Five ways to save time in a raw food kitchen

I spent months deliberating when would be the ‘right time’ to begin eliminating my medication. I was fearful that a major health change might negatively impact my studies, and wondered if the risk of relapse was too high. Was it better to wait until I finished school?

In the end, I decided that waiting another six to eight months to heal myself was far too long.  There was never going to be an optimal time to make this dramatic change. What could be a higher priority than addressing my own physical well-being, as comprehensively as I can, right now?

Also, how could I suggest my future clients use food to heal health issues, when I hadn’t fully gone down that road myself?

Our health is important. And yes, it takes time. But if we don’t make the time for our health now, we’ll undoubtedly have to make time later for diseases.

That being said, a healthy raw food lifestyle doesn’t mean being a slave to food preparation. Un-cooking shouldn’t take more time than cooking with heat. Plus, unless you’re dehydrating, you can eat the results right away – instead of waiting for a dish to be cooked.

Here are a few ways I’ve learned to save time in the kitchen:

1. Prepare in advance as much as possible. Raw food is living food. You can’t make two weeks worth and stash it in the freezer. However, that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of time fixing meals every day. Most raw food will last for a few days, so if you prepare a bunch of meals at once, you’ll only need to carve out prep time two days a week.

2. Make simple dishes with whole foods. As I learned at the RAW Foundation and Organic Lives, raw food doesn’t have to be complicated. Changing up the spices can yield drastic results, so you can make meals without a lot of ingredients, work, or fuss. And when using whole foods, you don’t need to do lot of processing – you simply create new textures and flavours.

3. Patés are your friends. Nut and vegetable patés are fantastic because the instructions for most of them read, ‘Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth’. It doesn’t get much easier or quicker than that! Plus, patés are completely versatile – they can be spread in wraps or sushi, dolloped atop salads or used as a dip for crackers and vegetables.

4. Dehydrate in large batches. If you have a food dehydrator, think big. Whether you’re drying soaked nuts and seeds, crackers, granola or chips, make lots and keep them stored in glass jars. Since they’re dry, they’ll last awhile, and you’ll be able to grab ingredients as you need them.

5. Plan ahead. I hadn’t used a meal plan before Jen designed one for me, and let me tell you it’s the greatest thing ever. I’m not sitting in front of the fridge wondering what I can cobble together for dinner. With a menu plan, I’ve got the ingredients I need for the week – all I need to do is actually prepare the food.

What would you add to this list?

This post is part of a month-long series about exploring the raw food lifestyle. With the help of holistic nutritionist Jennifer Trecartin, I’m doing a 28-day raw food healing challenge to improve my Crohn’s disease. At the end of the month, I hope to transition off my medication, which I have been taking since I was 18.

Click here if you’d like to check out other posts in the series. And if you don’t want to miss a post, please consider subscribing to my blog, either my email (at the top right of this page) or in a reader.

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4 Responses to Five ways to save time in a raw food kitchen

  1. Junia @ Mis Pensamientos June 24, 2011 at 9:28 pm #

    thanks for this post! i’ve never had a nut pate before. actually i’ve never had any sort of pate before! i am intrigued!

    • Sondi Bruner June 24, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

      Nut pates are awesome – so simple and tasty.

  2. India-leigh@aveganobsession June 25, 2011 at 3:50 am #

    Sondie, your post is very interesting. I hope you manage to become free of the meds. It is great that you are blogging about your experience and giving access of the results to others, especially those who have suffered from Crohns. Best of luck.

    • Sondi Bruner June 25, 2011 at 8:43 am #

      Thank you so much! I hope I’ll be able to get rid of the meds, too – I definitely believe I’m on the right path.