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Raw Transformations

The health benefits associated with a balanced raw food diet are numerous and include a healthier weight and reduced fatigue.

But aside from bright eyes and luminous skin, raw food diets have been shown to improve the well being in individuals with serious chronic illnesses, such as fibromyalgia and diabetes.

The former, often defined by overactive nerves and constant, widespread pain, can be debilitating to those afflicted and currently has no cure. However, improvement has been found in cases with diet changes and daily exercise regimes.

While each individual is sensitive to different foods, many people with fibromyalgia have felt their ability to function on a daily basis has significantly increased after adopting a raw, plant based diet.

Raw eating methods aren’t the answer for all foods, as key ingredients in some vegetables are only unlocked once cooked. Still, there are a decent amount of foods that retain nutrients better when eaten raw. Some plant foods actually lose nutrients when they are cooked and, in the case of nuts, have their health benefits reversed. Foods that are best eaten raw include broccoli, garlic, and cacao.

Eating food in its bare form doesn’t mean you are limited to a veggie platter or fruit salad.

Many raw food enthusiasts enjoy their daily dainties just like anyone else and raw food diets can include cookies, cakes, and chocolate as well. In some cases preparation is actually faster and you don’t have to wait around for your food to bake in the oven. This can also increase savings on your electricity bill. Because of this, raw food meals are not only suitable for the day to day, but can be incorporated into birthdays and holidays as well.

Naturally, cakes are a great staple for celebrations, if not the cause in themselves, and that goes for festivities in the raw as well.

The following recipe was inspired by one of the Rawtarian’s delectable chocolate cakes. Enjoy.

Chocolate Cake
1-1/2 cups pecans
1 -1/2 cups almonds
1 -1/2 cups pitted cherries
1 -1/2 cups raisins
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla

Using a food processor or (for a smaller amount) coffee grinder, grind the cashews and almonds to a flour-like consistency. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until a thick dough forms. Shape the mixture any way you like. You can also place it into a mold to chill for an hour or so. And no festivity would be complete without a dollop of “ice cream” on top.  So, to upgrade your raw treats to “a la mode” status, you need only to invest in a good raw ice cream recipe. As follows:

Strawberry Ice Cream
2 frozen bananas
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until all is thick and creamy. To alter the texture, add some almond milk, one tablespoon at a time, to make the ice cream smoother and less thick. Serve immediately, alone or perched on a piece of raw cake or pie. Or enjoy a scoop floating in a mug of natural, sugar free root beer.

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