When it comes to eating vegetables, I am not a big fan of crunching them uncooked and generally prefer roasted, stir fried or even boiled. It is a similar story with fruit. Although I do enjoy more raw fruits over raw vegetables, the cooked version of many fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, berries and even bananas definitely has more appeal.
Despite this, I did enjoy this raw sweet potato salad with a curry almond sauce! I had prepared a similar dish many months ago in which the sweet potato spirals were stir fried for about 5 minutes before adding them to the salad which softened them slightly. However, this recipe is authentically raw! As it involves no cooking, it is great for a summer meal when you don’t want to turn the stove on or, alternatively, it can be served as a light side dish to add a fresh flavour and crunch to a warm, winter meal.
What is a raw food diet?
According to Healthline, a raw food diet is considered to consist of about 70% raw foods and, although the raw food diet has gained popularity in recent years, it has actually been around since the 1800s. Raw foods are deemed to have not been heated over a certain temperature and are not refined, pasteurized, treated with pesticides or otherwise processed in any way.
A raw food diet is usually plant-based and made up mostly of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds and involves several alternative preparation methods, such as juicing, blending, dehydrating, soaking and sprouting.
Is a raw food diet healthier than cooked food?
Healthline further indicates that research shows that both cooked and raw foods have some benefits but that eating raw foods is not any healthier than cooked food.
Although cooking can decrease certain nutrients in food, especially water-soluble ones like vitamin C and B vitamins, it can actually increase the availability of other nutrients and antioxidants, such as lycopene and beta-carotene. Cooking can also destroy certain harmful compounds and kill bacteria.
Recipe for Raw Sweet Potato Salad
As referenced in my article about sweet potatoes and yams, one of the advantages of a sweet potato is its ability to carry spices. In this case, this recipe from Jesse Lane Wellness includes an interesting mix of cinnamon and curry as well as a touch of almond butter and coconut oil which creates a sweet and tasty sauce for the sweet potatoes.
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 cup dried currants
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
Curry Almond Sauce
- ½ cup almond butter
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
- 6 tsp curry powder
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp tamari
- Blend the ingredients for the curry almond sauce.
- Next peel the sweet potatoes and either spiralize them, grate them or use a peeler to make the raw sweet potato noodles.
- Place the sweet potato noodles in a bowl with the currants and walnuts and massage the sauce into the raw sweet potato salad.
Raw food tends to contain a lot of bulky, satiating fibre which can fill us up sooner resulting in eating less. However, it is also believed that eating mostly raw foods can make it more challenging to get sufficient calories, protein and certain vitamins and minerals. Like many things, in the end variety and moderation seem to be the key and whether your preference is to eat raw or cooked food, a bit of both will likely help maintain a healthy balance.
For this particular raw food dish, although it is recommended that the salad is eaten on the day it is made in order to enjoy the “ optimal sweet potato crunch”, I also enjoy it on the second day when the sweet potato has marinated in the curry almond dressing. Although it is not quite as crunchy, it is definitely just as tasty.