Lively Raw Food Recipes for Summertime

As with vegan cookery, I find raw food and living food preparation fascinating. Not only can eating only raw food be healthy, it can be an adventure in taste and texture. I am not a full time vegan or raw foodist, let alone vegetarian, but I do appreciate those who are and enjoy cooking for them when I get the chance, and enjoy vegan and raw food dishes in my own diet. So the recipes below are from the point of view of someone who is not a hard-line raw food practitioner, but created with care and regard for those who are. Most of all, the recipes below taste good, and as we are in the thick of summer, they utilize the freshest and most in season ingredients around. Enjoy!

Nothing is more summery to me than a cold soup that features ripe, beautiful market-fresh tomatoes. The cucumber and parsley in this lovely soup add freshness while the cayenne and garlic add zip. Adding a little olive oil does wonders by adding a richness and velvety mouthfeel.

Herbed Summer Tomato Parsley Soup

3 Large Ripe Red Tomatoes

3 Large Ripe Yellow Tomatoes

1 Cucumber, peeled and seeded

1 Large Bunch Parsley

Juice & Zest of 1 Lemon

1 Tablespoon Honey

1 Clove Garlic

1 Sprig Fresh Thyme, minced

1 Sprig Fresh Marjoram, minced

1 Teaspoon Turmeric

Pinch of Cayenne Pepper

Sea Salt

Cold Pressed Olive Oil (optional)

I like to peel the tomatoes first by dropping them into boiling water, just for a few seconds the stripping off the skins. You can skip this step if there is concern about temperature. Peeled or not, add the tomatoes to a blender along with the cucumber, parsley, stems and all, the lemon juice & zest, honey, garlic, spices, and if you wish a little sea salt and cold pressed olive oil. Puree until all is very smooth and pass through sieve to trap any seeds and to ensure a perfectly smooth mixture. Transfer to serving bowl and add fresh herbs, stir well then drizzle a little more olive oil on top.

Who doesn't love a big bowl of noodles? Not many people I know can pass up a portion of this "noodly" veggie salad with its spicy, creamy dressing.

Zesty Veggie Noodles

3 Large Carrots

1 Cucumber

2 Zucchini

1 Small Head Radicchio

1 Small Red Onion

1 Bunch Fresh Cilantro, chopped

1/2 Cup Cashews

1/4 Raw Tahini

1 Tablespoon Blackadder Sesame Seeds

Juice of 1 Lemon

2 Cloves Garlic

2 Teaspoons Raw Soy Sauce

Using a mandoline, cut carrots, cucumber, and zucchini into long, noodle like strips and place in bowl. Use the mandoline again to cut the red onion and radicchio into paper thin pieces and add to the bowl.

Make sauce by adding cashews, tahini, garlic, soy sauce and lemon juice to blender and blend until very smooth. Add a little bit of water if mixture is too thick.

Add sauce to veggies along with cilantro and black sesame seeds and toss well. This is great cold or at room temperature.

I think the term "nature's candy" was made for dates. With a natural caramel taste and rich, chewy texture, dates make an excellent choice for a raw sweet snack. I love typically fall & winter spices during the summer, especially when paired with an in-season fruit like apricots. This is a great recipe for a party or holiday.

Figgy Dates with Spicy Apricot Walnut Filling

30 Large Organic Medjool Dates

10 Dried Figs, chopped

10 Apricots, chopped

1/2 Cup Walnut, chopped

1/2 Teaspoon each Cinnamon, Fresh Grated Nutmeg and Clove

Zest of 1 Orange, minced

Cut a slit in each date and remove pip, but do not cut entirely in half so that each date has a cavity to be stuffed. Set aside.

In food processor, pulse together spices, orange zest, 5 figs, 2 chopped apricots, and the walnuts. Blend until a paste is formed. Add to a bowl and add the rest of the dried figs and apricots, and mix well. Fill each date with a spoonful of this spicy mixture.

Cheers to good health and humor, and to delightful summertime meals!

Gone Raw, Cold Pressed Olive Oil

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