I’ve featured a great deal of raw vegan desserts during the Holiday season. All of them rivaling their highly processed and “mainstream” equivalent in both flavor and visual appeal. And I have to confess I was intent upon making a point. The widespread assumption that making healthy food choices equals living a life of penance, deprivation and food boredom is simply just that. An assumption. If you are new here or still in doubt, give these recipes a look (and a bite) and if those unjustified fears are what’s standing in the way of you giving your body the kind of food and care it deserves, then you need fear no more.
Now, that being said I have another confession to make. I very very very rarely feast on desserts. Even the healthy raw vegan type. Why? Firstly because as you may know I haven’t been endowed with a sweet tooth. I’ll go nuts for a bowl of fresh (from the ocean) sun-dried dulse seaweeds or a handful of Kalamata olives but the sweet stuff generally doesn’t do me a thing.
And, there’s a fascinating inner transformation that takes place when we start feeding our cells unprocessed, nutrient dense and energetically charged food. A certain aliveness, inner clarity and increased desire for simple, pure foods. That’s what personally appeals to me most these days though that’s never really been a “goal” of mine, more of a natural progression. I’ve never been a fan of restrictions or self-punishment (I don’t count calories, demonize sea salt, shun olive oil…) even in pursuit of such wonderful things as optimum health and well being. I’ve always taken the path of enjoyment, ease and abundance and it’s served me well. I’ve effortlessly thrived on a plant-based diet for over twenty years. Gradually and easily transitioned to a raw vegan lifestyle (when many seem to be struggling to happily live this way long term). And smoothly completed two 92-day juice fasts and a gazillion shorter fasts and cleanses. I truly believe that taking gradual steps that are enjoyable is more likely to induce long term lifestyle shifts, and that’s why I think healthy raw vegan desserts are a wonderful transition tool. They may not be optimum from a nutritional stand point (optimum being picking up a fruit straight from the tree and eating it as is) but with no dairy, cooked fats, processed sugar, grains (and gluten), colorants, additives (and the list goes on) they are undoubtedly a step in the right direction. And I believe wholeheartedly that every little step counts.
So you know what I don’t eat on a regular basis. Now on the other hand, raw broccoli is an all time favorite. I can’t get bored of this marinated broccoli salad. It’s one of my essentials.
I eat at least one type of cruciferous veggie (cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy and kale) every single day. Because I crave them. I need my glucosinolates fix! Glucosinolates are sulfur-containing compounds that have cancer preventive properties (see this great study by the Oregon State University) but as with most veggies, cooking decreases the bioavailability of those phytonutrients. So eating them raw is a must for maximum benefit. If that wasn’t enough, broccoli supports and promotes detoxification on a cellular level. I’ve always loved them but since completing my 92-day juice fasts I’ve definitely noticed a drastic increase in my broccoli intake. Probably because my body has been given a major kickstar in the detox department and is now running wild with cell regeneration and overall clean up.
For a nice large salad I use:
2 or 3 large broccoli florets
1 teaspoon of Celtic (or Himalayan) sea salt
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of minced red onion
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
Clean and chop the broccoli into small bite size chunks. Sprinkle the sea salt on top and toss well. Add the olive oil and raw apple cider vinegar. Toss well to distribute the seasoning evenly and soften up the crunch. Finish off with a few slices of red onion and some fresh cilantro (a fabulous heavy metal detox powerhouse). Voila!
It’s simple, tasty, crunchy and leaves me feeling nourished and wonderfully satisfied.