What is a Raw Vegan Diet?

         If cooking isn’t on your list of top priorities or if it’s a particularly sweltering day, then the idea of not having to roast vegetables or fry up some crispy tofu sounds pretty appealing. Maybe you occasionally eschew cooking for plant-based smoothies and salads. If that’s the case, then you’ve already dabbled in raw veganism. But, what does a strictly raw vegan diet entail?


What is a Raw Vegan Diet?

       A raw vegan diet consists of food that is eaten uncooked or heated at temperatures below 104 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit. The idea is that cooking food destroys its nutrients, which is true in some cases—but not all.

       Raw diets tend to be low in processed foods. That means that all roasted, steamed, fried, sautéed, boiled, pressure-cooked, seared, broiled, or grilled foods are off the table—so, no roasted vegetables, grilled veggie burgers, cooked grains and beans, pasta, bread, most kinds of nut butters, jams, vegan ice cream, or pasteurized non-dairy milk. It also, naturally, means no animal products, including honey. It typically excludes table salt, but some raw vegans might use Himalayan pink or sea salt.

       Proponents of a raw vegan diet tend to be motivated by health. Food preparation can involve blending, juicing, soaking, sprouting, fermenting, and dehydrating instead of traditional cooking methods.

So what can Raw Vegans Eat?

          With so many “no” foods, what, exactly, can a raw vegan eat? Breakfast could be a smoothie made with frozen bananas, fresh berries, spinach, and raw almond butter or smashed avocado with minced cilantro and diced tomatoes over raw bread made from nuts and seeds in a dehydrator.

           Lunch could be a chopped broccoli salad with red cabbage, diced shallots, unroasted sunflower seeds, dried fruit, and raw vegan cheese, dressed in cold-pressed olive oil, lemon juice, fresh garlic, and raw tahini. Or, you could have raw vegan soup. For dinner, you could make Raw Vegan Tostadas. And for dessert? These No-Bake Vegan Pies


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