Raw Vegan Food List
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- What can you eat on raw vegan diet?
- Raw Vegan Food List
- Dried Fruit
- Nuts & Seeds
- Herbs and Spices
- Foods to keep out of your raw vegan pantry
- Get PDF version of raw food list to print
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What can you eat on raw vegan diet?
You’ll be pleased to know that raw food lifestyle does not involve getting rid of all of your shoes, taking poignant shots of yourself with perfect smoothie bowls for Instagram or chanting to the fresh produce Gods… unless you’re into that.
Raw vegan is a lifestyle that does incredible things for your body, the animals and the planet, and simply involves eating an abundance of fresh fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds that haven’t been heated above 115F. This preserves a food’s nutrients, giving your body the energy and goodness it needs. And that’s it. No complicated maths, no eating your body weight in cabbage soup, and absolutely no calorie restrictions. Just beautiful smoothies, juices, salads, cheesecakes and pizza. For real.
Intrigued by a lifestyle that can combat and prevent major diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes, and have you living a berry abundant life? (See what I did there…).
Need a raw vegan food list?
Look no further. Simply fill your kitchen to the brim with the following foods, and watch in awe as your skin starts to glow, your body is filled with energy and you’re munching meal after meal of healthful deliciousness. You’ll be culinary royalty, knocking fabulous dishes out of the park like an MVP. Well played, you fabulous raw vegan, you!
Jam-packed full of (the good type of) sugar, vitamins, minerals, living enzymes and phytonutrients, fruit makes the perfect health-giving snack and meal. Fancy living a long and healthy life? Fruit is your friend.
Whether in a smoothie, juice, salad, ice cream or sweet treat, go ahead and eat the fruity stuff to your heart’s content. You should be eating plenty on a raw vegan diet, fruit especially. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I ate less than 4 bananas in any one meal as a raw vegan. Restrictive, it aint. From tropical fruits to winter wonders, choose whatever’s in season where possible, and get munching!
Dried fruit is like fresh fruit, but lasts pretty much forever. Okay, slight exaggeration, but with a much longer-shelf life than fresh, it’s an absolute must-have for your raw vegan pantry.
Not only is it a great snack on-the-go to keep you bursting with energy, but its high natural sugar content means you can whip up some mean cakes, cheesecakes, desserts and cookies with a little help from this healthful treat. From dates (the raw vegan staple) and raisins to figs and apricots, life as a raw vegan is sure to taste oh so sweet.
Just make sure that your dried fruit is organic and sulfur-free, with no sugar added. Many dried apricots in particular contain sulfur dioxide (that’s how they get their super bright color), which sounds more like something scientists should be experimenting with than something to smother on nature’s candy! And it is. A gas that can also be used as a disinfectant or bleaching agent, exposure to this chemical can be dangerous, so ensure that every pack of dried fruit you buy is sulfur-free!
So it wouldn’t be a complete raw vegan pantry without talking about these vitamin and mineral-packed powerhouses of deliciousness. Yep, the humble vegetable is the superhero of the food world, and despite its often negative press, is seriously tasty.
The Standard American Diet (SAD) includes so few portions of vegetables that, when we think of veggies, the first image that comes to mind is often plate of over boiled, soggy carrots. Forget it.
If you’re not yet particularly adventurous when it comes to veggies, there are so many types of beautiful varieties that exploring the lesser ventured bits of the fresh produce aisle is an absolute must. From bell peppers and mushrooms to spring greens and butternut squash, veggies taste fantastic raw; they’re jam-packed full of flavor, and are simply divine.
Fill your pantry (or fridge!) with whatever’s in season and fill your body with goodness!
- Baby Spinach
- Bamboo Shoots
- Bok Choy
- Bell Peppers
- Brussels Sprouts
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Green Onions
- Jalapeno Peppers
- Spring Greens
- Sweet Potatoes
Nuts & Seeds
It’s certainly no secret that nuts are full of fat, but we do need some for the proper functioning of our bodies.
A common mistake when starting a raw diet is eating bags and bags of the stuff and wondering why you’re not quite as full of life as you’d hoped. Whilst we need about 10% of our total calories per day from fat, most of our calories should come from fruits and veggies.
But, a handful of nuts and seeds a day, either as they are, sprinkled on a smoothie bowl, or eaten in the form of a raw cheesecake, will provide the vital fats needed (and taste like heaven).
Like nuts, seeds contain vital nutrients, but, given their high fat content, they should be eaten in small amounts. Whether you sprinkle pumpkin or sunflower seeds on your salads, get your dehydrator on for flax crackers, or simply snack on them as they are, these teeny tiny nutrient-dense bits of awesomeness should be stocked up on in bulk, as they can be pricey in the supermarkets!
Raw Butters from Nuts & Seeds
Nut butter is life. Even though I don’t eat loads of it due to its high fat content, one of my fave snacks is dates and a spoon of almond butter. Oh my gosh. It’s like eating a box of truffles, just without the toxins. Sold!
In moderation, raw nut butter is an absolute must-have in any raw vegan diet. But, as tempting as it is, try not to eat more than around a tablespoon a day. About 10% of our daily total calories should come from fat, as a general rule.
The problem arises when you’re faced with a million different choices in the supermarket and online, and most of these are processed or have chemicals added to prolong the shelf-life. So what should you look for when choosing nut butters?
- Always make sure there’s simply nuts, and no additives, gluten, dairy, preservatives, extra oils, GMOs, salt or pesticides. These are completely unnecessary and take away from the beautiful creamy flavor of raw nuts!
- Make sure the nuts haven’t been roasted, toasted or cooked.
- Try to buy USDA ORGANIC CERTIFIED, which means no toxic pesticides, chemicals or genetically modified organisms.
Happy nut butter shopping! Yes, I do have fun shopping for nut butter, and no, I am not ashamed.
Herbs & Spices
Think raw vegan means no flavor?
Not with a pantry stocked with endless vitamin and flavor packed fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds, along with some amazing herbs and spices to make all that flavor pop! From basil for your raw lasagnes to vanilla pods for your cheesecakes to chili powder for your… well… chili, stock up on the following, and spice up your life!
- Celery Seed
- Chili powder
- Italian Seasoning
- Onion Powder
- Poppy Seed
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Himalayan Pink Salt
Life as a raw vegan doesn’t involve a sugar ban (or there’s no chance I’d be doing it…). It simply means eating natural sugars, with an abundance of fresh and dried fruits and super healthy sweeteners to please even the sweetest of sweet-tooths.
I may have already mentioned about 57 times throughout my blog that I love dates. They’re without doubt my #1 choice of sweetener for smoothies and desserts. Use a high-quality blender to grind dates into a paste, and add to anything that needs a little (natural) sweetness!
The question of whether agave syrup, a sweetener extracted from the agave plant, is truly raw is a contentious topic. Sometimes highly processed, make sure agave that you purchase specifies raw, like this one from Wholesome. Raw agave has low-glycaemic index and so does not cause spike in blood sugar, unlike highly processed and toxic sweeteners found in junk! Add to smoothies or desserts to taste!
It’s also important to choose maple syrup that isn’t highly processed, as some can be. Grade A Dark with Robust Taste (formerly grade B) is less processed and contains more nutrients than grade A does. However, it is cooked. A difficult one to navigate, I recommend this organic Hidden Springs Grade B maple syrup, for all of your pancake needs. Yep, we can still eat pancakes. Isn’t the raw vegan diet just flipping great? Sorry…
Lastly, Coconut Nectar, as if coconuts didn’t provide us with enough healthy goodness already, has a low-glycaemic index, and is more nutritious than agave, making it another sweetener staple for your raw vegan pantry!
So sea vegetables may or may not be a completely new addition to your pantry, but are truly hidden gems of the nutrition world. Full of minerals and iodine (good for your thyroid and metabolism), I use raw nori sheets to make nori rolls, add Whole Leafe Dulse, with a distinctive taste and rich red color, to sauces, veggie dishes and salads, and Emerald Cove Pacific Wakame, with a subtly sweet flavor, can be added to soups and salads. Wakame is extremely beneficial in helping to maintain the alkaline/acid balance necessary for a healthy body.
Note: I'd like to add that I don't think that Amazon offers the best prices for Sea Vegetables. I found Thrive Market to be cheaper on these type of products.
Something else that you might assume goes out of the window when eating raw is condiments. No. Chance. We just need to choose the good ones! Whilst ‘typical’ condiments like tomato and BBQ sauce are processed to the high heavens and contain additives that are completely unpronounceable, these are completely natural, yet packed full of flavor.
Coconut aminos, which is likely to be a completely new addition to your raw pantry, is one of my favorite alternatives for soy sauce. Perfect with those nori rolls. Nama Shoyu and Tamari are also great soy sauce substitutes. You can even use Nama Shoyu to make a BBQ sauce and Tamari has a richer, milder, more complex taste than regular soy sauce.
Finally, Miso contains probiotics, is a fermented and cultured food and comes in different flavors. Experiment, and enjoy!
Are you sure about this category? I thought raw vegans couldn’t eat…. Nope! In fact, some of the best chocolate you will ever have tasted is raw. As is now one of my favorite phrases, raw vegan truly is the gift that keeps on giving.
You might have heard several terms for the sweet stuff that sound distinctly similar. Chocolate, carob, cacao, cocoa… Why they couldn’t choose another letter to avoid confusion is beyond me. The term ‘chocolate’ is typically used to refer to the processed kind, laden with refined sugar, dairy and a whole host of other toxic ‘ingredients’. Cocoa, whilst used to refer the cocoa bean, the thing that’s unfortunately added to the toxic concoction listed above, can also be used to refer to the processed powdery stuff used in cakes and hot chocolate.
Carob, a term you might not have come across before, is the product of the carob tree found in eastern Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions. Because it has a chocolate-like taste, although it’s less sweet, it’s often used as a substitute. And, with a third of the calories of processed chocolate, and its abundance of protein and vitamins, carob makes a fab raw vegan alternative.
Finally, raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans, which preserves the nutritional value. Considered a superfood, it’s full of (amongst a whole host of antioxidants and nutrients I don’t have room to mention) iron, calcium and magnesium, which is great for the bones and for your brain! So essentially, the right kind of chocolate is amazing for your health. Consider that little a nugget a belated Christmas present, from me to you…
Like nuts and seeds, oil should be eaten very sparingly, due to its high fat content. But keeping coconut oil, olive oil and avocado oil in your raw vegan pantry is a must. Coconut oil is bang on trend for a reason, or 20. Whether used as a skin or hair treatment, or to make a super creamy raw sweet treat, it’s a must-have. Use avocado and olive oils in everything from desserts to salad dressings, but just don’t use too much!
Foods to keep out of your raw vegan pantry
Roasted nuts and seeds
Not all nuts and seeds are great for your health. You’ll find heaps of roasted nuts and seeds on sale, which are not only heated (this damages their nutritional value), but they’re also usually loaded with sodium – not so great for your heart.
You should consider soaking any raw nuts and seeds you want to use because they contain phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. These can ‘bind minerals to the body and prevent their absorption’.
To soak, and allow all those wonderful nutrients to be absorbed by the body super easily, simply fully cover your nuts or seeds in water overnight, or 24 hours preferably. Then, bake on a very low heat (no more than 115F) or use a dehydrator to dry them. Et voila! Never heard of dehydrators? Check out my guide to raw vegan kitchen equipment essentials. And get ready to love your dehydrator more than all of your family and friends combined.
Dried fruit with sulfur or sugar
As I’ve already mentioned, just make sure that your dried fruit is sulfur-free, with no sugar added. Some dried fruit contains sulfur dioxide, which can also be used as a disinfectant, so it’s pretty obvious why it should be avoided… at all costs. And, to be honest, I bet you’ve never eaten a handful of sulfur-free apricots and thought, ‘Do you know what… these could really do with a touch of that gas that can be used as a bleaching agent’. Yummy.
And it’s not just sulfur you need to be on the lookout for. Dried fruit can also be found with heaps of refined sugar added. Why they feel the need to add sugar to nature’s candy is beyond me, but, if you want to feel super energetic after your dried fruit snacks and not like you need a lie down after the inevitable sugar crash, just avoid the added sugar kind.
Nut butters made with roasted nuts or additives
It’s also worth checking that your nut butters aren’t made with roasted or added-sodium nuts. One way to ensure this is, of course, to make your own. This is the time for your Vitamix – God of blenders and grinder of nuts – to shine. Sounds like a character on Game Of Thrones…
Alternatively, make sure the jar specifies raw in its description, like this Artisana Organics Raw Almond Butter which also contains no additives - just almond nutty goodness.
Think all nut butters are the same? Chances are your store-bought jar has extra ingredients, including preservatives and additives, to make it last longer. They do not deserve a spot in your pantry.
Luckily, we’re starting to wake up to the of dangers of artificial sugar. From saccharin and aspartame to sucralose and acesulfame, you have to wonder how these chemicals were ever approved by the FDA to be put into food we eat several times a day.
All should be avoided, but pay particular attention to aspartame and sucralose. Linked to a whole list of devastating conditions from brain tumors to Parkinson’s, aspartame can be found in diet sodas, sugar substitutes, yogurt and even bread.
Similarly, sucralose, often marketed under the name Splenda, is a known carcinogen. So how does it still make its way into our food, I hear you cry. Ask The FDA.
Luckily, with a raw vegan lifestyle, it’s super easy to avoid these, but just be wary that diet drinks should 100% be avoided. These dangerous sweeteners could also sneak their way into seemingly raw vegan energy bars, so just double check ingredients lists before purchasing. If it ain’t sweetened with fruit, we ain’t interested!
Check! The complete raw vegan food list: everything you’ll need to snack savvy, cook creatively and feel fabulous, in one handy list… with a reminder of the naughties that don’t deserve a spot in your fancy pantry.
Fancy a PDF version of my raw food list to print and keep? Simply subscribe below!
It’s perfect for keeping your pantry stocked up with the good stuff, so you’ve always got what you need on hand to live your best raw vegan life… and for keeping tabs on your medjool dates.
And when your other half is looking much more energetic than usual, it’ll be pretty obvious who’s nicked them. I recommend a good quality padlock for all of your keeping-your-fave-raw-vegan-treats-safe needs.
Happy raw vegan-ing everyone!