Monday, June 27, 2011

"Super Seven" Guide for Eating More Raw Vegetables

This "Super Seven" go-to guide will help jump-start your creativity, allowing you to sample these raw, nutritious and low-calorie contributions with your favorite meals.

Carrots, the superfood, on a blue table
Slice carrots into your salad

Raw vegetables contain nutrients and compounds that can help support our immunity, vitality, digestion and overall health. Though we know that cooking can alter these healthy nutrients, experimenting with raw vegetables can sometimes be intimidating.

This "Super Seven" go-to guide will help jump-start your creativity, allowing you to sample these raw, nutritious and low-calorie contributions with your favorite meals.

Try at least one of these ideas a week and you will be on your way to a healthier lifestyle. Or go for all seven by trying the "Super Seven" Salad with Leah's Favorite Vinaigrette after the guide.

"Super Seven" Go-To Guide

  • Cabbage: Slice thin and toss with a vinaigrette, or mix into salads and wraps.
  • Kale and chard: Thinly slice and massage with a bit of sea salt and lime juice, or add straight to a salad or smoothie for a healthy boost.
  • Beets: These sweet vegetables can be thinly julienned or shredded, tossed with your favorite seasoning and vinaigrette, and added to almost anything.
  • Carrots: Great for dipping or sliced right into your lunch.
  • Broccoli: Chop and add to salads or pastas, or dip into hummus or your favorite dip.
  • Red, white or green onion: Chop or dice into a salad, mix into a dip or toss into pasta for a guaranteed way to add a punch of flavor.
  • Sweet or hot peppers: Slice into salads or sandwiches, or eat with a dip. Hot peppers can be thinly sliced and added to a sauce, dip or vinaigrette to add a touch of heat.

"Super Seven" Salad

Thinly slice equal parts cabbage, chard, beets and carrots and mix in a large bowl. Add chopped broccoli, onions and bell peppers. Toss with your favorite vinaigrette (try the quick and easy recipe below), salt and pepper.

Feel free to add or subtract any ingredient you wish — add in sliced apples, mixed greens, fresh herbs or chopped nuts. There are no rules to raw food, as long as you find ways to enjoy them.

Leah's Favorite Vinaigrette
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/4 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients except olive oil together in a bowl. Mix with a whisk and slowly add olive oil. If needed, add salt and pepper to taste, and store in your refrigerator for a quick and tasty vinaigrette.

By Leah Goldstein, dietetic intern, and Debra A. Boutin, MS, RD, chair and dietetic internship director, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University.

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