When it comes to looking good, 1980s supermodel Carol Alt probably has a genetic advantage on most of us, but she attributes her age-defying beauty to the raw-food diet she's been keeping for years.
Raw foodism is a diet based on food that is unprocessed and not cooked above a temperature of 116°F. Supporters of this diet say that this keeps food enzymes, which aid in the digestion and absorption of food, intact. Other benefits may include general detoxification, clearer skin, and more energy.
It can be a tough lifestyle to adhere to if eating delicious foods aside from salads is a priority, but there are a few cookbooks out there to help expand your raw-food horizons. Alt wrote The Raw 50 to answer the need for recipes that turn raw ingredients into real food. Having tried a few recipes for the novelty of it, I can attest that she crafts dishes that are full of flavor and have a variety of pleasing textures, from creamy to crunchy.
Alt's recipe for pecan pie results in a sweet treat that can serve as an introduction to the raw experience and as a healthy, guilt-free end to an otherwise gluttonous Thanksgiving dinner. I was surprised by how tasty, rich, and dense it actually was. Shock your in-laws or impress your vegan friends this Thanksgiving by bringing a raw dessert.
- 2 cups raw almonds, germinated
- 35 pitted dates, soaked for 1 hour and drained
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups raw pecans, germinated
- Cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil, to grease your pan
Combine the almonds and 10 of the dates in a food processor, and process until they are coarsely ground and clumping together. Grease the bottom of a 9-inch square brownie pan or a pie plate with a little cold-pressed olive oil to keep the pie from sticking to the plate. Press the almond-and-date mixture evenly into the bottom of brownie pan and up the sides to form a crust. Set aside.
Combine the remaining dates, the fresh lime juice, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla in a blender or small food processor, and process until the mixture has a smooth, uniform consistency. Spread the date filling evenly over the crust. Arrange the raw pecans on top of the date mixture and press lightly. Cut the pie into 2-inch squares and serve.