Sprouts are the perfect raw food. They are easy to grow, simple, and tasty to eat. SInce the agrarian era, people have been sprouting seeds because they offer dense nutrition and easy energy. No cooking is required, yet all the nutrients of the same seeds cooked are present in the sprout. In fact, minerals in many sprouted foods increase while fat content is lowered. And sprouts are full of the digestive enzymes needed for metabolism. When you eat sprouts, they literally digest themselves--leaving your body free to work on more important things!
Sprouts are very versatile and can be made into delicious dishes from all over the world. Sprouted legumes can be made into anything from salads to dips to burger patties. Grain sprouts a can be transformed into moist, chewy breads with a dehydrator -- or just your oven set to Low. And leafy sprouts are a salad by themselves, and so good on a sandwich, in a pita, or stuffed into a veggie roll. With just a dash of spice or dressing a few handfuls of sprouts are transformed into a raw meal. Sprouts enhance the flavors and textures of many raw dishes.
We have known people who cured themselves of diseases while eating a raw food diet rich in sprouted seeds. While sprouts are superior nutrition we suspect that part of the reason is that the digestive enzymes in sprouts leave the body's reserves available for fighting disease instead of using all the metabolic energy up in the task of digesting cooked foods.
We look forward to scientific studies on the benefits of raw food diets. There is still a great deal of controversy surrounding raw foods. Up to now, evidence of the benefits of a totally raw food diet has been mostly anecdotal. We want people to make informed decisions and welcome the research that will help us know more about raw foods.
Yet there are more stories every day of raw diets healing ailments that medical science could not cure, of saving people whom the medical establishment had sent home to die. While we would be irresponsible to claim that sprouted raw food can cure any disease, we know that "something" about raw foods does seem to help people.
At the very least, raw foods make you feel good, fill you up, and eliminate cravings. Raw food heals, if only because they do not tax the system with digestive duties. It is estimated that 60% of the body's energy goes into food metabolism. If you replace that with food that digests itself, think of all the extra energy you could have.That is just what people report on a raw diet; more energy, less need for sleep and healing.
Still, until there is more evidence we don't necessarily advocate a completely raw diet. Rather, we encourage a diet in which, raw, living food plays an important role. That said, we eat many cooked foods in moderation and feel better, we think, because of it. We enjoy some sprouted food almost every day.
This is easy to do. There are hundreds of delicious raw sprouted recipes, and as people discover the benefits of raw food, more and more raw "cookbooks" are written every year. We can't wait to try more raw recipes! We have listed our favorite raw books, below. And there are many more to read!
We have included a list of links weighing the pros and cons of an all-raw diet. The jury is still out and much more research is needed. But it is a fascinating topic!
If you are new to raw food, the amount of information you will come across might feel overwhelming. A great place to start is Allissa Cohen's website (see Raw Food Links below). She has been eating and teaching a raw food diet for over 25 years. Although we have never met Alissa she should be acknowledged for her passion for raw foods. For further reading, we would also like to mention Dr. Gabriel Cousens, founder of Tree of Life Foundation and Rejuvenation Center in Arizona, whose healing regime includes live, vegan meals. And for inspiration, check out the "Raw Family", the Boutenkos, who, after emigrating from Russia cured themselves of an array of diseases.
There are many others as well, as you will find on your own healthy, delicious journey.