Whizzes and More
Eating Raw – with maximum nutrients, multiple variations and innovative options.
This is just what you need to lay a foundation for good health and, if you have a health problem, to contribute to recovery.
Most of the food that is commercially available today is depleted in nutrients when compared to food that is fully grown and ripened on the plant, picked fresh and eaten raw. Therefore, it is especially important for human health to conserve and maximize the nutrients from the food you eat as much as you can.
The minor or trace nutrients in foods, especially in vegetables and fruits, should include minerals, vitamins, other phytonutrients and enzymes. If you eat raw, they are all available to you without further deterioration at your hands. Once you heat them above 39oC they start to break down and you can no longer consider the food to be raw.
Many people assume that cooking food quickly at high temperatures conserves the most nutrients. However, when it comes to cooking it is better to cook at lower temperatures, even if it takes longer (think low and slow). Nonetheless, raw is best, at least for most people, but not all. This is why we determine the Metabolic type for each individual.
Following are some examples of how cooking affects the nutrient content of food:
Steaming vegetables in water will cause the minerals to leach into the water. However, you can still get those minerals by drinking the water. While minerals do not break down, it is possible that they can be converted into a form that is more difficult for the body to absorb.
Steaming vegetables will also start to break down the vitamin and phytonutrient content of the vegetables.
Vitamins and phytonutrients in general: Cooking these starts the breakdown process for most of them. So, eat as much as you can raw.
Enzymes are also vulnerable to heat, and so to cooking. They are large, complex three-dimensional proteins. Their exact shape is critical for their function, and this starts to be altered at around 39oC. Just as a key with one tiny error in its shape may fail to unlock the door, or may even block the lock entirely, so too is the harm that can be caused by damaged enzymes. It was once thought that enzymes, being proteins, would be broken down in the digestive tract, it is now known that this is not necessarily the case but that they can be well absorbed and utilized, provided they have not been damaged by cooking.
How to eat raw without endless boring salads.
Many of my clients look aghast when I recommend that they eat raw. The response that I hear often is, “Oh no, how boring! Lettuce, tomato, cucumber; lettuce, tomato, cucumber……” In fact, there are many ways that you can create interesting raw drinks and meals and enjoy your food.
Fresh vegetable juices should be part of any healthy diet, to a greater or lesser extent, depending on your metabolic type. Do they count? I am often asked this, but of course, they do. And you can make dozens of interesting combinations, juicing almost any vegetable, fruit or herb. On some low sugar diets, you may have to be conservative of your inclusion of fruits. You can also juice some parts of the vegetable that you might not eat, for example, juice the pods once you have shelved the peas. Juice the green leafy tops of carrots. The inner stem of broccoli and similar vegetables can be juiced. The outer leaves of vegetables that you might throw away, they too can be juiced. Celery leaves do not give much juice but if you dry them at 39oC in a dehydrator, then powder the dried leaves in a coffee grinder you have a tasty vegetable salt.
Juices should be consumed freshly made, for maximum benefit. If you can’t do this, keep them chilled in a glass container and drink them as soon as you can, or freeze them and have them ready for later. Even if some nutrients are lost this way it is probably better than not drinking the juice at all. Drinking vegetable juices is a very concentrated way of getting a large number of important nutrients.
If you plan to make juices a significant part of your diet, aim to buy a masticating juicer, not one that tries to grate the vegetables. You will find it much more versatile. You can, for instance, put nuts though it and out comes nut butter which is much cheaper than buying the nut butter already made. You can put chickpeas, tahini, olive oil and lemon juice through it and out comes hummus. You can save a lot of money this way and gradually offset the higher cost of this type of juicer. You can also juice leaves, which you cannot do with a juicer that relies on a rotating and spinning sieve-like cone.
For smoothies, you only need a blender, preferably a high-powered one if you want a very smooth smoothie. Into this you can put almost any vegetable, simply switch on, wait a bit, and there you have it, a smooth puree ready to drink. If the mixture is too thick, add water or perhaps some already-made vegetable juice. Add tomatoes or other vegetables with a higher water content. Adding avocado, nut butter or coconut oil to your smoothie adds a delicious, creamy texture. You can also add the ‘Budwig mix’ to your smoothie: a three to one ratio of yoghurt, or similar protein, and flaxseed oil, well blended together. Hot day? Add some ice cubes.
These are my own creation to add to the possibilities for which all you need is a food processor. This is a two-part but very rapid way to make delicious raw meals. First, gather a variety of vegetables, enough to make one generous portion if the result is to be the main component of the final dish. Add all of these to the food processor fitted with a large flat blade. Break them up a bit if necessary so that they will all fit. Turn the food processor on and ‘whiz’ until they the vegetables are reduced to a ‘mash’, with the pieces being smaller than finely chopped nuts. Second, you will want to make a sauce. There are endless possibilities for this. A combination of tahini and tamari is a favourite. Blend the two together in a proportion that pleases your palette, and thin it with water until it is runny pouring sauce. Or, make a salad dressing with oil, lemon juice and a variety of herbs. You can also use yoghurt, chopped cucumber and coriander or the Budwig mixture alluded to above. The possibilities are endless left to your imagination.
Then blend the sauce into the ‘whizzed vegetables’ and serve. The mixture can be eaten on its own if you are in a rush. Or use it to stuff tomatoes, bell peppers, or mushrooms. Make ‘wraps’ with it by rolling tolling it in large leaves. Or, if you wish simply put it on a bed of greens and serve with some extra salad vegetables.
One of the advantages of ‘whizzes’ is that you can incorporate some of the vegetables that you may struggle with when eaten raw and just sliced or grated.
Ah yes, there are also those boring salads. However, you can combine almost all vegetables and fruits (being cautious of fruits if you are on a low sugar diet) and, with a little imagination, lay out a delicious spread for the smallest or largest buffet.
So, “Eat raw, have fun, get healthier”.