3 Ways to Make a Raw Food Menu Taste Great


by Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN
Author, Eating for Energy

No matter what kind of cooking you do, flavor will always be a concern. While people who do not eat raw will think that your diet must be as bland as possible - after all, how do infuse flavor into a dish without heat? ñ the opposite is usually true. The blandness and uniformity of cooked foods is replaced with the bright, fresh flavors that a raw diet is made up of. But if you are concerned about making your dishes as tasty as possible, there are a few steps you can take to thrill your taste buds.

The best way to keep your raw food dishes as delicious and flavorful as possible is to use only the freshest items in your recipes. Obviously, this is not always possible, especially with seasonal items that might require you to use frozen items. But when you have the choice, go fresh. Squeeze your own orange juice for recipes instead of using store-bought juice. Shell your own nuts purchased in bulk rather than pre-packaged and exposed nuts. Grow your own spouts, and use them in your salads. This also applies to fruits and vegetables - the fresher you use, the brighter the tastes you will experience. That’s not to say that you should only use fresh. If frozen is your only option, it will still be better than nothing.

If the brightness is not the issue in your dishes, perhaps you could use more depth of flavor instead, and that can be brought out by increasing the amounts and varieties of spices that you use. That is not to say that everything you eat should be doused with large dashes of everything in the spice cupboard. Instead, look at the items in your dish, and spice accordingly. Want to bring out the freshness in your strawberries without resorting to sugars? Try freshly cracked black pepper, or a balsamic vinegar for a flavor punch that is unexpected and savory. Want to warm up your squash dishes? Try cinnamon - the spice gives you a feeling of warmth in your stomach, without any application of heat required. Want to dress up your kale or spinach? Try an extra dash of large grain salt. A little will go a long way, and liven up your salads.

If you are mixing up a dish that requires the use of a non-dairy milk substitute, you can always try different milks to achieve different flavors. Rice milks are more common, and as a result, are the de facto milk ingredient in raw food dishes. But if you want a more nutty and rich flavor, try a different variety of nut milk like almond milk. Made from blended almonds, this milk will give your dishes a much warmer feeling, and allow you to experiment with different feelings in your meals. By switching ingredients like this, you can revitalize old dishes, and find new variations to excite the palate.

Just remember that raw food is, by definition, no more boring than any other diet plan. Cooked foods can be bland too, if you don’t put the effort in to find flavors that will bring your foods to life.



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