Cooking with Raw Food - Oven vs. Dehydrator
One of the things that surprises people the most about raw food is that it isn’t just simply served raw- despite what the term may suggest
Learning to cook raw foods is an important and exciting way to enhance your enjoyment of the lifestyle - and to help add diversity to your diet. Enjoying raw veggie sticks with nutritious dips like hummus, or tucking into a freshly prepared raw leaf, veggie or fruit salad is indeed delicious, however there are numerous other ways that you can enjoy raw foods.
After all, you’re not going to want to stick to it if you eat the same vegetables or fruits in the same way, day in and day out. This would soon become very boring, and when it comes to food- inspiration and variety is most definitely key! Repetitive eating, even if healthy, deprives your body of the full range of nutrition available, and can lead to deficiencies in severe cases, too.
Raw food is defined as wholefood that is organic, vegan and isn’t cooked above 47°C 116°F. The reason for this is because this low-heat method of cooking preserves the dietary enzymes and nutrient content of the food in its natural state.
Experimenting and trying new ingredients can and will absolutely open your mind to the huge range of healthy raw dishes at your fingertips. Cakes, soups, salads, pizzas, and more. Even raw pad Thai and mock sushi!
When it comes to cooking raw food, the question often comes up about which to use – the oven or a dehydrator. Is there a difference? Is it worthwhile to invest in a dehydrator?
It’s a heated topic (pardon the pun) but we’ll attempt to explain...
Ovens can have a tendency to overheat (heating beyond the temperature that they reflect), so it is always worth checking that your thermostat is accurately set. Some ovens can be set at lower temperatures than others - and these tend to be the better ovens to choose to cook raw foods in.
If your oven is like most, and lacks this ability to reliably heat at lower temperatures, a dehydrator may be a better option for you.
A dehydrator is a great way to preserve the necessary enzymes because it doesn’t get too hot and can be very reliably set to low temperatures. It provides ideal airflow and given its design, it effectively draws the moisture out of the food at a rate that optimises the drying process. Another benefit is that it’s energy efficient and doesn’t need much supervision, much like a slow cooker.
We’d recommend trialling a dehydrator first, perhaps even a friend’s if possible - to get an understanding of how it works and whether it is appropriate for you and your family.
It can be used to make all sorts of dishes and snacks - varying from dried fruit snacks to vegetable chips, dried nuts and other treats. Best seen as an investment in your family’s health and wellbeing. We view it as a valuable addition to the kitchen to help add diversity to your meals, to add excitement, different textures and promote overall nutrition.
Rawries is passionately committed to making raw wholegrain plant-based food convenient, achievable and absolutely delicious... for everyone! Visit our blog for articles and evidence based research discussions around the healthful benefits of incorporating "more raw" into your diet, as well as tips on how to boost your nutrition and overall wellbeing. For raw vegan inspirations, head to our vibrant recipe selection of breakfasts, mains, salads and soups, sauces and dips, desserts and fresh juices and smoothies. We can't wait to hear what you think of them!