Now, what to do with those sprouts…?

June 19, 2009

Mediterranean Wheatberry Salad

I hadn’t meant to go on such a raw food kick lately, but I planned my last cooking class a few months ago, thinking it would be warm by now. Raw foods are so excellent in the summer months when the temperatures are high and the vegetables are fresh from the farmers market.

But no. It’s been cold and rainy in Boston. At least the vegetables are fresh and delicious like they should be! And since we sprouted some wheat berries last time, now we’re gonna use ’em.

Before I go into the recipe, let me first answer this burning question:
What’s the deal with raw foods?

This is basically what my friend Leigh asked at last week’s (Un)Cooking Club and I’m glad she did because sometimes I forget to explain WHY I eat the way I do. So here goes.

Raw food enthusiasts eat a plant-based diet never heated above the temperature at which the live enzymes die – around 118 degrees. I have experimented with raw foods and learned some cool preparation techniques, and I appreciate the value of eating living foods. On my 2 months of raw food last year I gained a ton of energy, cleaned out my digestive system big time, and felt amazing. But it wasn’t something I could keep up in social situations, nor was it something that felt appropriate for me as the weather cooled down in for a Boston winter. Anyway, it felt like an amazing detox.

Raw foods contain the necessary enzymes to break themselves down during digestion. Therefore, it’s a very efficient process and your body does not need to do as much work. That, combined with eating so much fiber and so many nutrients…well, heck. It feels pretty darn good. I lost about 9 lbs. in the first few weeks I ate raw. That was not good because I was getting married soon and wanted to fit into my dress! But I will say, I never felt hungry, I ate all I wanted and still lost that weight. Interesting.

So maybe it’s adding a salad to dinner, or learning to make buckwheat crispies for breakfast. However you do it, adding raw food into your diet could be a very good thing.

Last Sunday I held an (Un)Cooking Club where we made an appetizer, main dish and dessert all from raw, living foods. And they were delicious! And inexpensive. Sweet.

Uncooking Club

For the main dish recipe I’m sharing today, you need to have sprouted wheat berries for a few days prior. You could also use sprouted barley, kamut, spelt or whatever you like. And if you’re like “forget it, I’m not sprouting anything!” then you can use cooked whole wheat berries. This salad will come out great either way.

Mediterranean Wheatberry Salad
2 cups wheat berries, sprouted
1 tomato, chopped
1 can black olives, sliced
3 Tbl. fresh basil, sliced
1 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped
5 sundried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
juice of 1 lemon
4 Tbl. olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Mix everything together in a big bowl. Serve cold or room temperature.

What are your thoughts on eating raw foods?