Healthy Eating - Raw Food in Amsterdam
15 May 2013
If you think that eating raw can get boring after a while, you may be in for a surprise with the big selection of raw food restaurants in Amsterdam! It's important to know that a raw food diet does not consist of only eating salad alone. In fact, foods cooked under 40 degrees Celsius are still considered raw! Since the popularization of this eating style, many recipes have been created to make it diverse, tasty and anything but boring.
Healthy Eating - The Raw Facts of Uncooked Food
There are many methods used to prepare raw food, using appliances like blenders, food processers and juicers to make smoothies, salsas, raw hummus, soups, juices and raw pies. The photo above features the Spirolli, an appliance used to make raw spaghetti; dehydrators are essential for making raw food fruit chips, flax crackers, fruit leathers, dried herbs, cookies and kale chips. All these machines assure that foods will have different textures and forms.
Raw food preparation often requires longer, more expensive and more challenging preparation, but the results can be amazing. From cleaning, peeling and processing fruit and veg, to cleaning afterwards, ‘cooking’ raw food may take some hard work, and make a real mess! Often, if using a dehydrator, it may be a good idea to prepare your ingredients the day before, to make sure they are ready to consume. The good part is that you can prepare lots of very healthy raw snacks and store them for on the go! All that said, the health benefits of this lifestyle are amazing, so all this food preperation will be worth your while! After all, nothing really good comes easily ;)
Don't Judge a Book by its Cover
Check with some of the InLivin’ partners specializing in raw foods to try delicious raw food pies, chips, gRAWnola or spaghetti CarbonaRAW, and many chocolate specialties, including raw chocolate bonbons. Yes, raw foodies are very creative in creating special names for dishes that resemble the often unhealthy or processed versions available in supermarkets and restaurants. These dishes won’t actually have pasta or some other ingredients the name may suggest, but the final presentation will resemble them, which will help satisfy your senses. Don’t be too disappointed if you find no actual cheese in raw food cheese or RAWmesan – they're made of nuts and sprouts or nutritional yeast.
Don't Go Overboard
InLivin’ believes in balance and not going overboard with any one style. You don’t have to go fully raw to enjoy the health benefits, so take it one step at a time. When speaking of a raw food lifestyle, some people fear rejecting foods that may release their best nutritional elements when heated; for example, cooked tomatoes have almost twice the lycopene of a fresh tomato, and lycopene is an essential antioxidant, and a cancer fighting agent. But, if you look closer, you will learn that sun dried tomatoes, as well as watermelon, persimmons and grapefruits also contain lycopene! If you fear that a raw food lifestyle may lead you to nutritional deficiencies, just get your blood work done once in a while to control if your body is benefiting from it or not.
Some studies suggest that 100% raw food eaters may have low levels of vitamin D, caused by cutting our dairy, but it’s possible to balance that loss with more sunshine exposure! Not so easy in the Netherlands…That said, you are probably more likely to experience nutritional deficiencies on a standard, processed food diet than when eating fully raw!
To experience some health benefits from going raw, start with incorporating just a few raw food days or meals per week. Many raw food advocates eat a fully raw diet on a daily basis, but still enjoy their grandma’s stampot once in a while, without feeling like a cheater.
Raw Comes in Many Styles
Throughout the Raw Food Movement, there are various schools and styles, some stricter than others. People enjoying Gourmet Raw Food will often consume sauces, dishes and desserts created with various nuts, seeds, cold pressed oils and avocado, making this style rather high in fat, but still fully raw. A more strict approach is encouraged in The 80/10/10 Diet created by Dr. Douglas N. Graham. People on 80/10/10 eat a mostly, or fully raw diet, with 80% of their calories coming from carbohydrates (from fruit and vegetables), 10% from fat and 10% from proteins. People transitioning to this lifestyle often incorporate cooked vegan meals later in the day. This diet has a critical approach to Gourmet Raw Food because of its high fat content.
Where do you get your protein?
This is a common question that vegans and raw foodies get asked by people following a standard diet. The truth is that you can get more than enough protein from leafy greens, fruits and nuts, without taking in all the unnecessary animal fats! In fact, if you compare protein levels, broccoli has about 11.2g of protein per 100 calories, and steak has only 5.2g! It's purely about having a sufficient amount...Just search the web for raw food bodybuilders and you will find that hundreds of people are not only thriving on a raw food diet, but also building muscle when they want to!
The Best Raw Food Restaurants in Amsterdam
If you would like to try some delicious raw food, or learn how to prepare it yourself, get in touch with the following InLivin’ partners. Here you'll find some of the best raw food in Amsterdam and they are more than happy to share their passion and knowledge about raw food:
Life is Yummy by Ariella Darling offers some of the most beautiful and amazing raw food pies in Amsterdam. Get in touch for a raw food workshop or to try raw foods at a fair or event. You can also visit the Golden Temple vegetarian restaurant in Amsterdam for raw food treats, just call 24h ahead of time to make sure that the raw food is available.
Lekkerraw by Sandra de Vos offers amazing raw food workshops where you can learn many techniques of raw food preparation. Not ready to cook it yourself? Get in touch to arrange raw food catering for your party or event.
The Alchemist Garden on the Overtoom in Amsterdam offers daily raw food specials, and organizes raw food workshops on a regular basis. In addition, the Alchemist Garden has a wide variety of superfood products and all appliances you can wish for to start a raw food diet. Before you go out and buy any specialist equipment, make sure you seek for advice first, as most appliances are not cheap!
Have you tried a raw food diet, and would like to share a story or recipe? We are waiting for your feedback! The authors of the most interesting or funny posts will be rewarded with access to free raw food workshops with one our partners!