I’ve been looking at some “raw food” vegan cook books lately. Raw food vegans differ from whole food vegans (a whole foods, plant-based diet) in a few ways, the main one being that raw food vegans don’t cook their food. They may use techniques such as fermentation and dehydration, but they don’t apply heat above around 117F. Raw food vegans believe that this allows beneficial enzymes to be more fully transmitted to the body.
Whole food vegans (such as my family) typically don’t drink a lot of juice, since the juicing process excludes beneficial fiber and the fruit sugar enters the blood more freely. Raw food vegans do plenty of juicing.
Raw food vegans also use plant oils such as olive, cashew, and coconut oil to add flavor and body to some dishes. Whole food vegans usually don’t eat oil since it is 100% fat and adds unnecessary calories to a meal (among other reasons).
Both whole food and raw food vegans are concerned with the nutritional “dollar”; that is, they want the largest amount of beneficial nutrients, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants and other good planty stuff in their diet. Whole food, plant-based eaters accomplish this goal while “saving” the most calories. Leave out the oil and you can replace those calories with more veggies. Drink smoothies instead of juices and get more of the fiber that will balance both your bowels and the rate of sugar and fat entering your body.
I do wonder where raw food vegans get their starch. Aren’t they hungry? Potatoes need to be cooked, and neither “potato” nor “carrot” is in the index of the cook book I checked out from the library. Raw food vegans eat tons of fresh green, yellow, and orange vegetables but not a lot of starchy ones. It must be expensive and time consuming to purchase and prepare enough low calorie vegetables to keep from being nutrient deficient. (Note: on a varied plant-based diet you can’t fail to get enough essential nutrients as long as you are not calorie-deficient).
I applaud vegans of all types. Eating raw food makes me feel like Wall-E when he goes out in the sun first thing in the morning: charged up. This raw zucchini and carrot salad will make you feel the same way, especially if your body is already tuned-in to the amazing fresh flavors of grated ginger, lime juice, and rice wine vinegar. Use a mandolin to julienne the carrots and zucchini. This cool, fresh salad is simply life-giving!
Raw Zucchini and Carrot Salad
2 Zucchinis, de-stemmed and julienned
2 Carrots, peeled and julienned
5 or 6 Green onions, chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 Inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Splash rice wine vinegar
Pinch iodized sea salt, if desired
Combine the ingredients in a large bowl. Chill before serving.