The weather is chilly, and the fireplace calls you to enjoy a cozy and filling meal right in front of it. Yes, the fall season is upon us! Fall is the perfect time of year to create new raw comfort foods that can be enjoyed on those cold yet beautiful days, where all you want to do is cuddle up on the couch and throw a movie on the screen.

And raw comfort foods are a great way to introduce friends and family to the raw food lifestyle when the weather tends to stand against such a notion. After all, most people think of nothing more than a bowl of salad and a wedge of watermelon when they think of the raw food lifestyle.

While fresh fruits and veggies are certainly a staple of a raw food, there is always room for a little comfort food. Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to make your raw comfort foods shine this fall season and beyond:

1. Make Your Next Lasagna Luscious

Lasagna is filling, tasty, and comforting which are all the things that most people look for in a delicious fall meal. There are a myriad of lasagna recipes out there, but most of them tend to feature the same things—zucchini noodles, tomato sauce, and usually some kind of nut-based cheese sauce. This is a great start, but here is how you can really kick up your lasagna’s comfort factor:

  • Make lasagna noodles out of butternut squash instead of or in addition to zucchini.
  • Marinade portobella mushrooms slices and layer them between your noodles.
  • Add a layer of basil and pumpkin seed pesto to the top of the dish.

These easy additions will take your next lasagna meal from great to spectacular. You can’t overdo it here, so try them all at once if you dare!

2. Create the Perfect Comfort Casserole

Casseroles can be tricky to pull off, but the truth is that all you need is a really good base. You can chop or process cauliflower to make a rice casserole dish, spiralize squash or pumpkin to make a noodle casserole, or even dehydrate sweet potatoes for a classic potato casserole dish. Once you have your base down, use these ideas to spice things up:

  • Marinate your base in a little bit of olive oil and dried spices to make the noodles, rice, or potatoes niche and rich.
  • Make your casseroles hardier by adding sprouted legumes to them.
  • Juice celery and carrots to use as broth in your casseroles.

If you don’t have a dehydrator big enough to put your entire casserole dish in it, dehydrate some of the ingredients in your dish separately, like the base and tomatoes, before you put it all together for added texture and pleasure.

3. Soothe Those Chills with Some Soup

Fall, or any time of year when the weather is cool for that matter, is designed to be celebrated with soup! There are so many tasty options to consider when it comes to blending up raw versions of classic favorites. To kick things up a notch, try one or more of these ideas:

  • Add half a cup of coconut meat to green soups for added richness and a smoother texture.
  • Choose dense vegetables like broccoli and carrots whenever possible to ensure that your soup isn’t too watery.
  • Add a special taste and texture to soups with edible flowers.

And garlic cloves as well as sweet onions go a long way if you want to create a rich broth-like flavor.

Stocking your pantry with a variety of spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg will help you transform your raw comfort foods into holiday specific fare and elegant desserts too.

With these tips, you’ll get the best of both worlds – raw food to give you energy and comfort food to satisfy your soul!

Image Source: Raw Zucchini Noodles with Tomato Basil Sauce and Portobello Meatless Balls