Raw food refers to uncooked foods of every variety. One of the tenets of the raw food movement is that food shouldn’t be heated above a temperature that, depending on who you ask, ranges from 104 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit, because doing so will destroy the food’s enzymes. This restriction invariably invites sneering rebukes from nutritionists, who contend that your stomach promptly destroys all enzymes that reach it intact.
But regardless, there’s certainly something that makes great sense about basing a significant portion of your diet on fresh, minimally processed food. And there’s no doubt some cooking methods, particularly deep frying, degrade the food’s nutritional value and generate substances that are potentially unhealthful.
Adherents often claim miraculous health benefits accompanied switching to a raw food diet. But many people who embrace raw foods fail to thrive. The raw foods literature is certainly full of quacks.
What do Raw Foodists Eat?
A raw food diet primarily consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouted whole grains. These foods can be blended, combined, soaked, and otherwise prepared in order to create delicious and satisfying meals.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect to raw foods is that the cuisine, when prepared well, tastes incredibly delicious. A skillful raw foods chef can produce an intensity of flavor, coupled with textures and aromas, that are not exceeded by anything in the world of cooked food. This is especially true for raw food desserts, many of which are certain to rank among the tastiest treats you’ll ever eat.
Raw Foods Cookbooks
There are dozens of raw food cookbooks. Some popular titles include:
A number of kitchen items are commonly used in raw food cuisine.
- Food Processors
- Spiralizer (to make raw zucchini noodles)
- Dehydrator (to make kale chips and more!)
Many raw foods chefs are vegan. But not all raw foods are vegan. Honey is a common ingredient; one that is easily replaced by maple syrup, rice syrup, or agave nectar. Some adherents of raw foods philosophy embrace unpasteurized dairy, raw eggs, and even uncooked meat.