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You've hopefully enjoyed a healthy and happy summer. Now that we are well and truly into autumn, it is normal for dietary habits and cravings to begin to change.
Of course, you might have chosen to take your summer holiday fruit in the form of a Vodka Martini with blueberry juice (and I can’t say I blame you) but for those looking to get a longer term boost from summer inspired healthy eating, remember you'll get a healthy dose of enzymes from eating raw food.
The raw food movement is more mainstream than ever but its less about those delicious raw cakes or balls (even though I'll share a DIY recipe at the end of this blog) and more about the use of fresh, enzyme rich, uncooked produce day in, day out.
But what are enzymes? Last spoken about in high school biology lessons for most of us, enzymes are biomolecules that catalyze (i.e., increase the rates of) chemical reactions. Nearly all known enzymes are proteins.
The enzymes that concern the raw food movement are the food enzymes. Enzymes are only present in raw foods, and they initiate the process of digestion in the mouth and stomach. So, in a very real way raw food is nature’s neat little bundle, complete with tools to assist its absorption in its most valuable form without robbing the body’s finite resources.
According to the late Dr. Edward Howell, a noted pioneer in the field of enzyme research, a diet reduced in enzymes (a typical western diet) is associated with shortened life span, illness and lowered resistance to stress.
“The length of life is inversely proportional to the rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential of an organism. The increased use of food enzymes promotes a decreased rate of exhaustion of the enzyme potential.”
Put simply, eat raw food to stay on the right side of the energy equation. In particular, make sure you include green leafy vegetables in your smoothies or salads since they are a prime source of magnesium which helps to activate the enzymes.
If you are already feeling the nip in the air and the thought of raw isn't putting the fire in your belly, then of course, soups and cooked veggies are wonderfully nourishing too
But, as promised, let's get back to those Instagram friendly raw puddings and desserts that are undoubtedly tasty but are often just too high in sugar or sugar substitutes to ever be considered healthy - and they can easily become an expensive habit. They are SO RIDICULOUSLY simple to make that it really is worth giving them a go yourself.
These Sweet n’ Salty Cookie Dough Balls are always popular in my household. With 3.4 g of protein per ball make these a great post-workout raw snack option with the added health benefits of anti-inflammatory turmeric and tummy-friendly chia seeds.
Sweet and Salty Cookie dough Balls (makes 10)
60 g ground almonds
65 g unsweetened peanut butter
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp chia seeds
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp extra virgin organic coconut oil
1 tbsp raw organic cocoa powder
1 tbsp toasted salted hemp seeds
Add all ingredients in a food processor and mix until combined. Use your hands to roll into balls and dust the balls with cocoa powder and roll the balls in the hemp seeds on a plate. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week in an airtight container