp. Using something like a very fine strainer or sieve, or several layers of cheesecloth (muslin), pour the almond milk through the filter into a large bowl underneath. The filter will retain the almond pulp and the liquid will go through. Squeeze the remaining pulp to remove the last of the liquid. It is easier if done using a cloth; otherwise, use your very clean hands.
- The almond meal left over can be dried and used to add more fiber to your diet.
- Once strained, you can add some saffron, crushed cardamon and crushed pistachio to the milk. (You can blend these ingredients with the milk in a blender for maximum effect)
Almond milk can be kept in the refrigerator for 4-7 days, covered. It will usually need shaking before serving, to remix the liquid.
adapted from here
- 3 cups cauliflower, shredded
- ½ cup carrots, finely diced
- ⅓ cup red pepper, finely diced
- 4 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 4 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (you get the raw kinds, but I used the one I get in my supermarket)
- 3 tbsp sundried tomatoes ( I didn't have nay, so just used regular cherry tomatoes from my garden)
- 2 tbsp kalamata olives, finely diced
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp capers, minced
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 5-6 grapes, halved
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Wash the cauliflower florets well. With a parmesan grater, shred the cauliflower. It will resemble "couscous" granules.
- Chop all the other vegetables. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix well. Let chill in the refrigerator for an hour for all the flavors to blend. Eat and enjoy!