Raw foodism doesn't necessarily mean going vegan, but the overlap is big enough that it's easy to understand the confusion. All it really means is limiting your diet to uncooked and unprocessed foods, typically organic. Most of the year, this is easy enough to do, especially if you're the one doing the shopping and non-cooking. But the holiday season brings with it an onslaught of meats and related products that have been cooked, fried, and prepared in any number of ways that are pretty obviously at odds with the raw lifestyle. The solution: stocking up on recipes to make sure there's always something at the Christmas party or office potluck that you can eat. Here are a few to get you started:
Appetizers and Sides
Kick things off right.
- Sweet Potatoes: Potatoes are a holiday staple, as well as one of the mainstream dishes that crosses over pretty intact for raw food eaters.
- Traditional Succotash: Not just a cartoon exclamation, succotash is a tasty dish made from corn and lima beans.
- Mashed "Potatoes": For a lighter variation on the dish, use this recipe based on cauliflower.
- Mushroom Gravy: Again, a recipe so simple it's basically impossible to screw up. Grind up some almonds, toss in some mushrooms and water, and process to a paste.
- Fresh Cranberry Salad: This awesome fruit salad can be sweetened with honey.
- Christmas Salad: Red, white, and green figure prominently in this tasty salad designed to visually complement holiday meals.
- Cranberry Relish: Sweet and easy side that will pair well with faux turkeys.
- Eggnog: Eggnog's an acquired taste to begin with, but this raw version is a solid alternative. (Warning: it doesn't keep well at all, so drink up.)
- Sunflower Seed Dressing: Debates about whether to call it "dressing" or "stuffing" aside, this dish makes for a strong and somewhat spicy addition to your holiday feast.
- Turkey Dressing: This filling recipe uses everything from pumpkin and sesame seeds to onions and lemon juice.
- Noasted Turkey: This nut-based dish is basically a stuffing served on its own, and can be topped with sauces for extra taste or moisture.
These main courses make for heartier meals than you might expect.
- Mock Turkey: Fake meat can never reproduce the texture of real meat, but the point is to have something healthy with a similar feel but different texture. These healthy patties are great for that.
- Apple-Butternut Squash Soup: About as simple as you can get. Just combine the ingredients in a food processor and mix well.
- Raw Gefilte Fish: A traditional Jewish holiday dish gets a raw foodie spin.
- Millet Matzoh: Another non-baking way to prepare a Jewish staple.
- Mock Turkey Loaf: Similar to the recipe at the start of the section, only served in loaf form instead of smaller patties.
- Harvest Soup: This hearty blend of fall flavors is guaranteed to be a hit all winter.
Eating raw doesn't mean missing out on good stuff.
- Raw Chocolate Cake: The crust and filling are easy to make, and it only takes two hours for the final product to set and be ready to eat.
- Raw Apple Pie: An American classic that goes with everything, this raw version works refrigerated or frozen.
- Fruit Mince Tarts: The good thing about this recipe is how easy it is to adjust the contents of the fruit filling for taste or consistency.
- Festive Christmas Cookies: Based around raw pumpkin seed butter, these treats are a healthy way to enjoy the holiday. You can also use almond butter for a different approach.
- Yule Log: A vegan version of fruit cake, which means it's going to be miles better (and better for you) than the real thing.
- Pumpkin Pie: Who doesn't love pumpkin pie, especially at this time of year? This raw version uses a date puree for a sweet taste.
- Pumpkin Cheesecake: The fresh pumpkin taste makes for a great winter spin on a classic dessert.
- Gingerbread House: Epic but not impossible: a gingerbread house made from raw ingredients.
- Pumpkin Bread: Dehydrated rather than baked, this pumpkin bread is a smart alternative to the traditional stuff.
- Yam Pie: A freshly blended filling in a frozen crust? Yes, please.
- Butternut Squash Cookies: An easy mixture of butternut squash, raisins, oranges, and spices is all you need to come up with these healthy treats.
- Pecan Pie: The "crust" is bananas and papayas pressed together, which make a sweet balance for the pecan filling.
- Raw Snowman: Here's a fun one that can double as a dinner decoration before being devoured.