The comment I hear the most now that I have been eating raw is, "But doesn't it take a long time?" In truth I asked this question myself quite a lot. Now let's take the same question and turn it back around, "But doesn't cooking take a long time?" It all depends, doesn't it? What are you eating?
While I have been trying to keep this blog filled with delicious and exciting raw creations, I can't make every meal as decadent as some. Last night I didn't get home till 6:45 PM. My son goes to bed at 8:00 PM, but I managed to get dinner on the table by 7:15 PM... raw food for my husband and I and a plate of raw veggies and rice for my son. I quickly spiralized some yellow squash and made a fast sauce of sun-dried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, red pepper, onion, nutritional yeast, salt, and oregano. I even massaged some collards and splashed them with olive oil, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, salt, and a dash of chili pepper. It may not be the most Instagram worthy meal I have ever made, but it tasted better than some of the ones that do make it to Instagram! And who am I actually cooking for? My family or strangers across the internet?
So I thought I would write some quick tips I have learned since I transitioned to raw foods:
1. Get something going. Soak. Sprout. Ferment. Dehydrate. You don't even need immediate plans of how you will use these, but some of these processes take hours or even days! Get it started and the ideas will come as the food prepares. Buy lots of jars and designate a space for them in your kitchen. You will start noticing if it looks too empty, and you will remember to check when things are ready.
2. Go to the produce aisle. A LOT. I used to be a once-a-week food shopper, but now I am a one-big-trip-a-week food shopper. One trip is enough to cover the bulk of our shopping, but to keep up with all of our fruit and veggie needs I usually need to make 2 small trips directly to the produce aisle with a quick escape.
3. Fruit. Honestly, I tend to be a more savory girl than a sweet one, but recently I have been embracing the miracle of fruit. Nature was kind enough to provide us with delicious snacks and meals that require NO PREPARING and are the most healthy choices we can make for ourselves and our family! So why make it harder than it has to be? It is apple season, grab a freakin' apple!
4. Buy what you can in bulk. Believe me, you will use it all. Nuts, seeds, coconut oil, and salt are main ones which you will always need, and it will save you time and money to have a good store of these items.
5. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Have a back-up plan for times when there is no time. As a single mom before I started paying attention to my health my back-up plan was a veggie burger meal at Burger King. This is NOT a healthy solution, but even in the health wasteland of chain restaurant suburbia, there can be some hope. If you aren't lucky enough to have a raw restaurant or a smoothie place near you, find a place with a decent salad bar. Get only veggies and bring your own homemade dressing (most places won't care). Or go to a restaurant that serves fresh guacamole or salsa and bring your own flax crackers. You can't guarantee that everything is organic, but a little outing once in awhile can save you from feeling alienated socially and dropping your goals completely!