Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Exploring Seasonal Raw Food

After experimenting with several different gluten-free flours over the last year and a half and still finding myself feeling "off" after eating them, I realized I might need to take a different approach to baking. 

The first avenue I tried was whether or not starches were causing the uneasy feeling I felt  in my stomach after a snack or meal. I cut out potatoes and flour blends that included potato starch and found that sure enough, that was part of the issue. So, I switched to recipes that only contained almond or pecan flours. I also tried to cut back on the amount of rice and brown rice pasta I was eating to see if that would make a difference. 

On a flight this summer, I happened to pick up Whole Living Magazine and loved the articles on healthy living. This month they featured Whole Living Magazine's No-Cook Recipes. After reading the article on raw food, I realized that it might be a way to incorporate all of the seasonal food I enjoy eating while steering clear of any food intolerances with allergy season coming into full swing. 

I headed to Whole Earth where I had remembered seeing a couple of raw food cookbooks and started my research. After eating raw for a few days in a row last week I can tell you that I never felt better. My goal is to incorporate as many raw meals into my diet as I can. The best part about eating a raw diet is that it takes advantage of seasonal produce, is whole foods based and is generally easy to prepare if you've got a food processor, some patience and a sharp knife! Most recipes are easy for a child to prepare with you and could make for some quick snacks and meals. 

I started with a very easy breakfast that would also make for a great snack, Strawberry Oat Bars (strawberries are Clay's favorite fruit), and made my own seasonal version with Texas pecans, fresh dates from Lightsey Farms, sliced apples, cinnamon and nutmeg and a drizzle of real maple syrup. 

Have a favorite raw food recipe, cookbook or tip? Leave me a comment below. I'd love to hear from you.

Strawberry Oat Bars
Adapted from Whole Living's Strawberry Oat Bars
Makes 6 bars

1 1/2 cups pitted dried dates (or around 8-10 pitted dates) **dates are in season at the farmers' market right now
1/4 - 1/2 cup Crispy Texas Pecans from Wheatsville
2 TBSP gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup of hulled strawberries, thinly sliced
pinch of sea salt

1. Pulse dates, nuts, oats and salt in a food processor until combined. 
2. Press the mixture onto a Silpat or non-stick surface and shape into a rectangular "crust".
3. Mash 1/2 of the strawberries in a bowl and spread the mixture on top of the date mixture. Layer the sliced strawberries on top. 
4. Use a pizza cutter to slice into 6 rectangles. Store in the fridge with pieces of parchment between them if needed. 

Raw Food Cookbooks
Raw Food Recipe Blogs to Explore for Fall

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