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The Beginner's Guide to the Raw Vegan Diet: Answering Your Questions about Health, Cooking, and Recipes!

So you’ve got the vegan thing down— no eggs, dairy, meat, or other animal products…

And now you’re wondering if you should take it a step further: 

Raw Vegan.

The raw vegan diet is a subtype of the regular vegan diet. It still follows the same restrictions; it just switches up the cooking method so that you eat more raw foods. With the raw vegan diet, you do not cook any food over 104-118° Fahrenheit,(40-48° Celsius.) 

As you can imagine, this totally changes the approach to vegan living!

In this article, I’ll cover all of your questions about the raw vegan diet and go over some too-good-to-be-true raw vegan recipes for you to try.

Here’s what I’ll cover (Click to jump to a section):

Let’s get started!

 raw vegan fruit smoothie

The Raw Vegan Diet: Your Questions Answered

First things first… when did the raw vegan diet get started?

You may be surprised to know that the raw vegan diet has been around since the mid-19th century. It was originally promoted as a way to prevent illnesses

In the last few years, this diet has seen increasing popularity with raw vegan-friendly restaurant options and cookbooks. 

The core of this diet is all about nuts, seeds, sprouted grains, fruits, and vegetables. Raw diet proponents recommend this style of eating because it was promoted that foods maintain their highest nutritional value if they are uncooked. 

Another natural byproduct of it is that it minimizes any processed foods you are consuming. 

What Can I Eat on a Raw Vegan Diet?

In simple terms, the raw vegan diet is basically the same as an  “uncooked vegan diet.”

However—

If you are looking to refine the raw vegan foods in your diet, you’ll need to do a bit of research into your pantry staples!

Here are foods that are considered raw:

  • Fresh produce
  • Whole, unprocessed foods such as cold-pressed oils, seaweed, or sweeteners like cocoa powder and maple syrup
  • Sprouted beans and grains

Here are foods that are not raw:

  • Foods heated above 118° Fahrenheit
  • Refined, processed, or pasteurized food

This simple checklist will help you while you’re in the store, but there are still a few things to look out for. Here are our tips:

  1. Nuts and Seeds: In their raw form, these foods are perfect! However, you’ll need to make sure you aren’t buying any nuts or seeds that are roasted or processed into a nut butter.
  2. Plant-Based Milk: The process for making plant-based milk might be raw, but most likely the process calls for it to be heated over 118°. Have no fear. You are able to make your own raw milk. Here is a recipe for sweet almond milk by Fully Raw Kristina. 
  3. Frozen fruits and vegetables: Most frozen produce has been boiled prior to being frozen. If you’re looking to maintain a strict raw vegan diet, steer clear.

Additionally, the raw vegan diet does not allow caffeine or foods treated with pesticides. Say goodbye to coffee and hello to coconut water!

Is the Raw Vegan Diet Healthy for You? 

The key to any healthy diet is this—

Proper planning.

Since the raw vegan diet has a strict set of guidelines, it means that you have to be very intentional about getting all of the nutrients you need. Creating a meal plan week-to-week will ensure that you are getting the vitamins and minerals that you need. 

Like with any diet, there are pros and cons to eating raw food. 

Here are some of the pros:

  1. Instead of eating processed foods, this diet emphasizes the importance of whole foods! Cutting back on unhealthy processed foods is always a good move because they have added sugar, salt, and fat. The consumer does not always know how much is added to the food, which can cause them to over-eat. 
  2. If you’re looking to lose weight, the raw vegan diet may be an effective method. People gravitate towards raw veganism for weight loss because it doesn’t require calorie counting or portion restriction. 

As you can see, if you have time to plan ahead and track your nutrition closely, the raw vegan diet may be a great option for you.

However, there are some cons to this lifestyle as well:

  1. A raw vegan diet is high in fiber! While fiber in the right quantities is a great thing, overconsuming fiber can cause issues such as bloating and gas. 
  2. It’s difficult to balance your macronutrients on this diet. Raw vegans can struggle with overeating healthy fats and under-eating protein. 
  3. If you do not plan ahead, you run the risk of not getting all of the nutrients you need, especially vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D. Always remember, a healthy diet is a varied diet! 

The only way to know if the raw vegan diet is right for YOU is to speak to a registered dietician or a nutritionist.

Finding the Right Dietician or Nutritionist for YOU!

Worried about finding a plant-based nutritionist?

This site will help you find a plant-based professional that will respect your choices. These professionals are experts in creating meal plans and routines that will fit into your lifestyle! 

Are you nervous about talking to a health professional about your diet? 

You aren’t alone.

There are a couple of myths about dieticians that have been circulated. You might be worried that a dietician is going to judge you based on your eating habits, become the “food police” or tell you that you can only eat salad. 

But, have no fear!

These myths are just that—

Myths.

A registered dietician can actually help you with the following:

  • Digestive Issues
  • Fertility
  • Gaining or Losing Weight
  • Eating Disorders
  • Overall Quality of Life
  • Cooking tips
  • Athletic Performance

Does anything on this list speak to you? Then waste no time in finding a plant-based professional to help you improve your life.

 

dried oranges

Raw Vegan Cooking: New Methods in the Kitchen

As I mentioned before, raw vegans do not engage in the typical cooking methods. Nothing above 118° F means no boiling, baking or sauteing.

So—

How can you prepare food?

1. Blending

That’s right—

I’m talking beautifully blended soups, smoothies, and juices.

Feel free to mix up any combination of raw foods and put it in the blender to make the flavor of your meals POP just a little bit more. 

Believe us, if you’re eating more raw vegan recipes, the Nutribullet is going to be your new best friend. 

2. Fermenting

Fermentation is a method of food preservation that can actually enhance the nutritional content of food. You can ferment pretty much any vegetable, making it an excellent option to add some flavor to the raw vegan diet! In addition to being strangely tasty, fermented foods also have incredible nutritional benefits. 

Looking to add a natural probiotic to your diet? 

Then this method is for you. To get started, you will need fermentation equipment and a desire to learn. 

The three basic steps to fermentation are:

  1. Prepare the vegetables
  2. Add brine
  3. Let the fermentation process begin!

This article will walk you through the entire process. 

3. Dehydrating

Using a food dehydrator is an easy way to add some variety to a raw vegan diet.

Dehydrating food will “cook” your food at around 105° Fahrenheit (or 40.5° Celsius), which will keep the “raw status” of your food. 

Curious about getting started? 

These 5 recipes for beginners will be perfect for you!

raw vegan recipe

30 Raw Vegan Recipes: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and More!

Now for the good stuff—

The recipes! 

Whether you’re looking to fully commit to the raw vegan diet, or you’re just looking to incorporate a few more raw recipes into your routine, I have recipes you’ll love. 

Breakfast of Champions

The raw vegan diet is all about using food's natural energy to fuel us through the day! What better place to start than the first meal of the day?

Here are some bright and yummy breakfast recipes you need to check out:

1-3. Kickstart your morning with these three amazing recipes by Fully Raw Kristina. A chia pitaya rainbow jar? Totally raw cereal? A rainbow smoothie? YUM!

4. For a light breakfast, whip up some of this vanilla chia pudding by the Simple Veganista. 

5. Vegan rawnola simply has to be in your repertoire. This recipe by Midwest Foodie Blog does the trick!

6. Are you looking to boost your simple rawnola? Try this chocolate rawnola by Purely Kaylie to bring it to the next level.

7. In need of a sweet recipe for brunch? Try this raw cherry and apple pie breakfast bowls by Blissful Basil. 

8. No breakfast is more classic than the quintessential pancake. This fluffy pancake recipe from Shine with Nature should do the trick. 

Midday Meal Recipes

Everyone needs a bit to eat to get them through the midday slump. These delicious raw vegan lunch recipes are perfect for at home, work, or a summertime potluck! 

9. These cucumber sushi rolls by The Blender Girl are the perfect pick-me-up. 

10-12. If you want lunch on the cheap, then check out these 3 satisfying recipes by Yovana for under $1! Recipes include lettuce wrap tacos and vegan ceviche!

13-15. Do you need something a bit more substantial? Then try these 3 raw vegan pasta recipes by The Raw Boy. 

16. Sometimes there is nothing better than a summer soup. This minty raw pea and spinach recipe by the Fat Free Vegan is excellent. 

17. Step up your wrap game with this delicious raw onion bread by The Rawtarian. 

Daring Dinner Recipes

Whether you’re making dinner for one, or dinner for the whole crew—

We all know the pressure is ON when it comes to dinner!

Here are a few creative dinner recipes to try:

18. Nothing says comfort like vegan chili! Whip up this recipe by Shine with Nature. 

19. This satiating zucchini pasta with avocado sauce by Elephantastic Vegan needs to be in your recipe vault.

20. Raw miso soup might sound strange, but this authentic recipe from Ani’s Raw Food Asia is incredible. 

21. This elevated raw asparagus quinoa sushi roll recipe by Vegan Miam is scrumptious. 

22. It’s pizza time! This pizza with butternut flax sunflower crust by Vegan Miam will last about 2 seconds if you have company. 

23. Looking for the ultimate crave buster? Then you’ve got to try this raw vegan burger recipe by Korenn Rachelle. 

Scrumptious Snacks

This vegan recipe list would not be complete if I didn’t talk about snacks. With a raw vegan diet, you get to snack on fruits and vegetables all day long. 

However—

If you’re looking to add some variety to your snacking routine, then give these recipes a try. 

24. Next time you’re munching on some vegetables, mix it up with this creamy tzatziki recipe by Carrots and Flowers. 

25. On the go? Bring along these healthy granola bars by Ela Vegan!

26. Do you want to try an hors d’oeuvre style instead? These raw sundried tomato and zucchini tarts by Vanilla Verte are a must.

27. Snack or a full-blown meal… You decide! These stuffed avocados by the Simple Veganista aren't messing around.  

Desserts You Will Devour

Raw vegans love a taste of the sweet life too. 

These recipes prove it!

Here are my favorites:

28. Cheesecake? Yes, please! This raspberry cheesecake by Choosing Chia is super yummy. 

29. Loving It Vegan has created a classic no-bake brownie recipe you have to give a whirl. 

30. No dessert list is complete without ice cream! This recipe by This Rawsome Vegan Life is simple and perfect. 

raw vegan smoothie with blackberries

Unleash Your Raw Power— Vegan Power!

Whether or not you’re just trying to incorporate more whole foods into your diet, learn new recipes, or fully transitioning to the raw vegan diet—

There is some delicious food in your future!

Remember to always speak to a doctor or nutritionist about any major dietary changes you are making. They will help you incorporate foods that will make you feel your very BEST. 

Do you love learning about vegan hacks? 

Yes?

Then check out this article about vegan grocery shopping next! 

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