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If you enjoy a raw food diet for energetic or nutritional benefits, you might understand that it can be tough to stick with a raw food diet throughout the year, especially in the winter. Don’t feel bad about enjoying a cooked meal with friends or family, especially during the holidays when it is cold outside. The occasional cooked meal won’t ruin your energy levels or send you into a tailspin of junk food munching if you incorporate a mix of both raw and cooked foods in your diet during the winter season.

Ther are a few things you can do to stay on track and ensure that the majority of your diet is fresh from the garden or orchard. First and foremost, commit to a raw breakfast such as a smoothie or fresh fruit and veggies with nuts, seeds, and even sprouted grains. If your first meal of the day is made up of fresh fruits and veggies, you have already won half the battle – and your fresh breakfast will set you up for making good food decisions for the rest of the day. Keep cut of veggies, hummus, and fresh fruit with you while you’re on the run is a sure-fire way to stay on the right track too.

But if you’re craving comfort food, you’ll need to keep some special tricks in mind to make your dishes more satisfying than cut fruits and veggies alone. Here are some helpful tips:

1. Pulse Your Processor


Your food processor has the power to really mix things up when it comes to creating comforting raw meals. Pulse mushrooms to create a rich base for chili – just add chopped tomatoes, cilantro, cumin, and salt to taste. Chop up some sunflower seeds to make yourself a satisfying mock tuna salad – add chopped onion, garlic, chives, and some salt to seal the deal. The possibilities are endless here! Try using your food processor to make Raw Harvest soup, which is especially handy if you don’t want to pull out your blender or don’t have a high speed blender to do the job.

Wilt Away

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Wilting your greens is an excellent way to add some warmth and depth to your meals. Marinade thin strips of kale, collards, or chard in a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, and a little Chinese 5-spice for added flavor.

You can also:

  • Put shredded cabbage and a little veggie broth in a pot on the stove while the oven is on to very slightly warm the cabbage up.
  • Blend lemon juice and almonds to a yogurt-like consistency and toss with green or red leaf lettuce and allow the greens marinade until they wilt.
  • Soak bok choy in soy sauce, ginger, and a little fresh orange juice to create “stir-fry” greens.

Dig into Dehydrating


You have probably enjoyed your fair share of dehydrated foods like crackers and pizza crusts, but those aren’t the only way a dehydrator can comfort you throughout the year. After whipping up a bowl of raw sweet potato spaghettizucchini pasta feast or a sundried tomato hummus, why not use your dehydrator to warm it up instead of using the oven?  The oven cooks food at too high temperatures to be considered raw. A dehydrator warms them up just enough to take the chill off, yet still cooks them at low temperatures to keep their raw nutrients in tact.  Just a half an hour in your machine is all it takes to take cold food from chilling to warming. You can also use your deyhdrator to make comforting dishes like bread if you’re craving something hearty to go with your warmed hummus.

Get to Blending


Blending vegetables is a unique way to create smooth soups that will warm you up from the inside and give you that comfort food feeling all around. Smoothies are great but don’t always feel like true comfort food, despite they’re amazing for you and delicious. Use avocados and coconuts in your raw vegan soups since both help to make the concoctions creamy. Try Raw Creamy Mushroom Soup with Avocado Miso, Raw Green Pea Soup, or one of these options:

  • Blend spinach, avocado, lime juice, a tomato, cilantro, garlic, cumin, and salt to create a Southwestern soup.
  • Combine fresh coconut meat, broccoli, mushrooms, and curry powder to create a Thai dish.
  • Blend a bunch of fresh tomatoes, some sun dried tomatoes, a little basil, and a pinch of salt together to make your very own creamy tomato soup – simple!

Just about every veggie works well in blended soups. Try cucumber, carrots, and even sprouts! Fruits, such as mangoes, make for great gazpachos too.

Add Some Spices


Spicing up your food is sure to spice up your life. They have the power to make meals memorable, and provide plenty of health benefits too. Some spices, such as turmeric, has even known to have healing powers. Adding spices such as cinnamon, cloves, tarragon, cumin, and cardamom can transform your meals from bores to scores each and every time they are used. Stock up and experiment! Try Raw Cinnamon Chocolate Truffles for something sweet or Raw and Gluten-Free Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Butter for something creamy and satisfying on a raw cracker or piece of raw bread. A Green Ginger Super Smoothie is also nice with the warmth of ginger added, even during the chillier months.

With the help of these tips and tricks you can stay warm and tingly all winter long, and even during the summer when you’re simply in the mood for some comfort food.

Lead Image Source: Traditional Spaghetti Made Vegan With Raw Zucchini Noodles

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