Raw snacks are nature’s original fast foods — easy to prepare, delicious, and bursting with the ingredients you need to stay healthy and energized on even the busiest days. Stephanie Tourles offers 125 simple recipes for mouthwatering trail mixes, smoothies, energy bars, juice blends, vegetable chips, cookies, and more. Made from unprocessed whole foods like nuts, fruits, vegetables, and grains, each of these snacks contain fewer than 250 calories and are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and enzymes.
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About the Author
Stephanie L. Tourles is the author of Pure Skin Care and Stephanie Tourles’s Essential Oils: A Beginner’s Guide, as well as the best-selling Organic Body Care Recipes, Hands-On Healing Remedies, and Raw Energy. As a licensed holistic esthetician with a strong background in Western and Ayurvedic herbalism, she has been practicing and teaching healthy living for more than 25 years. Tourles has extensive training in the nutritional sciences and is a certified aromatherapist, nationally certified reflexologist, and a professional member of the Alliance of International Aromatherapists. She lives in Marble Falls, Texas.
Read an Excerpt
Raw Snack Basics
Raw foods are consumed in their purest, most simple form — the way nature serves them up to us. They are real, whole foods that are uncooked, unadulterated, and unprocessed, not refined and stripped of their naturally occurring nutrients. They are never heated above a certain temperature, usually between 95°F and 120°F (35– 49°C), as might occur during sun-drying or using a food dehydrator. They rarely come in bottles or jars, and never in cans or aseptic boxes, as processing methods involved in storing foods in these containers require boiling liquids.
The raw foods used in this book are free from chemical preservatives and processing additives; they comprise fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and beans that are wild or organically grown, plus dehydrated, sprouted, and fermented preparations. Also included in this list are raw condiments and nutrition-boosting recipe additions such as dried barley grass and wheatgrass, algae, sea salt, raw apple cider vinegar, herbs, spices, and cold-pressed, unrefined oils.
Raw foods can be prepared by chopping, blending, puréeing, liquefying, slicing, shredding, freezing, dehydrating, or juicing — they just can't be heated to over approximately 120°F (49°C). Don't assume that attempting to include more raw snack foods in your diet is limiting because you can't cook or use cooked ingredients. Far from it! Raw food ingredient combinations are limited only by your imagination. The creative possibilities that exist within the context of raw food snacking are boundless. If simplicity in all things is your motto, you can always satisfy your raw snack cravings with a bunch of sweet grapes, a single juicy nectarine, an avocado drizzled with raspberry vinaigrette, or a crunchy handful of tasty almonds.
The recipes in this book use only animal-product-free ingredients, with the exception of raw honey and bee pollen; these foods are made by living, buzzing creatures. If you are a strict vegan, feel free to omit them and use substitutions such as agave nectar.
So that you know where I'm coming from, let me tell you about my personal eating habits. My current diet is approximately 75 percent vegan, including 60 to 70 percent raw foods. The 25 percent that is not vegan includes a bit of local seafood, farm-fresh eggs, raw goat's milk, and raw goat's milk cheeses. Regarding the raw goat products, I live in a rural town on the Maine coast, where I have access to these wonderful, nutrient- and enzyme-rich, unpasteurized foods. It is legal to purchase them here, so I do enjoy them on a regular basis. I've gotten to know the local small-scale farmers and completely trust their caretaking and production methods. The health and welfare of the animals, the cleanliness of their bedding areas, and sanitation during the milking process are of the utmost importance to me, and should be to you, as well, if you decide to include these types of raw animal foods in your diet.
Raw food ingredient combinations are limited only by your imagination. The creative possibilities are boundless.
You may not agree with all of my dietary habits, but they satisfy my physical and mental needs at this particular time in my life, and your dietary habits can do the same for you. I feel that the act of eating should be one of pure pleasure; and what one decides to eat, purely personal.
Why Eat Raw?
The nutrient energy derived from the foods consumed in our daily diets shapes, forms, and drives all systems within our bodies. I can't state that fact more simply or accurately. The quality of food consumed is the catalyst that affects one of three end results: a body exhibiting radiant health, beauty, and vitality; a body coasting along through life with mediocre health, appearance, and energy levels; or a body suffering with disease, discomfort, and exhaustion from malnourishment.
Try to fathom the concept that some people, medical professionals included, believe that food does not affect the workings of the human body to any significant degree. How can that be? How can what you drink, eat, digest, and absorb into your very being, your very substance, not play a fundamental role in determining how you function, feel, look, and energetically exist? What you consume — high quality or poor quality — is the fuel that keeps your body going; it affects your individual power, appearance, and well-being.
Right now, I'm going to ask you to read the book title again. Go ahead ... flip back to the front cover. I want the words raw energy to imprint themselves onto your brain. Why? To put it in very simple terms: increased energy intake means increased energy output. Or, in other words, when you consume more whole, nutritionally vibrant, unheated foods, you will invariably boost your body's natural ability to produce, store, and utilize large quantities of expendable energy, thus dramatically improving your mental, physical, and spiritual capabilities.
A diet high in raw foods will supercharge your energy level and replenish depleted reserves. Raw foods are easy for most people to digest — digestion being the key to absorption and assimilation of valuable nutrients necessary for copious energy production. Like you, whether I'm working, playing, gardening, or simply going out for a long walk, I want to have plenty of energy to help me accomplish my goals as well as enjoy my leisure time. Foods that are loaded with unheated, unrefined carbohydrates, proteins, and healthful fats will leave your body's cells filled to the brim with fuel for the daily chores of life. They contain the necessary nutritional molecular components that actually power the process of anabolism, or construction of new cells — initiating growth of tissues, repairing existing damage, and replacing aged or inferior cells within your body.
And you will have plenty of energy left over to do those activities you long to do. A beauty bonus: Visible effects from the added dietary nourishment will quickly become noticeable. Your skin, hair, nails, and eyes will glow. I'm promising a lot from the mere addition of raw snack foods to your daily diet, I realize. But it just makes sense that if you eat better, you'll feel better, and you'll ultimately look better, too!
I'm very visual, tactile, and sensual, and I like the fact that working with and eating raw plant foods engages my senses. Raw plant foods are beautiful to look at and uniquely shaped; they offer textures that range from moist and juicy to soft, chewy, and crunchy; they're often brilliantly colored; and they are rich in unbelievable flavors and tantalizing aromas. Because they offer so much in the way of sensory stimulation, raw foods can be enjoyed on every level.
Over the years, I have seen firsthand what a diet rich in whole, raw, unrefined foods can do for your hair, skin, nails, overall health, and energy. Eating this way can take you beyond a lackluster appearance and mediocre health. An increased consumption of raw foods can result in pure radiance and abounding vibrancy, and it can also provide the healing nutrition your body needs to prevent or even reverse some chronic diseases. Because raw foods are generally high in fiber, filling, and full of cell-satisfying nutrition, they can even help with weight loss. All of the reasons I've mentioned above are why I am encouraging you to change your snacking habits. You can truly be at your best if you eat more whole, raw, unadulterated foods.
If you want your joie de vivre to increase, if you want to attract and create health, beauty, and energy in your life, then you have to take control of what you're eating. By increasing the quantity of pure, raw foods in your daily diet, you are actively and positively working toward achieving a higher level of true well-being.
Naturally Occurring Food Enzymes
Since the early years of the twentieth century, there has been a dramatic shift in dietary habits around the world, and particularly in North America. Once we relied on our own gardens or those of our close neighbors to provide us with wholesome, fresh food — food that was frequently raw, sun-dried, fermented, or cultured, minimally processed, and enzyme-rich. This food was chock-full of life-sustaining nutrients and brimming with exquisite taste. But no more. Now we leave the growth and processing of our food primarily to the mega-farmers, those large impersonal corporations that operate with profits and production quotas, rather than our precious health, in mind. For the vast majority of us, this means that we consume a diet high in overcooked, enzyme-deficient, chemically preserved, nutritionally poor, and artificially "enriched" foods. Sadly, this diet also tends to include far too much salty, sugar-laden fast food. In these fast-paced times, health too often takes a backseat to "convenience" when making dietary choices.
Never before have we had more creature comforts yet endured so much physical pain, illness, and general unwellness. Never before have heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, depression, high blood pressure, and other degenerative diseases been as prevalent as they are now.
Organic, raw foods can play a significant role in preventing and even reversing many of these terribly life-disrupting, uncomfortable, and potentially deadly diseases, and the naturally occurring enzymes they contain are the keys to success.
Just what are enzymes? Humbart Santillo, author of Intuitive Eating and an expert on raw foods, describes the constructive effects that live enzymes have on health as follows:
An enzyme is said to be a protein molecule, and each enzyme acts in certain ways in the body doing specific jobs such as digesting food, building protein in the bones and skin, and aiding detoxification, to name a few. Once we cook food at high temperatures, though, the enzyme is destroyed. It no longer carries on its designated function. Although the physical protein molecule is still present, it has lost its life force. Much like a battery that has lost its power, the physical structure remains but the electrical energy which once animated it is no longer present. A protein molecule is actually only the carrier of enzyme activity. In experiments described in Chemical Reviews (1933), the activity of one protein molecule was transferred over to another protein substance, leaving the original molecule devoid of its original activity. This only proves further that an enzyme is the invisible activity or energy factor and not just the protein molecule itself. So, for clarity, let us agree that a protein molecule is a carrier of the enzyme activity, much like the light bulb is the carrier for an electrical current.
Life could not exist without enzymes. They are in the cells of every living plant, animal, and human being on earth and are the essential manual workers, the labor force, for every chemical action and reaction that takes place. We couldn't walk, talk, breathe, digest food, heal, build bone, have a thought, or grow hair without them.
Enzymes are the sparks of life. Let me give you an example: When you eat raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds or almonds, you are ingesting live, enzyme-rich seeds. When planted in moist earth, these little storehouses of nutrient energy will sprout into living plants, capable of maturing and reproducing more edible seeds and nuts. Try this same test with a roasted, baked, or boiled seed or nut — all they will do is rot. They are dead matter. The spark of life has been cooked out of them.
The significant, health-promoting difference between live (raw) and dead food is the enzymatic activity contained within the cells of raw food. All foods untouched by a heat source over 120°F (49°C) have an abundance of enzymes.
Unlike animals in the wild, which live their entire lives on raw foods, man attempts to build healthy cells out of primarily deficient, dead foods that are lacking in live enzymes — much to the detriment of his well-being. When a food is heated, the naturally occurring enzymes become deactivated. Cooking also depletes vitamins, damages proteins and essential fats, and results in the creation of free radicals — major contributors to many diseases, including cancer.
Digestion takes a lot of energy. The process of digestion begins with your digestive tract chemically and mechanically breaking into tiny particles the food you just ate. Then, with the assistance of food enzymes (available in raw food only) and digestive enzymes produced by the salivary glands, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, and intestines, essential nutrients are extracted and allowed to pass through the minute pores of the intestinal wall into the bloodstream to be transported to and assimilated by your cells and converted into energy or the building materials of nerves, muscles, blood, bones, glands, and more. At the end of the digestive journey, all waste products, including fiber, are evacuated.
Digestive enzymes are vital catalysts, complex molecules that accelerate chemical processes. They are involved in catabolism (breaking down) of larger molecules into the readily absorbable, smaller building blocks that the body requires. When you eat food that has been cooked, your digestive system receives no enzymatic assistance from that food and has to produce all of the enzymes necessary to digest, break down, and process what you consume. It accomplishes this task by calling upon the pancreas, liver, gallbladder, and other organs to contribute enzymatic reserves, stealing the energy of those organs away from other jobs, which can slow the metabolism, compromise the immune system, and leave you feeling less than energetic.
Digestive enzymes and metabolic enzymes (those that keep your arteries clear, run your organs, build healthy tissues, and keep your blood sugar balanced, among other things) aid very different bodily functions, yet they are produced primarily in the same organs — the liver and pancreas. When the body doesn't receive sufficient enzymes to perform its digestive tasks due to a lack of raw, enzyme-packed foods in the daily diet, these organs slow their pace of creating much needed metabolic enzymes in order to further assist in the digestive process. The manufacturing of digestive enzymes doesn't come without a cost, though. The liver and pancreas require energy to produce additional enzymes, and this energy drain hinders their performance of vital metabolic functions and retards processes of detoxification, fat-burning, and energy production. It has been reported that the majority of Americans are suffering from what is termed "enzyme exhaustion" — and the bloat, weight gain, fatigue, depression, and illnesses that come along with it.
Enzyme-deficient foods do not tend to digest properly, and what isn't digested doesn't nourish you. Improper digestion equals indigestion and putrefaction of food in the stomach. This putrefied material, as it continues its digestive journey, leaves behind a coating on the walls of the small and large intestines, diminishing the absorption of nutrients and impeding the expulsion of toxins through the intestinal wall and the evacuation of wastes from the body. Consistently compromised digestion creates conditions within the body that are ripe for the establishment and multiplication of disease-causing bacteria, fungi, and viruses, thus causing the body to become susceptible to fatigue, infection, and illness. Frequent sufferers of indigestion can often be seen popping multiple ant-acid pills throughout the day or gulping one of those colorful bottles of nasty-tasting, chalky, gastric-distress-comforting liquids. Those products provide only temporary relief and never get to the root of the problem.
Remember that high enzyme reserves equal high vitality and low enzyme reserves equal low vitality. Your enzyme reserves are drained by eating a diet consisting primarily of cooked foods. A very high level of stress and the overuse of alcohol also adversely affect enzyme production. It is important that the body's enzyme level be preserved, and not depleted, in order to ensure lifelong health and energy.
When consumed and properly chewed, raw food, rich in enzymes, will practically digest itself, without asking the digestive system for assistance over and above the normal call of duty. This leaves you with a surplus of energy to do with what you wish. That's primarily what this book is about — having more energy. Fortunately, raw plant foods taste good and are a delight to eat, so it shouldn't be too difficult to add more of these luscious morsels to your diet.
Do you really know what you're eating when you bite into a fresh peach, dine on a colorful spinach, walnut, and pear salad with basil vinaigrette, or enjoy a bowl of ripe, plump strawberries with cashew cream for dessert? Do you know where the food came from or how it was grown and processed? Unless you are buying certified organic food from your grocery store, local co-op, farmers' market, or mail-order supplier, you might not like the answer.
Excerpted from "Raw Energy"
Copyright © 2009 Stephanie Tourles.
Excerpted by permission of Storey Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Benefits of Raw Snacks,
1. Raw Snack Basics,
2. Raw Snack Pantry & Kitchen Equipment Essentials,
3. Raw Snack Prep 101: Learning How to "Uncook",
4. Super-Satisfying Raw Nut Milks, Shakes, Smoothies, and Frozen Fruit Creams,
5. Fit and Fabulous Fruit and Vegetable Juices,
6. The Snacks That Keep You Going: Energizer Bars, Balls, and Bites,
7. Powerhouse Nut, Seed, and Fruit Blends,
8. Raw Cereals and Delectable Fruit Parfaits,
8. Vegetable Jolt: Crispy Chips, Zippy Dips, and Scrumptious Spreads,
10. Chillin': Fresh, Cold Fruit and Vegetable Soups,
11. Raw Confections: No-Guilt, Nutrient-packed Candy and Cookies,
Other Storey Titles You Will Enjoy,