How Do I Get Started With Raw Foods?

This article is dedicated to those of you who are eager to become Raw, but really don't know where to start. So in this article, I am literally sharing how I do things. I'm even showing you pictures inside of my fridge! When I first turned raw, I realized quickly that I needed to turn my kitchen into a raw kitchen. The first step in doing so, was getting rid of processed food and figuring out how to store raw foods. I found that glass storage containers like these have been a life saver. I store my nuts and dried goods like raisins, dates, chia seeds, flax seeds, shredded coconut, coconut flour, etc... in containers like these.

as you can see, its time for me to re-stock some things....

Listed below are some of the things I keep in my house at all times (this isn't a list of everything, but these are the basics): 
  • Flax seeds: These little seeds can be essential for smoothies and even making breads and cakes! Yes, that's right bread! Life doesn't stop because you're eating begins.
  • Chia seeds: These little seeds, while are protein packed, are also essential for "egg replacing". I use these often when un-baking to make things like cookies, crackers and cakes. In the raw food world, these little seeds are gifts from God.
  • Raw Nuts: Nuts of all kinds, I use them all (i.e., walnuts, cashews, pecans, almonds, etc.) I use them from making nut milk, to using the pulp from the nut milk, to making veggie burgers and other mock meats, down to making cheese! That's right cheese! Using nuts to make cheese to mimic any cheese taste you want.
  • Raw Seeds: Seeds of all kinds (i.e., sunflower, pumpkin, etc). I'll show you how to use these to make pate's, crackers and various other things.
  • Herbs & Seasonings: Now obviously you have to know that seasonings are probably the most important thing to have. Some key seasonings I keep around are: curry, basil, celtic sea salt, himilayan sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, onion flakes, parsely, oregano, turmeric, marjoram, braggs liquid aminos, non alcoholic almond, lemon and vanilla extract (or vanilla  powder or vanilla bean).
  • Shredded Coconut: I'll show you quite a few things you can do with shredded coconut. I keep this on hand as a staple.
  • Juice Pulp: That's right nothing goes to waste! I'll show you how to make some pretty creative and awesome burgers by using the pulp from your juices and nut milks as a base! So those of you who juice every morning, start saving that pulp now!
  • Nutritional Yeast: This little powder can help enhance the taste of cheese, to even being your daily dose of a little vitamin B-12. 
  • Raw Blue Agave: Get out of the mindset of using sugar! There is a plant based alternative that's just as sweet and is low GI, so this is great for a diabetic to use! 
  • Raw Organic Honey: This sweetens and its medicinal! 
  • Coconut Oil: Consider a plant based oil, and get rid of the fatty oils that aren't good for you. Coconut oil is actually good for you and it doesn't deposit bad fat into your body. In fact, it helps you to lose weight! 
  • Flax Seed Oil: Get your omega 3's while replenishing your body with good fatty acids. 
  • Hemp Seed Oil: This oil, while from cannabis, is really good for your health...and it's legal! There are no hallucinogens involved with this oil. With a pleasant nutty flavor, Hemp Seed Oil is ideal for use in salad dressings, mayonnaise, dips etc. It is not suitable for frying as this reduces the benefits. (Hemp seeds have the same nutritional effect as hemp seed oil).
Now of course this doesn't complete the grocery list by any means, and the foods I'll make will cause for actual fruits and/or veggies too. I usually buy these in bulk and freeze them so that I always have them on hand for smoothies or other meals as necessary. Take a walk through my refrigerator. 

TIP: If you haven't figured it out by now, the best way to be successful at being raw, is to be organized. Don't wait until the last minute for anything, including grocery shopping. Keep somethings on hand at all times. Always remember you can store dried goods in glass containers and freeze fresh produce.

Listed below are the online stores I shop at. I compare prices between these sites and my local health food stores and get what's less expensive at the time, where applicable.

Please Note: If you can afford organic, please try to buy organic and definitely buy RAW when possible. Buying raw is essential to having a "raw food lifestyle". Its the key element, as you are to buy raw foods, because it is in its purest form. Understandably everyone cannot afford to buy organic, so buy what you can that is organic and compare prices, catch sales and rack up when there are sales, that's what I do.  

Last but certainly not least. Three more things are in my kitchen that I find I can't live without...
  • Dehydrator: A dehydrator is typically used to dry food. It's how you get dried fruit. However, I will show you how to use it to un-cook! It will be necessary, if you're interested in making any breads and crackers. I will try to always provide alternative ways to make things, but sometimes there may not be an alternative and an actual dehydrator will be necessary. I also use my dehydrator to eat "warm" food. That's right! Just cause you're eating raw, doesn't mean it has to be cold! 
  • Spirulizer: A spirulizer is a kitchen gadget that can turn veggies into pasta shapes. It's how I make my raw fettuchini alfredo and my raw spaghetti.  You should get one of these little gadgets, you won't miss pasta ever again! 
  • Vitamix: This blender is used for everything from making smoothies, to making the batter for brownies. I rarely use my food processor! I just throw everything in my vitamix and voila! It really cuts the time down that I'm in the kitchen. It minces, mixes, grates, purees, you name does it! I seriously, can't even remember what life was like before it...its just a lil piece of heaven, it is!

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