There are so many myths surrounding healthy food and raw food in particular. We hear them every day, online, in questions sent to us, or in person, by our patients and families. Some of those myths are:
- Myth N°1: It does not taste good; it’s flavorless.
- Myth N°2: It is boring and I am always eating the same things.
- Myth N°3: It requires so much equipment.
- Myth N°4: It is very difficult, only a chef could do it.
At An Oasis of Healing, we have over 15 years of experience helping our patients and families prepare delicious raw vegan foods, with hands-on classes, expert tips, and simple-to-follow recipes, which we have decided to share with our readers. And although we do have amazing chefs in our kitchen, we know you do not need to be a chef or hire one in order to be able to make your own healthy and tasty raw vegan meals. Today we will cover the first myth.
Myth N°1 – It does not taste good; it’s flavorless.
If you follow our blog, you have probably seen and even tried some of the recipes that we have been sharing. If you tried those recipes, by now you know that this number 1 is a completely certain myth.
Raw vegan food can be as delicious if not even more tasteful than cooked food. This happens because we use organic ingredients, and many spices and herbs. Actually, spices and herbs are among the foods that provide you with enormous health benefits, while at the same time being the source of different flavors and inspiring different world cuisines.
For example, spices are amongst the best foods to reduce inflammation, and chronic inflammation is one of the biggest contributors to cancer development.
Spices, besides being tasty and adding delicious flavors to food, also demonstrate enormous health benefits, mostly associated with their bioactive components that help prevent and combat various diseases associated with chronic inflammation, including cancer. Some of the most used spices in culinary also exhibit biological activity, such as cinnamon, cumin, clove, ginger, turmeric, rosemary, black pepper, star anise, saffron, cardamom, fenugreek, fennel, etc.
Some of the most common spices used worldwide, such as turmeric, black pepper, and ginger, are also known for their anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties:
– Turmeric (Curcuma longa) – anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, insecticidal, antimutagenic, radioprotective, and anticancer properties
– Black pepper (Piper nigrum) – immunomodulatory, antioxidant, anti-asthmatic, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-ulcer properties
– Ginger (Zingiber officinale) – antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiproliferative properties
The same can be said of fresh or dehydrated herbs! Parsley, cilantro, oregano, basil, mint, etc., are nutritionally very rich! Much like a very concentrated leafy green! For example, a cup of raw parsley has twice the vitamin A, calcium, and folate, four times as much iron, six times as much vitamin K, and ten times as much vitamin C as a cup of raw spinach! So, make sure to add them generously to your meals!
To prove that raw vegan food can be both healthy and tasty, here is one of our patient’s favorite recipes, that we highly recommend you try and let us know what you think.
Lettuce Wraps (Yields 2 servings)
- 2 portobello mushrooms
- 1⁄2 cup walnuts
- 1 cup jicama, diced
- 2 Tbsp tamari
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 sprig of green onion
- 1 Tbsp chickpea miso
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 drops of stevia
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1⁄4 tsp garlic powder
- 1⁄4 tsp onion powder
- 1⁄2 tsp ginger, grated
- 2 1⁄2 tsp mustard
- 2 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp tamari
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp chili oil
- Boil the mushrooms for 7 minutes. Dice the portobello mushrooms and finely chop the walnuts. Use a food processor to chop the walnuts if you want to cut down on time.
- Transfer the portobello mushrooms, walnuts, and jicama into a bowl and add tamari and coconut vinegar. Mix well and let marinate for 30 minutes.
- Once all the ingredients are marinated, add in some sliced green onions. Mix up the ingredients for the sauce and pour over the mixture. Toss well until the sauce is evenly distributed.
- Line a dehydrator tray with a mesh sheet, then a silicone sheet. Spread out the mixture thinly and evenly. Put the tray in the dehydrator and dry at 105 for 2-3 hours.
- Once the filling is ready, mix up the drizzling sauce.
- To assemble, grab a piece of romaine lettuce, put some filling on top, top it with some green onions, and drizzle a little sauce over it.
Vanessa Pinto graduated with a degree in Biology and Masters in Ecology from Lisbon University. After graduating, she underwent a series of professional and personal growth experiences, including being an officer in the Portuguese Army, working in countries as diverse as Iceland and Costa Rica. Vanessa became certified as a Yoga and Meditation teacher in rural India.
Being a compassionate person by nature, Vanessa is able to bring her connectedness when working with others while enhancing the importance and practicality of a pragmatic evidence-based approach to facilitating lasting and permanent change. Vanessa is a certified health coach whose specialties are nutrition, exercise, and mind/ body connection. She works both in Portugal, Thailand and USA, where she develops her work closely with people diagnosed with cancer, mainly in the areas of nutrition, movement and health education.