Raw food consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in their natural, unprocessed state. Learn some of the benefits of eating raw, or get to know a raw foods chef who uses thermal immersion, dehydration, fermentation and a number of other unique and scientific approaches. Find ideas and inspiration to incorporate more raw foods into your diet, and share your own in the comments!
Raw "lasagna" from Luna's Living Kitchen. Photo by sonya nuri

Raw “lasagna” from Luna’s Living Kitchen. Photo by sonya nuri

Have you made a resolution to eat better? If you’re filling your plate with healthy fruits and vegetables, that’s cool. But if you’re one of the many people embracing the raw food trend, that’s even cooler! Raw foods have exploded in popularity, in part because of the health benefits: Raw foods are full of enzymes and nutrients that boost your immune system and help prevent — and sometimes even reverse — cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and many other health problems. But going raw is also popular because creative chefs are thinking outside the salad spinner and whipping up delectable fresh fare. (more…)

Posted by on February 19th, 2013

Vegan sushi. Photo by Amber Shea Ford.

A lot of people who “go raw” start out with loads of enthusiasm. They may vow to be 100% raw straight out of the gate, or to never touch a morsel of cooked food for the rest of their lives. How often do they succeed? Almost never.

Let’s face it: most restaurants are not great at providing vegan (let alone raw) options on their menus. However, when armed with the killer combination of flexibility and creativity, no restaurant meal can derail your healthy lifestyle. Here’s how to cheat on your raw food diet–sans guilt–when dining out. (more…)

Posted by on July 29th, 2011

Photo by Amber Shea Ford

Increasing your intake of raw foods might feel like quite an undertaking. But a diet high in raw foods doesn’t have to be difficult, dull or pricey. In fact, you don’t need fancy equipment, expensive ingredients, or—heaven forbid—an endless parade of salads in order to incorporate more raw foods into your meals. Here are a few painless ways to work raw foods into your everyday diet.

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Posted by on March 9th, 2011

Raw Paella: Photo and Dish by Amber Shea Ford

Raw food consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds in their natural, unprocessed state. The benefits of eating raw food go beyond esoteric concepts like detoxifying or alkalinizing the body. Whether you’re a committed vegan or a meat-and-potatoes omnivore, here are seven compelling reasons you should consider adding more raw foods to your everyday diet.

1. Raw food has more of what your body wants and less of what it doesn’t want.

A raw vegan diet is rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, water, essential fatty acids, plant protein, beneficial enzymes and probiotics, phytochemicals and antioxidants. It is free of processed sugars, artificial sweeteners, chemicals and preservatives, unhealthy fats, animal products, and common allergens such as gluten and soy. Also, if you buy organic, a raw diet minimizes your intake of pesticides and GMOs. (more…)

Posted by on February 9th, 2011

Chef Matthew Kenney

Chef Matthew Kenney opened Pure Food & Wine, New York’s 1st upscale raw restaurant in 2004, and has been at the forefront of haute raw cuisine ever since. Named one of Food and Wine Magazine’s 10 Best New Chefs and nominated twice for the James Beard Rising Star Chef Award, today Chef Kenney is arguably the most celebrated living cuisine chef in America. Despite his incredible success, he remains grounded and grateful.

Chef Kenney has authored or co-authored six cookbooks, including four focused on living cuisine: Raw Food Real World, Everyday Raw, Entertaining in the Raw and Everyday Raw Desserts. He also serves as Director of Culinary Arts & Operations at 105degrees, a cutting-edge raw culinary academy based in Oklahoma City. For more information on the chef, visit Matthew Kenney Cuisine.

Talk to us about your path to becoming raw.

A close friend introduced me to raw food through a restaurant he frequented. Although I wasn’t a vegetarian, it was during a time in my life that I was extremely focused on health and nutrition, but still passionate about the culinary world. I saw raw food as a path to achieve both my personal and professional goals without compromise.

(more…)

Posted by on November 12th, 2010

366446437_14601859deThe last several years, a new type of cuisine has started to gain momentum and you may ask what kind of food is the focus of this new cuisine? Simply, it’s all about raw food. So what’s the deal with raw food? Well, a raw food diet consists fully of foods which have not been heated above a certain temperature.

The maximum temperature varies among the different forms of the diet, from 92 degrees F to 118 degrees F. In fact, it’s felt that heating food even above 116 degrees F is believed to destroy enzymes in food that can assist in the digestion and absorption of food. Cooking is seen as something that truly decreases, if not nullifies the true potential of what food can offer, nutrient-wise. To follow the raw lifestyle, at least 75% of your diet must be living or raw.

Specific cooking techniques for the raw food diet include everything from dehydrating food, soaking nuts and fried fruit, sprouting seeds, grains and beans as well as juicing and blending. The equipment that’s used can consist of any or all of the following: a dehydrator, juice extractor, blender, food processor and chopper.

Raw foodists believe that the benefits of following the raw food diet include increased energy, better digestion, weight loss and even a reduced risk of heart disease. Those who follow a raw food diet typically believe that the greater the percentage of raw food in the diet, the greater the health benefits. These benefits come about because unlike the typical Western diet, a raw food diet contains fewer trans fats and saturated fats and is low in sodium and high in potassium, fiber, magnesium and and health-promoting plant chemicals called phytochemicals.

While there may be benefits, one should also be aware that there are also nutritional deficiencies that result in following the raw food diet including a decrease in calcium, iron, B12 and protein intake. There are also those who criticize the raw food diet stating that it’s the cooking of the foods that actually makes certain phytochemicals easier to absorb, such as beta-carotene in carrots.

Deciding to follow a raw food diet will also mean considerable time, energy, and a strong commitment since many of the foods are made from scratch. Depending on what part of the country you’re in, you may also find it difficult to find certain ingredients needed to prepare your meals.

Suffice to say, following the raw diet is not for everyone and I’ve only give you just some general information about what the raw diet is, what it entails and its pros and cons. If you’re thinking of making a lifestyle change, be sure to do your research so that you can make the best decision for you.

However, there is one thing I can do to help, at least some of you. Currently, more raw restaurants are starting to establish themselves in the dining scene all over the US, so to get an idea if the raw food diet is for you, check out some of the restaurants listed below.

Leaf Cuisine
11938 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, California 90066
(310) 390-6005

Alive! Restaurant
1972 Lombard St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 923-1052

Thrive
1026 NE 65th Street, #A-102
Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 525-0300

Borrowed Earth Cafe
970 Warren Ave
Downers Grove, IL 60515
(630) 795-1729

Go Raw Cafe
2910 Lake East Drive
Las Vegas, Nevada 89117
702-254-5382

Posted by on June 13th, 2009

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