So, it’s more than halfway through February. Have you given up on your New Year’s resolution to eat healthier? If you need another kick start to nutritious eating, Siegren Johnson, raw chef of TRU Cuisine in Scottsdale, has offered to share a handful of tips for going raw (plus a tasty hummus recipe!)
5 simple ways to add more raw foods into your diet:
1. Start your morning with a green smoothie. Adding more greens into your diet is easy when you can enjoy them in a sweet, frosty drink. Try one of Chef Johnson’s favorites, The Green Goddess. In a blender, combine two handfuls of spinach, a large sliced banana, one sweet apple, one cup of pure water and a half cup of ice. Blend until smooth.
2. Eliminate dairy from your diet. Dairy is acidifying to our bodies, which can weaken our immune systems. Try replacing milk with almond milk like Almond Breeze, or make your own by blending raw almonds with pure water. Instead of cheese, try Dr. Cow nut cheeze or Daiya vegan cheese which is made from cassava root. Raw cheeses are also simple to create using nuts and herbs.
3. Take raw snacks to work or school. Pack fruit, flax crackers or veggies (and zucchini hummus–recipe below) to munch on during your day. If you take the time to plan ahead, not only will you increase your intake of healthy, nutrition packed raw foods, you will also be less likely to binge on fatty convenience foods around the office or classroom.
4. Add one complete raw meal to your day. Start with a simple lunch, like a colorful salad. Then try a creative dinner for your family. (Visit www.trucuisine.com for free raw recipes.)
5. Get support. Join your local raw meetup site, attend raw potlucks, take classes. Meeting people who are also making an effort to improve their health through raw foods can help to provide you with motivation, resources and support.
Zucchini Hummus by Raw Chef Siegren Johnson of TRU Cuisine, Scottsdale
One medium zucchini (about a cup), peeled and diced
½ cup of raw tahini
Juice of half a large lemon
½ tablespoon of ground cumin
One teaspoon Celtic sea salt
2 tablespoons of cold pressed olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
In a food processor, combine all ingredients. If hummus consistency is too thin, let the mixture set in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.
Note: Chef Johnson choses to share this raw recipe because of its versatility. It can be served with crudités or flax chips and is also great when used in wraps. Best of all, it’s completely bean & nut free! This hummus is always a hit at parties and family functions.
Foodie news roundup for the week of Feb. 19: Tempe Marketplace brunch, Hotel Valley Ho, ZuZu, IHOP International Pancake Day, Finestre Modern Gastronomy, The Market Restaurant + Bar Phoenix, Woody’s Macayo Mexican Restaurants, Two Brothers Tap House & Brewery