Well, there's no doubt about it. Here in the UK it feels as if summer has now bid its final farewell and there has been a very real nip in the air for a week now that is decidedly wintry. With this in mind, it's time to turn our attention to the more warming ingredients, recipes and meal ideas that can be incorporated successfully into a raw diet.
Today we're looking at 5 ways to make your food taste hot - all very different. There's bound to be at least one or two that will work for you. And over the weeks that follow I'll be sharing more recipes, tips and ideas to help you stay raw (or as raw as you want to be) during the colder months.
1: Hot spices
There are many ingredients that can add warmth to your meal, despite the fact that they are consumed in their raw state. When your body is fed foods that are cooked or that are too cold (from the fridge or freezer), it uses up energy to balance the temperature. Save your energy for something more exciting and add these raw spices to your meals (and thus your body):
- Black & white pepper
2: Eat your greens!
I know I go on about making sure you include enough greens in your diet, whether it be a hot sunny day or even a cold wintry day, but there is a reason for this! Dark, leafy greens are what our bodies need at all times but in particular in cold times. They hold an abundance of vitamins, chlorophyll and protein to boost our immune systems and what’s more, they are fresh all year round – even more encouragement to eat them every day! Sometimes people need a little guidance as to what they choose for their green consumption – celery, although a great food, is not a great source of "greens" in the truest sense of the word (they're more of a pale green and not very high in chlorophyll). Below is a starter list of great greens that will make all the difference:
- Swiss Chard
- Rocket (arugula)
- Collard Greens
- Dandelion Greens
- Mustard Greens
- Bok Choy
3: Kale & avocado salad
This is one of my favourite raw dishes that has become a staple part of my diet, not only because it is delicious but also contains an incredible amount of nutrition. The added cayenne or chili pepper will certainly warm you up.
· 4-6 large handfuls of kale sliced very thinly
· 1 avocado
· 3 Tablespoon Oil
· 1 teaspoon Himalayan Crystal Salt
· 5 baby tomatoes
· 10 sun-dried tomatoes
· ½ lemon
· Large pinch cayenne pepper OR ½ - 1 jalapeno pepper finely sliced
1. Chop kale into small pieces (this makes the fibrous cells break down and therefore more palatable, so the smaller you chop you better the taste).
2. Add oil and salt and massage into the kale until kale becomes wilted and soft.
3. Add avocado and massage again so each leaf is coated.
4. Chop tomatoes into quarters, add to kale.
5. Chop sun-dried tomatoes in small pieces and add to kale.
6. Squeeze lemon over entire dish
7. Add pinch of cayenne or your chopped chili and mix up well.
8. Serve and enjoy!
4: Warming foods
These are a list of foods to keep your body feeling warm. Ancient peoples believed that keeping the body warm came from within and found that certain foods could raise the body’s temperature:
- Red pepper
- Pine Nuts
5: Drinking at room temperature
(less about making raw food hot; more about keeping you from being too cold!)
This may sound obvious to many of you but the temperature of your liquids can affect the temperature of your body. Can you imagine being asleep and waking up to someone throwing an ice cold bucket of water of you? This is how your body reacts when you drink ice cold drinks that shock the system. As with cooked foods, the body’s enzymes and energy is used to try and control the temperature that you have just thrown at it. Try drinking your drinks at room temperature and notice how much easier they go down.