Raw Food, Black Bean Soup….and Cucumber Water

In an attempt to incorporate more raw food into our diets, I tried raw hummus today, and it turned out very well indeed. I sprouted the chickpeas for a couple of days, then brought a pot of water to boiling, took it off the heat for one minute, and then submerged the chickpeas for exactly one minute. I then used them in my regular recipe.

After fretting for several moments about whether or not the submersion in hot water negated the “rawness” of the hummus, I realized that even though I’d done tonnes of research on plant-based eating and on sprouting before I began my vegan adventure, I’d done very little research on whether or not the raw-food argument is scientifically valid. And while I found plenty of raw-food blogs claiming that eating a fully raw diet is beneficial and a few claiming that eating 51% raw is beneficial, I found no genuine studies indicating that a raw vegan diet is more beneficial than a regular plant-based diet that also happens to include raw fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables. This passage from “Disease Proof”–Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s blog sums it up rather well:

“Benefits of raw food: Certainly, there are benefits to consuming plenty of raw fruits and vegetables. These foods supply us with high nutrient levels and the smallest number of calories. But the question we are looking at is this—Are there advantages to eating a diet of all raw foods and excluding all cooked foods? Clearly, the answer is a resounding “No.” In fact, eating an exclusively raw-food diet is a disadvantage. To exclude all steamed vegetables and vegetable soups from your diet narrows the nutrient diversity of your diet and has a tendency to reduce the percentage of calories from vegetables, in favour of nuts and fruit, which are lower in nutrients per calorie.”

So there you go.

I also tried this black-bean soup recipe from the FoK website (interesting acronym!), but I made several adjustments.

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First off, I had no peppers, but I did have a truckload of broccoli and celery, so I used a couple of cups of each in place of the peppers. Second, I don’t like sweet potatoes, so I used a couple of cups of tiny red and white potatoes–whole (from The Little Potato Company–such fabulous potatoes!). Finally, though I was pleased with the subtlety of the lime juice and balsamic vinegar, it tasted a bit too thin and vinegary to me, so I added two big tablespoons of BTB vegetable broth paste.

The best part was that I got to use my immersion blender, which is the closest anyone will let me get  to a chainsaw these days (jeez, it was just that one time, and it’s not like anyone lost a limb!).

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In the final analysis, the black-bean soup is crazy-delicious. Dinner this evening will be grilled Caesar salad, black-bean soup, and beer bread. Yum yum!

wpid-20140813_191238.jpg…and then there’s the cucumber water. Like savoury oatmeal, I’d never heard of cucumber water until a few months ago, and I’ve been meaning to try it for ages. I finally made it today….with Martha Stewart’s recipe (haha): basically you just slice a cucumber, put it into a jug filled with water, and leave it for about an hour. Pour it over ice, and there you have it. I have to say, it’s pretty darn refreshing….10/10 would do again!

J said, “Oh, so it’s like the lemon water I serve at dinner parties, but with cucumber?” Uh, yeah….though it somehow seemed much more glamorous before he made the analogy.

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All while listening to The Handsome Family….

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