Now, if you’re anything like me, you might well be thinking that raw food isn’t particularly suitable for winter and cold weather. We’re naturally drawn to warming, comforting foods at this time of year, and my associations of crisp, fresh, raw salads just didn’t fit into this picture. Nevertheless, at this time of year we’re all extra susceptible to getting ill and it’s now when we need to be taking extra good care of ourselves and eating the most nutritious foods possible. Raw food is just that!
So, how to make raw meals that are just as warming and comforting as our cooked favourites?
That’s where Tanya comes in.
Tanya’s e-book “Nourished – Comforting Raw Food Recipes for Winter” addresses the issue of eating raw in winter, with lots of useful info and recipes.
– It’s a full-colour book with pictures of all the recipes, along with step-by-step instructions. It’s always nice to know what you’re aiming for!
– The book’s got you covered for drinks, breakfasts, sauces, sides, snacks, meals and desserts. There are some real show-stoppers in here which I think would be especially fantastic to serve to guests, along with dishes ideal for everyday eating.
– It includes some great tips for eating raw when it’s chilly out, many I hadn’t thought of, but which make such a big difference.
– There’s also a guide to local and seasonal produce and recommended equipment for a raw kitchen.
Note, most of the recipes don’t require specialist equipment and if you’ve got a good knife, a blender and/or food processor you’ll be able to make most. About a quarter do call for a dehydrator though, something I don’t own (yet…), so I couldn’t make these, slightly torturous as they all looked really good. If you do have a dehydrator you’ll definitely want this book!
– Particularly handy if you’re new to raw food, there’s also a glossary of ingredients you might be unfamiliar with.
You can find a full list of the recipes included and more pictures here, but this is what I made:
First up, I tried the Apple & Cinnamon Chia Pudding. This was a really tasty, light breakfast. It’s creamy, mildly-spiced and sweet, even with only fruit to sweeten it. I would probably add less almond milk next time though as I like my chia pudding a little thicker.
I really wanted to try one of the main-dishes from the book but struggled to make a decision with so many options. Lots of the recipes might sound like conventional dishes: “burgers”, “ noodles” “mash”” “pie” and “curry”, but they’re probably not what you’re expecting! Tanya’s given these traditional dishes a raw make-over, but their healthiness definitely doesn’t compromise their flavour.
I decided to put together a few of the recipes for a meal with some serious wow-factor. Here we have the “Winter Sun Burgers”, “Tangy Cabbage Salad” and “Ranch Dressing”. The burgers were rich and flavourful. They’re very easy to make too, just a few ingredients and a food processor is all you need. I’m already planning on using the same mixture and blending it up a little more and using it as a dip
The cabbage gets jazzed up with a yummy raspberry vinaigrette (Tanya suggests using frozen berries if they’re not in season where you live).
I’m not exaggerating when I say that the ranch dressing was absolutely incredible! I could have eaten this stuff with a spoon! I’m definitely going to be making it regularly. Note: there wasn’t any water listed in the ingredients and I found I needed to add some to get a smooth, pourable consistency. I also subbed tamari for the liquid aminos listed as I didn’t have any.
A perfectly satisfying meal, and I didn’t miss hot food at all.
The last of the recipes I tried was the “Spiced Hot Chocolate”. This was creamy and indulgent-tasting, and it would have been hard to believe it was healthy if I hadn’t made it myself. You can still have warm food eating raw, just as long as you don’t heat foods above a certain temperature which is thought to damage their nutrients. Blending all the ingredients on high with some hot water made this plenty warm enough, and the kick of cayenne added extra heat.
(Pictured above with store-bought raw oatmeal-raisin cookies)
Tanya has kindly allowed me to re-print the recipe here for you all to enjoy.
Spiced Hot Chocolate:
1C Almonds, soaked overnight
4C Pure water (2C cold, 2C hot)
½C Pitted dates
2T Raw cacao powder
1T Agave nectar
¾t Cayenne pepper
Rinse the nuts, drain and blend with 2 cups cold water.
Strain the liquid through a nut milk bag/cheese cloth/stocking to remove the pulp. Pour the strained milk back into blender and add the rest of ingredients including the hot water, blend on high. Enjoy immediately.
The next recipes I want to try are the Pecan Pie Shake, “Never Miss Meat” Stroganov, Root Veggie Satay Noodles…and the Traditional Apple Crumble with Vanilla Sauce! You can get your hands on the book instantly by downloading it from Tanya’s website, better raw, here.
I know it’s only October, but December will be here before we know it! Tanya’s book of raw Christmas recipes- “Festive”, is one I’m definitely considering. There are always so many parties and social events at this time of year, not usually involving the healthiest of foods, but with these recipes you’ll be well-equipped to wow friends and family with healthy and delicious raw alternatives.
You might want to check out Tanya’s other e-books:
“Purified – Your Complete 7 Day Detox Program” and “Seduced – Raw Chocolate Recipes to Get Very Excited For”
If you’re in the UK you might also be interested in the workshops Tanya runs in London- coming up very soon, with just a few spots left are the Comforting Raw Foods for Winter Workshop (THIS Saturday 25th October) and the Raw Food Christmas Festivities Workshop (7th December).
Do you try and incorporate raw food into your diet? I’d love to hear your thoughts about raw food in general.
Note: I was provided with a copy of the book for review purposes, but all opinions expressed are my own.