I am in the midst of the first raw/herbal cleanse I've done in over a year. After spending most of December on tour in Brazil and Europe, followed by a gluttonous holiday back home in Indiana, my body was begging for a reset and I am happy to oblige.
A few years back I discovered an amazing company called DHerbs. They have a website full of insightful articles on health and nutrition, and they offer a large catalogue of cleanses and detoxes, all herbal based. Their flagship detox program is the Full Body Cleanse, which is what I am doing now. Over halfway into it, I feel amazing. The program requires an all raw food diet, which can be a bit daunting at first, but in my experience always becomes a wonderful culinary adventure and yields a renewed passion in the unparalleled flavors and satisfaction that natural, unprocessed foods possess.
I thought I'd share a few of the recipes that have become staples in my raw diet - simple fixins' that satisfy the gnarliest of urges and tummy rumbles. The most common question I hear when asked about going raw is, "Aren't you hungry all the time?" No way, man! The easy thing about going raw is that you can eat all you want - as long as it's not cooked. And the flipside is - being that raw foods are the most nutrient-rich edibles around, you find yourself getting filled up pretty quickly. No empty calories here!
Raw Goddess Salad Dressing
Big, fresh salads are key for me all the time, but when going raw they are usually the biggest meal of the day. Most dressings I like to make are raw, but this is just simply the best. I am a huge fan of Annie's Naturals Goddess Dressing, but this raw version to me is even better. My lady came across a similar recipe and altered it to perfection.
4 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
3 Tbsp Nama Shoyu
2.5 Tbsp Tahini
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1-2 cloves Garlic
2 Green Onions, chopped
Blend together all ingredients and serve over any kind of green salad. A little goes a long way, and it keeps well in the fridge for a week or so. Divine!
Spinach Banana Smoothie
My mother used to make these unbelievably rich and tasty banana shakes with ice cream and cinnamon. This recipe, odd as it sounds, is so simple and completely nails the flavor and smooth richness of those banana milkshakes.
2 cups raw Spinach
1 frozen Banana
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 cup Water
That's it! Blend and serve immediately. If you want it a bit sweeter, add a date to the mix - very nice.
The flavor of the spinach is so transparent, you'd never know it's there, and somehow it makes for a very creamy smoothie. And the color is awesome.
Raw Zucchini Pasta with Spinach Cashew Cream Sauce
Have you ever used a Spirooli slicer?? This simple and very affordable contraption easily turns raw zucchini, other squashes, carrots and more into a thin, flat form very much resembling pasta. For this dish, we used the smallest setting on the Spirooli with zucchini to create something akin to angel hair pasta, which is super fresh, and really just a vehicle for this ridiculously tasty sauce...
3 cups raw Spinach
1 small Garlic clove
1/3 cup raw Cashews
1/4 cup Water
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Blend ingredients together on high setting and toss with raw zucchini "pasta" made from 2-3 zucchinis depending on their size. We added about a tablespoon of red pepper flakes for spice and sprinkled a bit of nutritional yeast on top. This dish absolutely blew our minds. Insanely good!
Zucch pasta is on the right. That there on the left is a romaine wrap with almond "ricotta" and sprouted mung beans. Yum! I've been using the sprouted mungs in salads and lettuce wraps - they are very good source of raw protein, dietary fiber, vitamin C and many other nutrients. This was my first sprouting experience - it was way easy and so fun to watch those little dudes grow their cute lil' tails.
Sprouted Mung Beans
Take around 1 cup of raw Mung Beans and soak them in a glass jar or sprouting bag with filtered water, enough to cover them with a good inch or more of water on top - be warned, they will expand to 3-4 times their size when sprouting. Soak 8-12 hours, then drain and rinse them and leave in the jar or bag with no water. Keep them out of sunlight in a cool place, but not the fridge. Rinse and drain every 8-12 hours for 2-3 days, until they have little sprout tails popping through the shells.
After sprouting, I mixed them in a jar with a bit of sea salt and some dried oregano, and put them in the fridge. They keep for around a week, and are a really nice addition to raw salads and other dishes!
I'm always on the search for other raw goodies, so please chime in if you have any favorites :)