What is the Raw Food Diet
Many culinary enthusiasts and those who do not follow strict diets roll their eyes at the idea of the raw food diet. Those who have adopted the raw food diet usually believe that by minimizing ingredient processing, they can consume the nutrients they need from the original source (rather than secondary sources such as meat) and that by not cooking their food, they are preserving the maximum nutritional value of the ingredients, having more health benefits than vegetarian health benefits. Though the raw food diet seems to be here to stay, starting raw food restaurants may be inviting to only a very small pool of customers. However, regular restaurants can offer meals for those following a raw food diet, placing a notice on the menu to notify customers that the dish is raw. Many restaurants already follow this strategy for meals for vegetarians, but the idea can be extrapolated for any special diet including vegan, gluten-free, and the raw food diet. Vegetarian restaurants and vegan restaurants have even more incentive to offer raw food diet meals, since their customers tend to appreciate sustainable food, vegetarian health benefits, and other health-related culinary trends such as the raw food diet. Nevertheless, all venues can profit from offering a few raw dishes.
How Can Raw Food Be Prepared?
As can be deducted from the name of the raw food diet, raw food is very limited in its options for preparation. Salads and cold soups such as gazpacho are obvious options for raw food meals since chopping and pureeing are the most common forms are raw food preparation. However, many dishes in the raw food diet are prepared with food dehydrators, allowing cookies and crackers to be prepared from moist ingredients, giving them a crunch, and adding variety to the raw food diet meal options. Though the raw food diet is limited, it can still be combined with other culinary trends, such as tapas and combining sweet and salty in desserts. Dehydrated grain crackers can be topped with a garlicky chopped tomato salad and served as an appetizer. Chocolate mousse with an avocado base, a popular vegan dessert, can be sprinkled with sea salt to add flavor and follow culinary trends. The limitations of the raw food diet can propose a creative challenge to chefs, with outcomes that can be delicious meals that will be appreciated by all types of customers.
How to Incorporate Raw Food Meals into a Menu
Though the raw food diet sounds intimidating to many restaurants except raw food restaurants, most venues already have a few raw dishes on their menus. With the rise in the popularity of the raw food diet, one of the most difficult culinary trends to cater to, food businesses should consider expanding their options of raw meals. Offering raw salads, cold soups, crudités with dips, smoothies, and trios of grain “bruschetta” topped with 3 types of salads, such as avocado, cucumber, and tomato, can attract both customers who follow the raw food diet and those who don’t, making the most of the healthy eating and raw food diet culinary trends by combining their appeal.