Now don't freak out. I'm not actually "becoming raw."
But I must admit, I was hoping some folks would read the title and think for a second that I'm giving up fried tofu and butter-soymilk biscuits. Psyche! Don't worry. You can pry cooked vegan foods from my cold dead hands.
I am, however, trying to work more raw meals into my life. I've done away with Raw Food Tuesday, which some of y'all might remember as my monthly all-raw, one-day food cleanse. Instead, I'm trying to work a few mostly raw dinners and lunches into my regular routine ... rather than only eat raw for one day a month. A great resource for this new plan is Becoming Raw: The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina (hence the name of this post).
Becoming Raw is a new resource book/cookbook published by the Book Publishing Company in Summertown, Tennessee. The first 249 pages are purely informational, and I would guess that it may be one of the most exhaustive volumes on raw diets.
Everything you've ever wanted to know about the history of raw foodism, recommended carb and protein intakes, how the body detoxifies, what minerals are in which raw foods, how enzymes work, and hundreds of other topics are in this book. I especially loved the essay on why coconut oil is good for you in moderation despite its high saturated fat content. And the chapter busting raw safety food myths was loaded with interesting trivia. Who knew some people believe raw sprouts could be a potential source of bacteria? That's a myth the authors busted, by the way.
The back half of Becoming Raw contains recipes, a few of which are crossovers from the authors' other cookbook The Raw Food Revolution Diet. Flipping through to pick out a test recipe, I kept coming back to this Pesto and Sundried Tomato Pizza with Veggies:
The crispy, cracker-like "crust" is made from soaked and dehydrated buckwheat groats and sunflower seeds. Italian herbs lend the crust a pizza-like flavor. It's topped with an out-of-this-world sundried tomato sauce (which I think will be my new go-to raw marinara ... so good!) and pesto. For the veggies, I used diced red bell pepper, diced zucchini, grated carrot, and red onion. Those are marinated overnight in a delicious olive oil/vinegar marinade.
Though Becoming Raw doesn't have a ton of recipes, the ones the authors included sound amazing — Coconut Macaroons, Celeriac Linguine with Bolognese Sauce and Hemp Parmesan, Herbed Almond Cheese, Sunflower-Hemp Milk. Sound delicious? Told ya so.
If I ever decided to give up cooked food (don't hold your breath), Becoming Raw would be the source I'd turn to for vital information about maintaining health on a raw or high-raw diet. It's like a freakin' encycolpedia of rawsome-ness.