It’s yet another one of those raw food myths that raw food has to be cold – it doesn’t! There’s so much more to it than salads, straight from the fridge. Discover why people’s objections to eating cold food are well-founded – and why ‘cold’ has nothing to do with ‘raw’, unless you want it to! Plus top tips for warming up your winter raw food.
Before we start, let’s dispel another myth.
Myth: your body needs hot food
Fact: your body may like warm food
Hot food – food that feels hot to your touch or in your mouth – can actually be bad for you. It can damage the delicate membranes of the mouth, tongue, and digestive system. That’s why it’s instinctive to spit out food that burns your mouth.
Your body doesn’t need hot food.
But many people’s digestive systems don’t enjoy cold food, either. In fact, many disciplines in Ancient Chinese medicine warn against the consumption of too much cold food, saying it can reduce your energy levels and impact the efficiency of your internal organs, especially the spleen. For example, in his book, “Helping Ourselves: A Guide To Traditional Chinese Food Energetics“, Derek Leggett warns of the dangers of prolonged use of chilled food, which could eventually weaken the ‘digestive fire’. (The key here is to make sure you’re getting enough digestive enzymes and not to eat your food chilled – and to sense what level of raw food would work for your constitution).
What your body is actually looking for is warm food, if that’s the case.
Food starts to feel hot not far above normal body temperature.
Now here’s a coincidence
The enzymes in our food (a CRITICAL part of being able to actually digest your meals!) start to be killed off above about 40 degrees centigrade (105 fahrenheit) – the temperature above which our food starts to feel too hot in our mouth.
Cunning old mother nature! 🙂
Raw food is all about eating food as unprocessed as possible and below that magic temperature, so there no reason why raw food has to be cold.
Here are some top tips for warming up your winter raw foods
Apologies if some of these sound like common sense – but that’s what they are! 😉
- Use warm water, not cold
Use water at about 40 degrees centigrade (105 fahrenheit) for soups or any other liquid recipes, especially if you’re going to be liquidising the ingredients.
- Plan ahead
Get your ingredients out of the fridge a few hours before you use them, to allow them to come up to room temperature, rather than being chilled.
(Please follow all of the usual common-sense food safety precautions!)
- Pre-warm your bowls
Let your bowls or plates stand in hot water for a few minutes, before using them, so they can heat through. This means they won’t cool down your food as quickly.
- Warm with the bain-marie method
This means putting your raw food in a bowl, above a pan of boiling water (don’t let the water touch the bowl and be careful to use a heat-resistant bowl). Stir often as you warm the food through.
- Use your dehydrator, if you have one
Putting your raw food in the dehydrator at the 40 degree centigrade temperature for a few hours will warm it through, so it no longer feels cold.
- Spice it up!
Ginger, cinnamon, liquorice, paprika and chilli are all warming spices, which can give the body a boost – especially in winter. Ginger and cinnamon work particularly well in smoothies. Paprika and chilli are delicious (in moderation!) in sauces and dips. How about experimenting?
What are your top tips and strategies, for warming up raw food, especially in winter? Perhaps you’d like to share them – or any questions you might have – via the comments box?
With love, Namaste,
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