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Easiest Way to Eat 80% Raw Vegan This Summer (+ Why You'll Want To)

Written by Caroline DiNicola Fawley
Easiest Way to Eat 80% Raw Vegan This Summer (+ Why You'll Want To)

Quick Take

Loving your plant-based diet and wondering if you should up the ante with some raw vegan foods, too? The answer is – yes! And summer is the perfect time to eat a more raw vegan diet, since fresh fruits and veggies are abundant. So let's dive into some of the benefits of a raw vegan diet (hello, healthy gut biome!), plus the easiest and more delicious ways to add more raw vegan foods to your plate this summer. 

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On This Page

Why not 100 percent raw vegan or 100 percent cooked?

What foods are considered part of a raw vegan diet?

Benefits raw vegan diet: why eat this way?

How to eat 80 percent raw vegan this summer: recipes for raw vegan diet

Ease into your raw vegan diet

Key takeaways

Why not 100 percent raw vegan diet or 100 percent  cooked?

Raw vegan diets are popular, and very healthy. And if you want to go all in – 100 percent – that's great. But we're here to guide you in making the best choice for your health and body. 

Did you know that the nutrients from fruits and veggies absorb differently based on whether they're exposed to heat or not? Not to mention, nutrients are absorbed by your body differently depending on HOW they are cooked. Steamed, boiled, baked, fried…all of that makes a difference. So getting some cooked veggies into your diet is important, just like it’s important to enjoy raw vegan foods for your gut flora and heart, but we will get to that. 


What foods are considered part of a raw vegan diet?

Raw foods simply means anything that has not been cooked above 118 degrees Fahrenheit. So anything fried, roasted, sautéed, baked, or grilled is not considered raw.

Dehydrated foods are raw, because they do not exceed 118 degrees during the dehydration process. 

Why 118? Raw foodists believe this will preserve nutrients and enzymes.

Benefits raw vegan diet: why eat this way?

When you consume a raw foods diet, it is implied that you are eating mostly plant based foods. Some people on a raw diet will eat raw fish here and there, but generally speaking it’s focused around team vegan. Because there is such a high concentration of plant foods in the raw diet, there are many benefits that come from just eating mostly vegan foods alone. There are, however, some benefits that come from eating raw plant-based foods as well. 

1. Heart health

Raw foods are typically plant-based, and plant based foods are high in fiber, low in fat, and amazing for your heart health. In addition, raw foods are not cooked in oil, which is high in fat and low in nutritional value, so a raw diet, is incredibly heart healthy. 

2. Weight loss

Again, a raw diet consists mostly of fruits and veggies, so it is an idea weight loss diet. Contrary to popular belief, starchy veggies like potatoes and corn, and sugary fruits like bananas and strawberries are actually incredible for weight loss. They are low in fat, and high in fiber and help to regulate a healthy weight

3. Lowers risk of diabetes

After hearing “starchy” and “sugary” you’re probably thinking…wow, this diet must be terrible for those with diabetes – or those hoping to avoid the disease. Au contraire, mon ami! A plant based diet is a fantastic way to lower your changes of, and even reverse type 2 diabetes. That’s right…REVERSE! Just be sure to keep your doctor in the loop, so you can go off your insulin when appropriate (your body will start making its own very quickly!). 

4. Improved digestion

This is perhaps the most exciting result of eating more raw vegan foods. Do you take a probiotic supplement? Do you ever wonder why you need one…why wouldn't our bodies take care of this on their own through evolution? Well, as it turns out, raw plant foods are prebiotics and are turned into probiotics in our gut! That’s right, the ferment in just the right way, giving your body all that good bacteria in needs to flourish a healthy gut microbiome. 


 

How to eat 80 percent raw vegan this summer: recipes for raw vegan diet

Breakfast

This is perhaps the easiest one of the day. Who doesn’t love fresh fruit, avocado toast, and overnight oats? Here are some basic combos that make for a delicious and nutritious raw vegan breakfast! 

Toast

avo toast

  • Avocado toast: Whole grain toast (cooked) topped with avocado (raw) and red or green onion (raw)
  • Cashew cream cheese toast: Whole grain toast (cooked) topped cashew cream cheese (raw) and tomato slices (raw)
  • Hummus toast: Whole grain toast (cooked) topped with hummus (cooked), sliced cucumber (raw) and sprouts (raw)

Dairy-free Shakes

smoothies

  • Vanilla: 2 frozen bananas (raw), 1 cup of non-dairy milk (cooked unless fresh), ½ a teaspoon of vanilla extract (cooked), 1 tablespoon of chia seeds (raw). 
  • Chocolate peanut butter: 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter (cooked unless fresh), 2 Tablespoons of cacao (raw), 2 frozen bananas (raw), 1 cup of non-dairy milk (cooked unless fresh).
  • Berry: 1 frozen banana (raw), ½ cup of berry of choice (raw), 1 cup of nondairy milk (raw), 1 tablespoon of hemp seeds (raw).
  • Sweet flax smoothie: 1 frozen banana (raw), 1 cup of non dairy milk (cook unless fresh), 1 tablespoon of raw flaxmeal (raw), ½ a teaspoon of vanilla extract (cooked), 1 medjool date (raw). 

Breakfast bowl

oats

  • You can also make overnight oats, or overnight chia pudding
  • My favorite go-to breakfast, is a heaping bowl full of fresh fruit (raw), sprinkled with hemp seeds (raw) or sided with a spoonful of peanut butter (raw or cooked). 

How to make raw vegan coffee creamer or non-dairy milk: 

coffee creamer

  • Soak ½ a cup of raw cashews (raw) overnight. Rinse and place in high speed blender, covered with fresh water. Add 1 tablespoon of date sugar (raw), and a pinch of sea salt. Blend oh a high speed until creamy. Blend for an additional 15 seconds. Add water as needed. Enjoy in your coffee (cooked). Thin out with water to use as non-dairy milk. 

Lunch

Salads

Salads are an easy go-to for lunch, because you can prepare the ahead of time, and they’re easy to through together. Here is our basic formula for building a filling (mostly) raw vegan salad salad: 

  • Base: Leafy greens, the darker and spicier the better!
  • Chopped raw veggies: at least 1 cup full. These can include tomatoes, cucumbers, shredded carrots, red peppers, onion, celery, etc.
  • Fruit: strawberries, blueberries, apricot, pomegranate seeds, and raspberries. These pair well with a light lemon-based dressing.
  • Roasted veggies: I love a good roasted brussel sprout, sauteed mushroom, veggie patty, marinated tempeh or tofu, or carmelized onion to top a salad. Give it a try!
  • Seeds and nuts: toasted or raw, seeds and nuts give your salad a nice crunch and texture.
  • Dressing: Check out our favorite MamaSezz Oil-free dressings and spreads
  • (optional): Beans or hummus, about ¼-½ a cup

Sandwiches

vegan sandwich

Don't you just love easy formulas? Here's another one for building the ultimate plant-based sandwich, that just so happens to be mostly raw.

  • Base: Whole grain bread, lettuce wrap, corn tortilla, whole grain wrap 
  • Raw fillings: Shredded carrots, cucumber, leafy greens, tomato, shredded beets, red onion
  • Cooked veggies: mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, tofu, tempeh, beans or hummus
  • Sauces: Check out our favorite MamaSezz Oil-free dressings and spreads

Dinner

Pasta

zoodles

Zoodles (zucchini noodles) topped with:

  • Raw: cashew cream, basil, cherry tomatoes, arugula, spinach, pine nuts, olives
  • Cooked: Mushrooms sautéed in tamari and garlic powder, roasted red peppers, tomato sauce, sautéed garlic, red onions, artichoke hearts 

Buddha Bowl

buddha bowl base

Although people have been making one bowl vegetarian meals cross-culturally for centuries, they gained popularity in the United States in 2013 when the term “Buddha Bowl” was coined. Buddha Bowls often consist of grains and vegetables aesthetically arranged in one bowl, drizzled with a sauce or dressing. They're a great way to eat 80 percent raw vegan – and load up on plant-based foods!

  • Raw fillings: Shredded carrots, cucumber, leafy greens, tomato, shredded beets, red onion
  • Cooked veggies: mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, tofu, tempeh, beans or hummus

Snacks

fruit

Fresh veggies with hummus

  • Cucumber
  • Carrot sticks
  • Celery
  • Red peppers

Fresh fruit

  • Cherries
  • Watermelon
  • Apples
  • Frozen grapes
  • Peaches
  • Mango 

Smoothies

  • Fresh or frozen fruit with water, non dairy milk or fresh juice

Ease into your raw vegan diet

Baby step #1: your raw vegan challenge

Each of these meals had both raw and cooked components. It’s so easy (especially in the winter) to stick only to cooked foods, but I challenge you to try and incorporate at least one raw component into each of your meals to start. From there, you can keep bumping it up until you reach 80 percent.

Pro Tip for raw vegan beginners

If you eat entirely cooked foods for one meal, focus on eating mostly raw foods for your next meal. Be sure to never see your food choices as “failure” just because it’s off track of your goal. Any small change you make is making a difference. Praise yourself for making these changes, and continue to be confident and adaptable.

Key takeaways

  • A raw vegan diet is a great way to boost your heart health, improve your gut biome and improve digestion, lose weight naturally, and decrease your risk for Type 2 Diabetes. 
  • You don't have to go 100 percent raw vegan to reap the benefits of raw vegan diet! 
  • The summer is the perfect time to incorporate more raw foods into your life as so many delicious fruits and veggies are easily found locally in-season. 

**

By Caroline DiNicola Fawley

Caroline is a plant-based chef, recipe designer, and whole food plant-based nutrition educator, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies

 

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