Raw Foods, pt 1…snacks

4 Jun

With summer on the way and temperatures rising, eating foods raw becomes a little bit more acceptable to our bodies.  Eating fruits and vegetables in their raw state allows your body to digest them better and get all the nutrients available, which would normally be lost through cooking.  Raw food diets have been known to clear up allergies, boost immunity, memory and improve arthritis and diabetes. Going completely raw may not be for everyone, but you can still reap the benefits of a raw food diet by increasing the amount of raw food you eat.

My interest in raw food began about a month ago during a heat wave in Los Angeles.  With temperatures near 100 and no air conditioning, I definitely wasn’t going to turn on the stove!  After incorporating more smoothies and salads into my diet, I began to notice a difference.  My waistline slimmed down, I had more energy and my skin improved!

Last week I decided to go a step further and eat completely raw.  I spent plenty of time researching online and experimenting in the kitchen with (mostly) delicious and nutritious results.  The week went well, I felt great, didn’t have any cravings and felt satisfied after each meal.  Raw food does take a bit more preparation time, but I find that the health benefits you get are worth it. I wanted to share with you all some of the recipes I developed throughout the week that worked and would be great for anyone, even if you aren’t following a raw diet.

This post is dedicated to raw snacks.  Having snacks ready is important for in between meals and when you are on the go.  What I did was made a big batch of everything on Sunday so that I had them on hand for the week.

Here were some of my favorites:

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Eggplant jerky

1 eggplant

1/3 cup tamari

1 tbsp paprika

2 tbsp maple syrup

Sea salt and pepper

Slice the eggplant into evenly sized slices (doing this with a mandoline slicer is ideal), place into a dish with the ingredients for the marinade, let sit for at least 30 min

Place the slices on a dehydrator tray and set to 135

Dry for 3-4 hours or more (the drying time will depend on the thickness of your eggplant slices)


 

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Three seed tomato and olive crackers

2 med tomatoes

3 cloves garlic

8 kalamata olives

2 cups ground flaxseed

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

3 tbsp chia seeds

Dried thyme

Black pepper

Place the seeds in the food processor and pulse until the seeds are all finely chopped and mixed together, set aside

Add the tomatoes, garlic and olives to the food processor and mix until pureed. Slowly add in the seed mixture, season and mix well

Line your dehydrator tray with parchment paper and spread an even layer of the cracker mixture on top

Dry at 120 for 4-5 hours or until the crackers are crispy


 

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Spiced apples and ginger 

2 apples (I used gala)

1 sm ginger root, peeled

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tbsp garam masala

Using a mandolin or by hand, slice the apple. You can peel them first if you prefer, but I usually leave the skin on

Take the ginger and shred it using the large holes of a cheese grater. It’s important to have only small pieces of ginger as it is very concentrated and spicy when eaten alone

Spread the apples and ginger in an even layer on your dehydrator tray, sprinkle the spices over the fruit

 Dry at 120 until crispy, about 3-4 hours


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BBQ sweet potato chips 

2 sweet potatoes, peeled

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp paprika

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp coconut sugar

Sea salt and pepper

Slice the sweet potatoes with a mandoline slicer or vegetable peeler, the slices should be very thin

Drizzle the potato slices with olive oil, add seasonings and mix well with your hands making sure that all the pieces are evenly coated

Lay slices in a single layer on your dehydrator tray

Set to 120 and dry for 10 – 12 hours or until completely dry and crispy


Don’t have a dehydrator?  No problem!  Your oven can also be used to facilitate the drying process.

To use your oven as a dehydrator:

Set it to the lowest setting

Prop open the door to encourage air flow

The timing will be different, so just check on it periodically

Stay tuned for part 2 of the Raw Food series where I’ll provide you with some great raw entrees!

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