Going "raw" has presented many challenges and has forced me to really think about things differently. One of the chief objections that people have for my raw-ed-ness is that they have heard it is "so much work". I would not say that doing this is more work but it is more thought. I don't think that is such a bad thing, either. I think processed food and the marketing that has surrounded it keeps getting more and more thoughtless, more and more unconcscious and more about quick, thoughtless, brain dead, instant gratification meals. Raw is quite the opposite. So here I go swimming up stream.
There are aspects of raw food that are easy, fruits, veggies, salads, etc but then there are aspects that take more thought. In order to plan several recipes, one can not just go pull the ingredients out of the cupboard, add water and go. Several recipes call for sprouted nuts or seeds. Well, who do you think sprouts them? Yep, I do. Sprouting by the way is a lot easier then I first gave it credit. Rinse, cover and go-repeat several times a day and like MAGIC...little sprouts appear. It's kind of fun to watch and if left over time the smallest amount of food multiplies like little aliens taking over your bowls.
For example, to make the muffins my kids seem to like so much, I must first sprout wheat berries. Now, as I mentioned earlier, this is not difficult but it does take planning. At least two days prior to wanting to prepare these muffins I must start the sprouting process. Then I must remain concious enough so that whenever I walk through my kitchen I give them a little rinse once in awhile. This part makes me smile as I sometimes tell them hello...of course I lead a lonely life of a single Mom, work-a-holic and speaking to sprouting seeds is probably not a necessary part of the process.
After achieving sprout I then get to mix the ingredients in a food processor but alas, no muffins today. I roll them into cute little balls and put them in my handy dandy dehydrator and wait one more day. Now we have achieved muffin. Now, none of that was difficult but staying conscious of timing and such was a different use of my energy. Once it came down to the food processor, it only took a few minutes. All in all, I've prepared casseroles that have taken longer when actual time is stacked against actual time but casseroles are a wham bam thank you ma'am kinda meal...boil it, blend it, throw it in a dish, bake it and be done. Rawkin muffins take my brain power.
One of the benefits of rawkin is that the kids become more self-sufficient. My son now gets up and makes his own breakfast and has a variety of options adding dehydrated sprouted buckwheat or sprouted granole mixes into fruit or a muffin or more. My daughter is still switching back and forth between steel cut oats and rawkin breakfast combos like her brother makes. The oatmeal lasts longer and longer as time goes on. The rawkin breakfast is beginning to taste better.
Throughout the day, they snack on raw food items like flax crackers or other recipes with some sort of dip or even have some veggies and dip. My son and I are quite pleased with sprouted almonds because just a few of them satiate the appetite and give lots of energy. I read that the sprouting process wakes up some enzymes that actually help the body digest more of the protein and amino acids so it takes less food to satiate the body. This brings me to my last point that raw food seems to be cheaper or equivelant in groceries.
The initial outlay for rawkin was uncomfortable but now that we are used to it and getting into a rhythym it is actually seeming less then typical or regular groceries. Because we are more satiated, we are eating less. Food is going much farther and we are getting a lot more out of it. The down fall is that rawkin makes more trips to the grocery store to buy fresh produce more often. We are going through our fresh fruits and veggies quicker and need to keep fresh and yummy stuff on hand. I find that keeping a variety of fresh fruits and veggies on hand is helping my mind stay focused and not wander into the processed food it sometimes misses because it is bored or feeling lonely. That's a subject for another day but making sure I can pull out a handful of grapes or grab some quick carrots on the go is helping keep my focus.
I understand from reading books on the subject that our impulsive eating will pretty much go away and the desires will change so I suppose my brain power will change, too. So, I wouldn't say there is a lot more work involved in rawkin but I would say there is more thought. I'm not sure how this will pan out in the scheme of things but I am feeling like it is just going to require a shift in thinking as opposed to thinking more.
Currently in the making are some beanless falafels, some peach muffins and the crust of mini toaster tarts...I am sprouting barley and rice for gourmet pizza crusts (never knew you could sprout rice) and have on hand almond meal from fresh made almond milk and soaked dates and sprouted wheat berries to make cinnamon rolls. Trying to keep the varieties up a bit and kids full and happy.