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Artist(s): Linas Kesminas

Raw food preparation methods
-Soaking, Sprouting
-Dehydrating (sun drying)

Soaking and sprouting certain foods allows them to be broken down into their simplest forms.

The metabolic activity of resting seeds increases as soon as they are hydrated during soaking. The reserve chemical constituents such as protein, starch and lipids, are broken down by enzymes into simple compounds that are used to make new compounds

Soaking as well dissolves the enzyme inhibitors enabling optimal digestion and absorbtion.

The content of nutrients dramatically increases during the soaking and sprouting processes. In some cases proteins, vitamins, enzymes and minerals can increase by 1200%.

The increased contents of protein, fat, fiber and total ash are only apparent and attributable to the disappearance of starch. However, improvements in amino acid composition, B-group vitamins, sugars, protein and starch digestibilities, and decrease in phytates and protease inhibitors are the metabolic effects of the sprouting process.

Sprouted or soaked seeds, nuts, grains have concentrated their vital energy for the future journey to grow into plants. At this time it is best to add these “little fellows”  to your daily diet. Season your salad, make pates out of sprouted sunflower seeds, put soaked almonds in to your morning smoothie, etc.

Main items used for soaking and sprouting :
jars, bowls, trays, colanders, etc.

Take hulled sunflower seeds. Put in the jar, pour some water and soak over night.

Drain the seeds. Pour them into colander. Put colander over the bowl to let the excess water to drip. Leave it like that  until evening.

At evening  rinse the seeds under the running tap. Drain and leave in the colander over night. Repeat rinsing at morning and evening. until the seeds starts to sprout. You can start using them for food and sprout them rinsing every morning and evening. You can sprout them for extra couple of days until small leaves appear. Store them in the fridge.

Dehydrating is a good way of preserving food. While dehydrating you reduce the water content thus preventing the produce from spoiling(good for storage), reducing weight (good for traveling) making more calorie dense (good for nutrition). During dehydration low temperatures are used so not as much nutrients are lost compared to cooking (ex. very small amount of Vitamin C is lost and   most of Vitamin A (or Beta Carotene) is left). If dehydrate different  blended food items various textures (pliable, crunchy, hard, etc.)can be created , different meals (granola bars, wraps, crackers, etc. )can be made that can increase the variety of meals used in a daily life.

Main items and appliances used for making dehydrated foods:
dehydrator, spatulas, bowls, knifes, blender, etc.

In food processor or blender puree some vegetables or fruits (if you want a cracker to be sweet) add spices, add ground flax seeds. Mix well.

Spread on stick sheet. Dehydrate in dehydrator for 6-12 hours.

Flip. Peel off non-stick sheet and leave the crackers on the rack to dehydrate for an extra 6-12 hours depending thickness. After, keep dehydrated crackers in air tight container for weeks.

Fermentation is a cheap and energy efficient mean of preserving perishable raw materials. Fermentation can salvage waste food which otherwise would not be usable as food by changing the consistency of the product and making it digestible. This increases the range of raw materials available as food. Fermentation processes can result in increased levels of vitamins in the final product. Fermented foods are often more easily digestible than unfermented foods. Substances in fermented foods have been found to have a protective effect against the development of cancer.

The lowering of the pH inhibits the growth of food spoiling or poisoning bacteria and destroys certain pathogens. Also certain lactic acid bacteria (e.g. Lactobacillus acidophilus) and molds have been found to produce antibiotics and bacteriocins.

Fermentation can improve the flavor and appearance of food. It is well worth adding fermented food items in to your diet to introduce new flavors or to extend the variety of meals.

More on fermenting:

Main items and dishes used for fermenting:
pots, crocks, jars, cheese cloths, strainers.

Soak almond nuts over night, take the skin off.

Blend them until almost smooth. Add probiotics or rejuvelac. Blend again .

Pour into strainer lined with cheese cloth.

Ferment for 4-6  hours, depending on sourness you like. Different spices can be added. Can be kept in the fridge for several days.

Blending, mashing makes it easier for a digestive system to extract  many micro-nutrients that are abundant in plant foods. It is because the fiber is being broken down so there are less obsticles for body to absorb nutrients. Different drinks and meals can be created using blender, food processor or simply knifes.

Main kitchen appliances and items used:
blender, food processor, mortar and pestle, knifes.

Soak cashews in the water for 4-6 hours. Drain. Pour into blender. Add some water (depending on the thickness you want to have), spices (ex. garlic, onion powder, nutritional yeast, black pepper, lemon juice, salt). Blend until smooth.

It can be used as a dip, spread, etc.

Juicing Is a good way of getting energy and nutrients. Nutrients from juiced vegetables are already found in our bloodstream in about  30 minutes after consumption. Many of the nutrients are trapped in the fiber and when you eat a raw carrot, you are only able to assimilate about 1% of the available beta carotene. When a carrot is juiced the fiber is  removed  and nearly 100% of the beta carotene can be assimilated. Fresh fruit and vegetable juices should be consumed right away. When they are stored, they can lose their nutritional value very quickly.

Main kitchen appliances and tools  used for juicing:
juicer, strainer, jars, bowls.

-take some vegetables and fruits.
-Put them through the juicer. Drink the juice right away the juicing is completed.

Freezing is convenient way to store produce for a longer periods. It prevents food from spoilage  microbial decomposition, enzymatic or non-enzymatic chemical changes or other losses. In general the loss of nutrients when freezing them is smaller compared to cooking, canning. Also by chilling, freezing, cooling some ingredients such as coconut oil, irish moss, agar-agar you can prepare different meals not applying high heat and achieve similar effect of solidification, texture, etc.

Main thickening agents:
Irish moss, cacao butter, coconut oil, agar-agar.

-Blend soaked cashews with water and berries (black currant) or juice until you get smooth texture. Add some coconut oil (liquid), blend a little bit more. Pour into small cups ant put into freezer for a while or refrigerator for a bit longer time until it firms up.  

Effects of Heat on Food: Nutrients

Much like enzymes, nutrients can be damaged from heat. Some nutrients are more prone to loss during cooking than others.

Two main categories of vitamins:.

Water soluble vitamins are:
Vitamin C and vitamin B complex.

Stored in areas of plants that contain water. More easily destroyed by heat than fat soluble vitamins, since heat causes temperature of water to rise more quickly than fat.

Fat soluble vitamins:
Vitamins A, D, E, K

Carotenoids such as beta carotene and lycopene.

Stored in areas of plants that contain fat. Fat tends to have an insulating effect that preserves fat soluble vitamins longer than water soluble. If heat is applied to raw food for a long enough period of time, large amounts of both types of vitamins will be lost.  

The vitamin that is most susceptible to damage from heat is vitamin C. 90% of vitamin C can be lost with boiling for even a couple of minutes. The greater the temperature and the longer the cooking time, the greater the nutrient loss. This holds true for both water soluble and fat soluble vitamins. When you eat raw and living foods, you are maximizing your intake of these important and essential nutrients!
Minerals are generally not as affected by heat, because they are elements, not molecules like vitamins. Minerals can be lost with cooking if a food is cooked in water or another type of liquid and is strained after cooking. This is especially true of boiling.

Effects of Heat on Food:
Formation of New Substances

In addition to heat destroying many important nutrients, there are a variety of new substances formed in certain cooked foods heated by certain methods. These substances are known in the scientific literature as cooked food toxins.  

Some of the new substances formed in food from heat:
Heterocyclic amines
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Acrylamide is an industrial chemical that is considered to be cancer causing at high levels. Swedish scientists found in 2002 that acrylamide is present in certain cooked foods.Acrylamide is most abundant in French fries and potato chips, with lesser amounts found in cooked grain products such as crackers, and other carbohydrate rich foods. Acrylamide begins to form in food at 248 F (106 C). Steaming and boiling do not contribute to its formation. Raw and living foods contain no acrylamide.

AGEs are substances formed primarily from high fat high protein animal foods during the cooking process. The more heat applied and for longer periods of time, the more AGEs are formed. AGEs eaten from the diet have been shown to contribute to age accelerating processes. Raw and living foods contain no AGEs.

Heterocyclic amines (Has) are substances believed to contribute to human cancer They are formed in muscle meats cooked above 302° F (150° C). Formation increases exponentially as temperature increases above 302° F. There is an exponential increase in formation over the time range from 0 to 11 minutes.

Cooking methods such as pan frying, broiling, and barbequing cause the highest direct heating of the meat being cooked and therefore are the most likely to produce HAs. Production of HAs is the greatest when muscle meats (beef, fish, chicken, pork, etc.) are cooked at high temperatures until the meat is well done. Organ meats, dairy products, and protein rich plant foods such as beans and tofu do not generate significant levels of HAs when cooked. Non-muscle meat animal foods and plant foods have a tendency to form HAs only when they are overcooked or charred. Eggs, for example, when fried with signs of charring, show a high level of mutagenic activity. One study showed that potatoes fried in a frying pan under normal household conditions, toast, or oven cooked biscuits showed a significant level of HA formation, but still much lower than that observed in cooked meat. Raw and living foods contain no heterocyclic amines.
Nitrosamines are another group of chemicals formed largely as a result of cooking food. Are well known to be carcinogenic and are most abundant in:

Processed meats (sausage, hot dogs, bacon, cold cuts, etc.) and cheese products preserved with nitrite pickling salt.
Livestock feed.
Non fat dry milk.
Fish and fish by-products.

Nitrosamines are formed from the interaction of nitrites and nitrates with amines (found in amino acids, for example) from food. The primary conditions that create nitrosamines from nitrates and nitrites combining with amines from food are the acidic condition of the stomach, and exposure to high temperatures such as frying and grilling. Nitrosamines are also found in great abundance in tobacco smoke. Vitamin C and vitamin E are known to inhibit the formation of nitrosamines from nitrates and nitrites They have been shown to block nitrosamine formation in the acidic gastric juices Raw and living foods are high in both vitamin C and vitamin E, therefore can help offset nitrosamine formation if you do consume any foods or other products that contain nitrates or nitrites. Raw and living foods contain no nitrosamines.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a family of organic compounds that form mainly as a result of the incomplete combustion of carbon containing fuels such as wood, coal, gas and oil. Their presence is strongly correlated with modern living and energy production. They are one of the most widespread organic pollutants, and 7 individual PAHs are classified as probable human carcinogens by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency.) Although there are a variety of ways we can be exposed to PAHs, the primary method of exposure is from breathing them in from the air around us. PAHs are released into the air from volcanoes, forest fires and other wood smoke, automobile exhaust, coal tar, asphalt, cigarette smoke, trash incineration facilities, and cooking oil fumes. Additional exposure results from eating grilled or charred meats, and processed and pickled foods. Raw and living foods contain no polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. ?

Salad sauces, dressings
¼ c olive oil   ¼ cup fresh lime juice
3 T Nama Shoyu  ¼ cup olive oil
3 T maple, or date paste  2 tbsp honey
T minced garlic   2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro (or more to taste)
T minced ginger   1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
½ T toasted sesame oil (optional)  1 tsp chopped jalapeño pepper
½ T hot pepper minced  
½ t Celtic salt   

14 button mushrooms, washed and stemmed  Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl, add
MARINADE INGREDIENTS   mushrooms and allow to marinate for a couple
½ cup water    of hours, turning them occasionally. Blend all
2 tablespoons Namu Shoyu    stuffing ingredients in a food processor, until smooth.
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar   Place mushrooms top side down on a plate.
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced   . Scoop a small amount of stuffing into each
STUFFING INGREDIENTS   mushroom cap. Dehydrate at 105 degrees
1 cup walnuts    for 5-6 hours, or until soft.
2 cups basil   
½ cup pine nuts   
½ cup olive oil   
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
½ teaspoon sea salt

Good sources for raw food recipes:,

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