Raw Foods in the Summer
Jill Welch, The Kitchen Goddess
The benefits from raw foods are so valuable that it is a worthy endeavor to learn how to include them in your daily diet. Raw fruits and vegetables, are loaded with enzymes and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are nutrients that come from the sun and are proven to have cancer fighting properties. Most phytonutrients are destroyed in cooking.
Summer is the best time to eat raw foods because they are cooling, refreshing and light. It is a relief not to cook in the heat of the summer. So, what to eat raw in the summer time?? Well, of course have green smoothies. Substitute a meal a few days a week with a green smoothie. Eat salads galore; whatever combination you can think of. I like to use left- over grain, beans or meat and add raw vegetables that are in season. Dress with a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon or lime and sea salt. Try salads with quinoa and raw vegetables. Pair black beans with avocado, corn, tomato, red bell pepper, cilantro, green onion and lime. I like to have a bottle of umeboshi vinegar always on hand for quick pickles of yellow squash, zucchini and carrots, or to drizzle on a vine ripe heirloom tomato.
Naturally fermented vegetables are raw with an added benefit of probiotics, they are great as a salad or sandwich topping or a side dish. Try making naturally fermented pickles at home this summer with green beans, cucumbers, squash or okra.
Cucumber salad is a must in the summer months. Here is my current favorite combination for cucumber salad:
1/2 to 1 red onion- sliced thin
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 Tbl umeboshi vinegar
1 to 2 Tbl brown rice vinegar
Liquid stevia- a few drops
herbamare or other natural seasoning with sea salt and herbs, to taste
white pepper to taste
Mix all together and let marinate in the refrigerator for an hour or so before serving.
Summer eating makes me think of pesto- eat traditional basil pesto, while basil is in season. Utilize the over- abundance of zucchini to make raw noodles by grating long strips of the vegetable and topping it with homemade pesto. Zucchini, raw, also makes great hummus; use it in place of garbanzo beans in your favorite recipe.
Whatever grows locally in your area in the summer, try it raw, in salads, smoothies, pickles or purees. You will get more nutrients from your food if it is organically grown and have less impact in the planet if it is local and in season. Better yet grow it yourself and eat it strait from the garden.
Jill Welch, owner of The Kitchen Goddess, is a natural foods educator and chef. She offers private and group cleanses, health consultations, and private cooking. She has 18 years of experience in helping people improve their diet and lifestyle, lose weight and stabilize their moods by adopting a natural foods way of life. She provides guidance on the role of food in creating vibrant health and chronic disease and gives instruction on how to prepare meals that are healthy, beautiful and delicious.You can visit her at her website www.thekitchengoddess.com or on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/The-Kitchen-Goddess/90151382286
Jen Starks, Owner