Dr. LJ’s 5 Best Raw Fusion Ingredients
Make your raw food experience ultra-appealing with these 5 Raw Fusion Ingredients
Dr. Oz, when asked what he thought of eating mainly raw foods, made this statement: “There are immeasurable benefits to maintaining a raw foods diet”. I can vouch for that! But if you dissect what Dr. Oz said, let’s key in to the word maintaining; While eating primarily raw and living foods will have an amazing effect on how you look and feel, it’s not an easy lifestyle to sustain over time.
That’s why “mixing it up” a bit is so important. Having a few Raw Fusion pantry items on hand definitely optimizes your sustainability. They make your dishes more exciting and appealing. And these ingredients also have some great nutritional benefits.
Spice up your Raw Fusion dishes with these 5 condiments:
1. Umeboshi vinegar
Umeboshi (also spelled umebyoshi) or salted plums, come from Japan; The vinegar a combination of sour salted plums, sea salt and shiso leaves and the resulting vinegar is sour,, salty and a bit fruity. It is one of the most alkalizing ingredients on the planet (one of the recommended pantry items for our “food group therapy” Alkalinity Challenge) If you are sensitive to soy products try using this vinegar as a substitute.
Hint: Try sprinkling this fat-free condiment a bit on crudities — you will find yourself using much less dips or dressings
2. Toasted sesame oil
Sesame is very soothing to the system and adds an appealing flavor to both sweet and savory dishes. Toasted sesame oil has a deep flavor and aroma that makes your food fragrant and ultra-appealing. A little goes a long way — add a dash to soup broth, stir fries and any Asian-inspired sauces or dressings.
3. Nutritional yeast
(in orange bowl) Rich in protein, nutritional yeast is great for adding a nutty, cheesy flavor to any raw food dish. It is also a vegan source of vitamin B12, which is rare to find in plant-based food, however nutritional yeast is not actually a raw product. Nutritional yeast is grown on molasses, harvested, then heat pasteurized to make it inactive. As inactive yeast, it will not feed on sugars in your body or promote fungi growth, such as candida. Nutritional yeast forms a complete protein with 18 amino acids and is high in B complex vitamins
Hint: Use as a substitute for Parmesan cheese over pastas (like this Cheezy Zucchini Spaghetti Dish) or casseroles. I also love making a paste of nutritional yeast and flaxseed oil and spreading over dehydrated crackers.
4. Fermented miso
(in glass bowl) Miso is a fermented paste made from soybeans, barley or chickpeas that adds a hearty flavor to dressings, dips and patés. The process of fermenting soybeans makes their innate protein more digestible due to the enzymatic benefits. Soybean miso comes in several varieties from a lighter, sweeter flavored one (often called “mellow”) to a dark red type that has a richer, saltier taste. Miso keeps for quite a long time in the refrigerator; it’s a condiment that I am rarely without because it is can be the secret ingredient in transforming recipes. Technically, miso is not a raw product as it has been cooked. Buying unpasteurized miso is recommended so that the enzymatic benefits have not been lost through the heating process. If you are sensitive to soy, look for the chickpea or barlety varieties.
Hint: Red miso is a vital condiment in my Raw-Fried Sunflower Beans and Angel’d Eggs. Mash 1 TB. white (mellow) miso with 1/2 avocado for one of the most exciting dips you will ever taste!
5. Roasted garlic nuggets
One of my favorite condiment items for adding a crunchy texture. There are some dishes that become much more interesting with a bit of added texture. Salads taste crunchier and cauliflower mashed “potatoes” more like restaurant-style garlic mashed potatoes with a few sprinkles of these yummy nuggets. Garlic Gold by Rinaldi sells them in a shaker bottle and also in olive oil, but I think it’s smarter and less expensive to buy the dry shaker bottle version. While raw garlic is unbeatable for it’s nutritional benefits, sometimes I prefer the roasted flavor and crunchy texture.
Here’s a recipe that uses all 5 of these ingredients!
Dr. LJ’s Almond Miso Dressing
1/2 cup raw or roasted almond butter (preferably raw!)
1/4 cup filtered water
2 TB. sweetener of your choice (date paste, coconut nectar, honey or agave — or use stevia, to taste
1/2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1-2 tsp. umeboshi vinegar
2 tsp. red or white miso
1 TB. roasted garlic nuggets
juice from 1 lime
1 tsp. powdered or grated ginger
Optional: Top with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast
Directions: Place all of the ingredients (except nutritional yeast) in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste. Use as a salad dressing, drizzle in a wrap, or as a dip for raw, steamed or roasted vegetables.
If you liked this article, check out Dr. LJ’s 15 Favorite Raw and Raw Fusion Recipes.
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