Bring your Raw Chef Skills to the Next Level with my top two tips to soften raw vegetables so that they taste and feel cooked!!
Seriously this is next level texture tips that I haven’t seen anyone else do in this way, be sure to check out all three tips below!
Before I share these two amazing raw food diet texture tips I want to invite you out to my Raw Food n Yoga Surf Adventure Retreat this Feb / March in Costa Rica, Learn more Here
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Onward to my two Favourite Top Raw Chef Tips for Texture!
Off the chopping block I gotta say I love all types of textures and tastes, from crunchy to soft, slightly crisp to mushy, yes even mushy! Depending on the vegetable, the dish or the occasion I love to enjoy natures bounty exactly how it is or change the texture with numerous methods I use as a raw chef.
This video goes over two of my top tips to soften vegetables specifically for two of my favourite dishes of all time…
and Saag Veganeer
Both in my TRA Retreat Treats ebook
These three tips really can change your raw food game, wether your making dishes for yourself, your friends / family, those new to, or seasoned in the raw food lifestyle, they will turn everything u a notch!
Marination – this is the most common way to soften certain veggies, especially tougher greens like kale. Simply squeeze some lemon, lime or pineapple juice (squeezed from the “rind”) over top of a bunch of lightly chopped kale in a bowl and massage the leaves vigorously to break down some of the fibers then let sit for 20 – 30+ minutes. This essentially “cooks” the kale on a chemical level breaking down some of the fibres and rendering the kale, or any other tough leafy green, softer with a more cooked taste. Other veggies do really well with marination such as zucchini slices, mushrooms and bell peppers, I love to marinate these in a teriyaki or a cajun type sauce and then also use tip 2 to turn it up a notch further. In fact many of my Pizza recipes from “Frickin Rawsome Pizza” use one, two or at times all three of these methods to achieve the most authentic texture and flavour!
Seriously these low to no fat raw vegan pizzas taste better than 99% of the cooked pizzas I have had in my life, learn more here!
Dehydration – now this may sound way too commonly known but not so many people know that dehydrated mushrooms actually taste better than cooked mushrooms. I have found that many people who don’t like mushrooms come to love them with this simple tip. I often place my mushrooms in the sun or under a uvb light before dehydrating to boost the vitamin D content (see my “Top ways to Get Vitamin D as a Raw Vegan” here for more info on this). All types of edible mushrooms dehydrate well, one can just slightly dehydrate for 1-6 hours or dehydrate longer for a real crunch. In this video I used crimini mushrooms for their specific shape, flavour and the fact that they have some of the lowest toxicity of raw mushrooms and among the highest vitamin D content when sun charged!
As a neat side note – dehydration has been found, like cooking, to reduce the toxicity of raw mushrooms! Often I pop the stem off the mushrooms, break the caps in half and then dehydrate both separately using the stems for one dish and the caps for another.
One of my other favourite veggies that softens well when dehydrated is zucchini (great in Pizza Bites as found in TRA Retreat Treats by donation here).
For the Big Unveil
Freezing – yes this sounds so simple that it almost doesn’t make sense that more people do not use this more in the raw food lifestyle. When you freeze vegetables the water expands and ruptures the cell walls to a degree, this leaves one with softer cooked textured veggies. As a added bonus freezing is the best method of preservation possible with the lowest amount of nutrient loss, much less than dehydration or cooking.
Not all veggies freeze well, zucchini for example, but some, like cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, corn, cabbage and leafy greens work amazingly. Water content plays a big role and the 6 above are relatively low in water content and soften very nicely. I really love cauliflower and broccoli crunchy, but in certain dishes, like cocobutter veggies or raw chili (grab that recipe here) this softening method takes the dish over the top bringing a authentic cooked texture.
This tip also helps with storage as well as sucking up awesome deals / seasons without taking up fridge space or produce going bad. Simply chop the florets off from the stem, arrange separately on a cookie sheet or plate (I like to use the stems for thickening sauces and the florets in the dishes) and freeze for 6-12 hours. If using the next day remove from freezer and thaw for 3-6+ hours before use, otherwise remove from the cookie sheet and store in freezer bags for longer storage.
For greens (spinach, chard, kale, mustard, arugula, collards, cabbage, herbs etc) you can simply freeze the bag / container or place them on a cookie sheet / plate and freeze 3-6+ hours. Once thawed greens like spinach, kale, mustard, arugula, chard etc work really well in dishes like my Saag Veganeer (grab that recipe here) or in mock steamed greens recipes. A helpful tip, if you freeze the greens in the bag you can squish and break up the frozen greens when straight out of the freezer to achieve a cut up texture for certain dishes.
I really hope you enjoy these simple tips to achieve more textures that feel more “cooked” and that they really do take your raw food diet to the next level!
So often is is simply about finding recipes and ways to curb your cooked food cravings, may these tips do just that!!
Before you go, if you are looking for a epic Tropical Vacation sure to change your life for the better be sure to
If your on the fence, take a sneak peek with a Day in the Life at a past Raw Food n Yoga Surf Adventure Retreat!
Plus if you don’t have a dehydrator and want to apply Tip # 1, Grab yourself a
Wishing you Much