- Raw foodists

So…. After 10 days (ok, more than 10 days) away from what I like to do most, my blog, I am back. My sister came to London for my birthday. A few parties, a lot of food and far too much wine and champagne, I am back to

normal, healthy food, sport and still a bit of red wine.

Back to a healthy leaving made me think about my colleague’s wife who is a raw food person and gave me the recipe of the ‘Vegan strawberry cheese cake, organic and gluten free’… Wow ! All that stuff in one recipe? How can you do a cheese cake without cheese? A ‘look like’ cheese cake then?

I have to tell that I have always been skeptical about the subject. Do raw foodists eat seaweeds and roots only? Why do they ban what makes life so enjoyable : cheese, fish, greasy doughnuts and fat burgers ?

To have an opinion, I had to learn more about it:

Most raw foodists are raw food vegans, who eat no animal products, but some do eat raw eggs and cheese made from raw or unpasteurized milk.

They don’t cook using a traditional stove or oven. They use food dehydrators that lend crunch to vegetables and cookies. Food dehydrators also dry out fruits for fruit leather and other raw food recipes.

But raw foodists, along with vegans, need to make sure they’re getting enough vitamin B12, calcium, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids, most of which are found naturally in animal products.

In a raw diet, we favour high-fibre not to feel hungry and so to avoid snacking. Salt is used in moderate quantity not to stimulate appetite.

On the other hand it’s quiet difficult to vary dishes’combinations and the monotony felt can be dissuasive. Also for people who are used to have a diet rich in meat and sugar, the transition to a raw food diet can cause headaches and nauseas, at least at the beginning.

Partisans of that diet highlight the advantages linked to a non cooked ingredients : according to them, it’s the best way to preserve mineral salts, vitamins and enzymes. If you eat raw you avoid the toxic residues of cooking.

However, specialists emphasize that a lot of food’s nutritional properties increase when they are cooked, which is the case for tomato for example.

But some go further by telling that live food or living food can be the solution to deseases called ‘desease of civilization’ like cancers for example. The aim would be to return to the sources of food and favour natural products, without any transformation. Like so, in the most extreme cases, they go back to prehistoric diet.

The raw food diet also requires a lot of processing that can strip foods of their nutrients. Straining pulp from cashews to make cashew milk, for example, removes healthy fiber. Dehydrating and chopping can destroy valuable nutrients, too, as can exposure to air.

Then, we have now that bunch of young tattooed and pierced chefs. They are not vegan, their slogan is ‘Cook it raw, cook it less to cook it better’ to exalt the ingredients’ taste differently. Replace the absence of heat and limitation of cooking –braising, roasting and frying- by a new particular attention to primal flavor. Not more than 40°. A visionary work that a few imagine like the new epicurean anthropology.

I haven’t found a lot of articles or studies about the raw world in French. Strange…. And normal. That wave is reaching France slowly, but it’s a very small wave. I was surprised to find so many vegetarian restaurants and even vegan options when I arrived in London.

Vegan kiwi cheese cake, organic and gluten free’ serves 6.

Ingredients :

– 1 cup of raw pecan

– 1 cup of walnuts

– ¼ tsp seasalt

– ¼ cup of dates seeded and soaked for 2 hours

– 4 cups of raw cashew (not roasted) soaked over night

– 1 tbsp of water

– 1 tsp of vanilla extract

– 2 tbsp of lemon juice

– 1/3 cup of liquid sweetener

– Half a cup of raw coconut oil

– 8 kiwis

I don’t want to drive my friend Dimitri crazy, he’s a pastry chef and told me to stop measuring with cups as it is not precise. Chefs are very sensitive… In my defense, the recipe has been given to me that way. But I have tested it and we can say that a cup is 200g. I know he reads me so I have to be good.

Method :

Chop the pecan and walnuts very finely with a mixer, add the salt and dates, mix together and set in a dish with edges. For the ‘cheese’ layer, chop finely the cashew, add the water, vanilla extract, lemon juice and sweetener. The preparation has to be creamy. Put the coconut oil and mix it with the preparation. Pour the preparation on the top of the crust.

Set in the freezer for 30min or in the fridge for 4 hours. Add a coulis of a seasonal fruit on the top.

Thanks a lot Anna, the ‘Vegan kiwi cheese cake, organic and gluten free’ (I made it with kiwis as strawberry are not in season at all) is delicious really, a bit heavy and one piece is enough to fill you in. But the frenchie I am could ban meat, maybe, but will always love creamy, stinking cheese. In a perfect raw foodists’ world, alcohol and caffeine are taboo. What about my coffee in the morning? And my glass of red wine to go with my stinking cheese? Definitely too hard to bear for a Gallic.




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