Raw Foods Class Part 1

My Whole Foods Cooking Class is complete, and right away the following Monday I started my Raw Foods class! THIS is the class I’ve been looking forward to since I signed up in Nov. 2013 for my Holistic Nutrition certificate. There were two recommended books for this class, so I bought them both from Amazon and they arrived by Wednesday and Thursday of last week. I started reading “Becoming Raw” first, and I’m already in love! If you want to incorporate more raw foods into your diet, learn about the benefits of raw foods, and get some great recipes to get you going… THIS is the book for you! I can’t wait to continue reading!

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When the “Going Raw” book arrived, I flipped through all the pages and drooled over the amazing recipes – EVERYTHING looked and sounded SO GOOD. The food styling is incredible, which helps! The next month is a BUSY one in the Zucchini Runner house, so I’m not sure how many I’ll get to try, but I’m excited for when I do!

In the meantime, I want to share the first new, raw recipe I tried last week as part of my homework for my raw foods class. It was Cauliflower Tabbouleh and I can’t wait to tell you about this haha. I found the recipe in my email Inbox, sent to me by My Fitness Pal; before I got the cookbooks in the mail. So, I already had all the ingredients and didn’t want to change it up last minute or potentially waste anything.

This recipe was prepared almost exactly as the original – the biggest change was leaving out the kalamata olives. I DID find raw olives at Whole Foods, but they were $8.50 for a small jar. Now, I don’t know about you, but the tabbouleh I’ve always had, never had olives! So I felt perfectly fine leaving them out. 🙂

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Here is a link to the full recipe if you are interested.

Here is my version:

Combine in a food processor for cauliflower mixture
1 med. head of cauliflower (I’d say approximately 6 cups or less. The goal is to create cauliflower rice, so you may have to process this in batches like I did, depending on the size of your food processor. Just wait until the last batch to add the below 3 ingredients. See slideshow below.)
1 c. fresh parsley
½ c. packed fresh mint leaves
3 green onions, coarsely sliced to fit into the processor

Dressing – combine in a small bowl and whisk together
3 small cloves of garlic, pressed
¼ c. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp. freshly grated turmeric
½ tsp. pink Himalayan salt
¼ tsp. black pepper

Stir into cauliflower mixture, along with prepared dressing
1 c. tomatoes, diced (may want to add more…)
1 c. cucumber, peeled and chopped (may want to add more…)

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At first taste, I really liked the flavor and actually liked it better than traditional tabbouleh. I ate a heaping serving of it a few hours before my night trail race Saturday… which I thought might not be a great idea… but I went with it and I was ok. 🙂 I thought it would be refreshing AFTER the race too. (Well, as it turned out, I ate a bunch of junk from the after race food bar and wasn’t hungry when I got home.)

BUT yesterday morning when I woke up, I had a big bowl, topped with some almonds. This is where it gets interesting. When I walked into the kitchen, it smelled like rotting veggies. I opened the fridge and WHAM it was WAY worse. Cauliflower. Why does something that tastes so good, and is so good for you, smell SO BAD? 😐 It was pretty awful, but luckily I was familiar with the smell, and knew it wasn’t actually rotten. (I had to convince Mr. Zucchini Runner otherwise, later in the day.) But he had the same realization I did… ‘it smells so bad, but still tastes so great!’ haha I think cauliflower is the only veg that can get away with that… and maybe broccoli. 😉

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As I said above, I would have preferred more tomato and cucumber and less cauliflower, but it was still really good. I thought this recipe would be really easy to make too, but the cauliflower kept getting stuck in the food processor – so definitely cut the chunks smaller than you think you should. (Unless of course you have a super awesome food processor. I think mine is pretty basic and small, so that could have been the source of my frustration.) I also thinking mixing up the dressing ingredients ahead of time in a bowl would have made the instructions for the original recipe flow better.

All in all, I’m happy with my first raw foods recipe!

Our teacher also challenged us to start a food journal, which would track how you felt before, during and after you eat each meal. I haven’t been that diligent yet, but I HAVE tried to pay more attention to what I eat and when. For instance, we have those Late July chips that are a staple in our pantry. I always seem to scarf them down mindlessly, and then catch myself halfway through thinking, “Why am I eating these… do I really like them…?” And then I keep EATING THEM.

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So this week, I’ve tried to only eat them with salsa, or homemade guacamole and limit how many I eat.

I’ve also tried to pay attention to the emotions I’m feeling when I choose to eat a certain food. I think I will need to write those down, in order to see a pattern. It’s all about slow and moderate change for me! Have you ever kept a food journal? Did you find it helpful or eye opening?

Will you join me this week and try to incorporate more raw foods – specifically fresh organic produce – into your diet? In an attempt to be more consistent with juicing, we borrowed a juicer from a friend of ours. We have a centrifugal juicer, which produces juice quickly but also adds some heat to the juice and should be consumed within 20 minutes to avoid nutrient loss. The juicer we are borrowing is a masticating juicer, which is suppose to retain more of the nutrients of the fruits and veggies, can last up to 3 days AND can also do greens! Our current juicer, doesn’t do greens. 🙁

Pretty colors!

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Look at all that chlorophyll! Before you curl your lip and judge… keep reading… 🙂

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Did you know that chlorophyll is called the “green blood” for plants since it is so similar in structure to human hemoglobin? The only difference is the center atom of each; chlorophyll has magnesium at the center and hemoglobin has iron at the center. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that chlorophyll provides our bodies incredible health benefits. Top of the list are blood cleanser, blood builder, and an alkaline and oxygen booster. Disease-promoting bacteria cannot live in the presence of oxygen or an alkaline environment. So the more chlorophyll we consume, the higher our bodies’ alkalinity and therefore immunity. Sorry, I had to share that fun fact!! Once I stirred it all up, it was a beautiful purple!

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BONUS: This morning I made an ALL GREEN JUICE. To my surprise, it tasted GREAT!

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I even drank 1/4 of it before I could photograph it!

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Happy (hopeful) raw adventures to you!

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