I once worked in an office so cold that I wore my winter wardrobe more in the summer than the winter. Sure, there were sundresses underneath the layers, but it was the equivalent of wearing an awesome Halloween costume and covering it with a winter coat. Not that I’ve done that. (Not that every Canadian child has done that.)
If your office hasn’t received the memo that simulating winter in the summer is just not cool (pun unapologetically intended), the last thing you want to do is get home and crank the air conditioning. Yet turning your oven on seems equivalent to living in the oven. Isn’t there a sweet, Goldilocks place, where the temperature is just right?
Raw plant-based recipes can be a beautiful way to snack or dine without having to mop more sweat from your brow. They are a way to showcase summer produce and keep you hydrated (raw foods often have more moisture than their cooked counterpoints). Eating and drinking your water is a good summer habit.
A possible seasonal disadvantage of raw food is that you won’t be able to eat all of the fruits and vegetables that are bursting from your fridge. Cooking them down and preserving them, as our grandmothers did, can be a way to waste less. Plus, come winter, you will have tomato sauces and jams that will work like flavour rays of sunshine.
In the meantime, let’s stay cool with these ideas (Google can help you with the full plant-based recipes):
1. Lettuce-Less Salads
Salad can be made with cauliflower as the base, ribboned carrots, zucchini “zoodles,” heirloom tomatoes and more. Instagram snap optional.
2. Dip It (real good)
Guacamole can be a food group when the dipping receptacles are balanced, from raw crackers to veggies. Other ideas: cashew ranch dip, spinach-artichoke hummus, green goddess dressing. Yum.
3. Milkshakes & Smoothies
Whether you are making a mango milkshake that is stuffed with healthy ingredients or you design a multilayered rainbow smoothie is your prerogative. Make sure you include healthy fats to double the staying power.
4. Blender Soups
The two things I know for sure after experimenting with raw soups is that 1) they are too easy and 2) go easy on the onion and garlic (trust me). Other that that, the produce in your fridge and the power of your blender will determine how far you deviate from the Gazpacho safety zone. I recommend using recipes as guides so you don’t end up with sludge (although sludge can be great for gardens).
5. Tortilla-Free Wraps
Collard greens. Heads of romaine. Nori. Stuff with walnut meat and piles of veggies. Oh, and more guacamole. Always more guacamole.
Delicious, nutritious eating that leaves more time for the important summer sport of doing nothing? Count me in!