Transitioning to Raw Food – Keeping the Taste of Cooked Food

Cooked Salad Dressing

If you are not quite ready to give up the taste of your favorite cooked foods but really want to improve your diet and start getting some of the benefits of a low fat raw vegan diet… then this is the page for you.

Why Transitioning to Raw Foods Can Be Harder Than Expected

As with any dietary change there is the mechanical change.  You have to learn what to eat, how to prepare it, where to buy it and how to fit all of that into your particular life.  This usually takes a few weeks, and then it becomes a habit.

When transitioning away from cooked foods to low fat raw foods, there is much more involved.  You will soon notice if (or most likely that) you are addicted to certain foods and spices.  Fast food and commercially prepared food is designed to be addictive.  It is loaded with all sorts of stimulants and excito-toxins.   When you stop eating these foods you may experience cravings and withdraw symptoms.

Additionally, you may experience emotional problems.  When you stop eating a regular western cooked food diet you free up a lot of energy and resources for your body.  When your body no longer has to coordinate complicated digestive tasks it will give you more resources to feel.   Learning to deal with your feelings is a task that may take you a few months.  Until then, you will probably have a impulse to just eat something that requires a lot of resources for its digestion.  This way the food will numb you out emotionally- just like it usually does.  Just think about how you feel after a large cooked meal.

These are just some of the things you may experience when going on a Raw Food Diet.  Of course, you will also have all the amazing benefits.    If you are not quite ready to transition completely to a raw food diet then here are a few tricks you can use that will still give you amazing health benefits.

The Cooked Salad Dressing

This may seem like a strange idea at first, but can be very satisfying.  When you have those strong food cravings and you are on the verge of getting some of that Indian or Chinese take-out, try this instead.

The idea is to make sure that stay on mostly raw, low fat food.  However, you will probably be craving some of your former favorite meals.  The idea is to add a healthier version of them, and only as a dressing.   This way you will still eat the bulk of the meal raw, but have the taste you long for.

Here is an example:

Cooked Salad Dressing Recipe

Cooked Salad Dressing in a Bowlchopped onions

pressed garlic

2 teaspoons of oil

chopped zucchini

chopped tomatoes

tomato paste

something a little sweet, like agave nectar

+ the spices you long for (like indian curry, miso, mexican spices…)

You would put the garlic and oil in a saucepan.  Make sure you only take a little oil.  You still want to keep an 80-10-10 ratio (Carbohydrats-Proteins-Fats) in your overall diet.  Add the pressed garlic after a while.  Then add the chopped zucchini.  Then the tomatoes and tomato paste.  Depending on the taste of your tomatoes you may want to add something to sweeten the sauce up a little bit.  Then add the types of spices that you are longing for and keep on the stove for a couple of minutes until the flavors mix.

The Salad


bell peppers


leafy greens

Make a large bowl of salad.  This should be one of those large serving bowls, not just regular soup bowl or so.  Then put some of the still hot salad dressing on top.

You will end up with a slightly warm meal that is mostly raw, still follows the 80-10-10 guidelines but also satisfies your particular craving and taste.

The cooked salad dressing will probably last you for a couple of meals.

This recipe is only an example.  You probably already know what cooked foods and tastes you like the best.  And so making them in very small quantities, while keeping the meal mostly raw may make your transition easier.

Tips for Adding Cooked Foods

  • Make it a meal free of animal products
  • Make sure it does not contain too much fat
  • Make sure it is only a smal part of the actual meal
  • Stay away from grains (as they cause digestive problems in most people)

Try to make your breakfast 100% raw.   Have lots of the fruits and berries you love in the morning.  Then, you may choose to perhaps have a large green smoothie for lunch.  A green smoothie will provide you with a healthy dose of leafy greens.  Depending on how much fruit you put in it, it will also contain enough fuel to sustain you until an early dinner.

In time, you may want to start experimenting with dressings made from fruits and vegetables, with small amounts of nuts.

Work on Personal Growth

It is highly likely that you are experiencing problems because of underlying emotional issues.  When you get on a low fat raw diet you stop numbing yourself on a daily basis.  Whatever hurt and underlying emotional distress you may have will tend to make itself known.  This is normal.   This is actually an excellent opportunity for emotional and spiritual growth.  Work on it.  You will probably find that your success on the raw diet will go hand in hand with personal growth.