The philosophy behind raw food is simple
”I have always been interested in the connection between diet and health and came early on in contact with Ann Wigmore – the ”grandmother of raw food”. Seven years ago I decided to fully go in for eating raw and later on got certified as a raw food teacher”, Åsa Paul-Johansson tells a filled class room in Mölle.
She resides in Florida, USA, but has her roots in Skåne. When she visits her parents in Mölle she takes the opportunity to teach about raw food.
Åsa serves a fizzy green drink made from apples, celery, lime, and mint and explains why raw food is so beneficial.
“A lot of the enzymes in the food disappear over 42 degrees. In raw food we use the ingredients intact as they are and they keep all of their nutrients – enzymes, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, fibers, oxygen and life force.
When it comes to raw food, we also chop many of the ingredients, which is important. It is then easier to digest the food and we will end up with more energy.”
Buckwheat – an herb related to rhubarb – is a favorite among raw food lovers. And who can say no to a food that contains lots of protein, vitamins and minerals and lowers blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure. The buckwheat should be soaked and then has to be rinsed really well before it ends up in the blender where Åsa also adds nectarines, apple, coconut oil and vanilla. The porridge is perfect as breakfast. Even better when you top it with fresh fruit or coconut flakes and gojiberries.
Next dish is perfect as lunch or dinner – spinach parsnip rice. Åsa first chops parsnips, pine nuts and salt in a food processor, then adds vinegar, spinach, cranberries, and then lastly walnuts. The texture is a bit different, but the flavor is wonderful.
When Åsa changed her diet and started with raw food she quickly noticed a difference. She had more energy, felt both younger and stronger. Raw food gives you a different feeling of fullness and satisfaction, which makes it possible to skip a meal without being hungry in the same manner.
Åsa wants to inspire people to try the ”raw” kitchen. She implies that it is important to not start out too fast, but rather gradually adding plant foods to your diet. To add a green drink, a salad every day, fresh fruits and nuts. She recommends gently starting with simple dishes and learning the recipes by heart.
“When the cells in the body have received the nutrients they need you will develop a craving (for these foods). Raw food is not difficult. What is difficult is to think differently about your diet and to start. The dishes are simple to make. All you need is a food processor and a blender.
½ cup whole hulled buckwheat, soaked 20-30 minutes
2 nectarines, pitted, in chunks
1 apple or banana
½ tablespoon coconut cream or oil
1 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract
1-2 tablespoons pure water as needed
1. Soak buckwheat in 3 times the amount of water.
2. Drain and rinse really well. Thoroughly remove all the sliminess.
3. In blender or food processor combine buckwheat, nectarines, apple, coconut, vanilla, and water as needed, and process until smooth. Taste and adjust by adding more fruit, vanilla or water as per your liking.
4. Serve with chopped peaches, plums or nectarines or coconut flakes, bananas and gojiberries.
Herb Marinated MUSHROOMS
5 large button mushrooms or similar (3 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil or other oil you like
1,5 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, not filtered or pasteurized
1,5 tablespoon Tamari (or other soya sauce)
1 handful fresh herbs, chopped, like parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme etc.
1 clove garlic, pressed
1. Clean the mushrooms by brushing and scraping or use paper towels. Do not rinse in water. They will then soak up the water and not the marinade. Cut into bite size pieces. They shrink when marinated.
2. Pour oil, vinegar, and Tamari, and herbs if using in a zip-lock bag and shake. Add the mushrooms and shake again, making sure they are all well coated.
3. Let soak for a couple of hours. The longer the more they will soften.
1½ cup parsnips, peeled and diced
¼ cup pine nuts and/or macadamia nuts
¼ teaspoon pure sea salt
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
A very large handful spinach leaves
A (very) small handful dried cranberries (not sweetened-tart)
1. In a food processor, combine parsnips, pine nuts, and salt. Process into rice-like pieces.
2. Add vinegar, spinach, and cranberries. Pulse to gently mix.
3. Stir in walnuts. Place in a serving bowl. Will keep for a couple of days in the fridge.
Bubbly GREEN APPLES
4 apples, Granny Smith or similar
2 large stalks of celery
¼ lime, no peel
6-10 mint leaves, (1/8 cup)
½ liter sparkling water, chilled
1. Juice apples, celery and lime.
2. Pour into a blender, add the mint leaves and process until the leaves are in tiny pieces.
3. Place in a jar or container with lid (so you can shake the juice, because it separates) and place in fridge until serving time.
4. To serve, pour half to two thirds of a tall glass with the apple-mint juice and fill up with sparkling water. Add some ice cubes and serve with a cocktail spoon, so you can stir between sips.
Makes 3-4 cups (2 cups juice + 2 cups sparkling water)
2 cups Brazil nuts, walnuts and almonds, preferably soaked overnight
5 large dates (Medjool) or 7-9 small, fresh or soaked, pitted
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1. Drain the nuts and rinse well.
2. Place in food processor and chop to smallest pieces.
3. Add dates, cinnamon and salt. Process again.
4. Press out evenly in a pie form or on a plate.
2 apples, pitted, in large chunks
2 bananas, in large chunks
2 dates, large, fresh, pitted
1. Place fruit in food processor and process until creamy.
2. Spread out over crust (Optional: place in sieve to drain first. Save the water.)
4 apples, pitted and sliced
Optional: lemon juice and honey
1. Coat apple slices in lemon and honey if you like.
2. Cover the filling with apple slices and place in fridge for a while.
3. Sprinkle with cinnamon before serving.
CHOCOLATE ORANGE DREAMS
1 cup nuts, mix of cashews and macadamias, or just cashews
3-4 large fresh dates (Medjool) or 7- 8 small, pitted (1/3 cup)
¼ cup raisins
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon orange zest (firmly packed)
½ tablespoon orange juice or water and essential orange oil (a few drops)
1. If the dates are dry, let them soak 15-20 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. Drain, but keep soak water for a smoothie if you like.
2. In a food processor rough chop the nuts. Place a third to half of the mix on a plate (for garnish). Continue processing remaining nuts to smallest pieces.
3. Add dates, raisins, cacao and zest. Process until even, smooth and fairly soft.
4. Add juice and process until the mixture forms into a ball.
5. Remove and roll into little fudge balls. Roll in the chopped nuts.
16 small or 10 large