Here are just a few of Cherie’s most popular tips for saving time and money while maintaining a raw vegan diet. Remember: keep raw foods fresh and full of nutrition by following Raw Food Tip Number One: Always choose fresh, ripe raw fruits and vegetables in season!
• Fluctuations in temperatures speed spoilage. Even a slight change of temperature reduces the shelf life of fresh produce. To reduce the amount of degradation that occurs from temperature fluctuations, it’s important to remove only the amount of food you will need when preparing a meal. Any extra produce should be replaced promptly in the refrigerator.
• A refrigerator does not store all food at a consistent temperature. Each part of a refrigerator has a different temperature and humidity factor. Crisper bins are best for storing greens, since they offer optimal humidity. Always be sure to keep delicate greens on top of heavier produce.
• If the refrigerator is too full, items that touch the sides or are placed on the top shelf might freeze (depending on whether it is a side by side or top freezer model), while items in the center might be quite warm. Freshness can also be compromised when produce is pushed to the back of the refrigerator, or placed on the top shelf. Always allow plenty of airflow in the refrigerator.
• Group dry goods of like categories together in clear glass jars with tight-fitting lids, and label them with the name of the product and the date purchased, using masking tape and a marking pen.
Prepared Food Storage
• Prepared foods stay fresher in glass containers and are less likely to take on other flavors or transfer odors while they are being stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
• Prepared foods are best stored in containers that allow the least amount of air to touch them. When possible, choose containers that are deep rather than shallow, so there is less surface space, and as large as necessary without too much extra space in the jar or container.
• When preparing a recipe, remove only those items from the fridge that need to be prepared first. Remove more delicate foods like fresh herbs and greens last.
In order to successfully maintain a health-promoting raw vegan diet in your own life, it’s important to have plenty of delicious, easy-to-prepare foods on hand. Doing a little prep work ahead of time substantially cuts down on time spent in the kitchen during the work week, and ensures that you’ll always have healthy raw vegan options at your fingertips.Remember, taking good care of your food is taking good care of yourself—and you deserve the best!
Raw food preparation may seem like a lot of work at first, but when you become accustomed to thinking ahead and setting some time aside each week to prepare in advance, it becomes so much easier. Stay tuned for more raw food storage tips in a future blog. To learn more about the raw food lifestyle and Living Light Culinary Institute courses and certification programs, call 707-964-2420