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Archive for December, 2010

Sorry for the lack of posts, but I’ve been busy attempting to dehydrate things.

As part of our mission to transition to a raw diet, we bought a dehyrdator. Apparently, it’s one of the necessary tools for cooking raw meals. However, I am starting to think that both dehydrating foods and eating a raw diet are lost causes.

Eating raw is a lot more complicated than it sounds. You’d think that not cooking would be a lot easier and less time-consuming than cooking every meal. Au contrair! Raw meals require all sorts of preparation, from soaking nuts for 12 hours to dehydrating all sorts of random ingredients for up to 24 hours. Then you have to keep reminding yourself that everything is raw.

Take our first attempt at a raw meal, for example. We decided to try “Zucchini Spaghetti,” because it didn’t require any dehydration or extensive soaking of nuts. The meal is essentially shredded zucchini mixed with chopped mushrooms, homemade pesto sauce, and sun-dried tomatoes. One ingredient in the pesto sauce is garlic. Now we’re big fans of garlic, so we typically double what the recipe calls for in most of our meals. Not a good idea in raw meals. The pesto sauce was so potent, we were tasting garlic on our breath for days afterward. I felt bad for the people who had to sit near me at lunch. We tried making the meal a second time with about half the garlic that the recipe called for. The meal was much tastier but still got old fast and still had a very potent garlicky aftertaste.

Skip to last night, our latest attempt at a raw meal: Live Garden burgers with Jicama “fries” dipped in “ketchup” on the side. The burgers were basically ground up carrots, almonds, an onion, and various spices, which we mixed up and then shaped into patties. The fries were slices of Jicama dipped in ketchup made from re-hydrated dried tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, raisins, and spices. We each ate about five bites before we could eat no more. And now, over 12 hours of tooth-brushing, Listerine, and cups of coffee later, I still taste the raw onion.

I admit the problem could be lack of experience on our end. Maybe we need more time to hone the craft and figure out what works and what doesn’t. But I have to say the raw recipe book is not helping. For example, the recipe for the ketchup called for “1/4 Apple Cider Vinegar.” One-fourth of what? A cup? A tablespoon? When it comes to vinegar, that could make or break the recipe. On top of that, most of the recipes have 20+ ingredients, some of which we don’t even know where to find. Whole Foods has a wide selection, but it doesn’t have everything. All around, the meals are very labor-intensive, which is hard when you both work full-time. A second, simple raw meal recipe book may be in our future.

We haven’t given up on the dehydrator yet, though we have yet to successfully dehydrate anything. Our experiment with cranberries went horribly wrong: after 24 hours of running the loud machine, we still had 90% of the cranberries intact. I don’t even want to know how much this thing drains the electricity – if we base it on how loud it is, I would say a lot. Guess we’ll find out when we get our electric bill.

So what I’m getting at is, although a raw diet is great in theory, it’s not so great in practice. Our raw diet may end up being limited to milk, salads, and guacamole!

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