I have been wanting to buy a juicer and blender for a while now, so the Raw Food Potluck lunch at the World Health Store in Beijing provided as good of motivation as any to make the purchase. After a fierce battle between two saleswomen at Century Mart, I went with the Joyoung blender for 199RMB. It came with attachments for juicing, grinding and making soy milk, so I’m pretty excited to try out all of the functions. After buying the blender I went to Lohao Organic food store to pick up some ingredients for two raw food recipes I read about online. Upon arriving home I had a brief photo shoot with my blender and all items I had purchased or already had in the house which would soon be used to make blended creations.

My first recipe for the raw food potluck was lettuce wraps. Although the avocados I bought were unripe, so I added one instead of two, the end product tasted more like salsa than guacamole but still tasted great. The recipe went as follows:

Raw Food Diet Lettuce Wraps

-Diced tomatoes (I used a combination of cherry and regular)
-Diced avocado
-Diced onion
-Diced jalapeno
-Fresh lemon and lime juice
-Dash of salt
-Big leafs of lettuce to wrap contents up!

*Recipe adapted from www.living-foods.com/recipes

Part 2 of the raw food lunch consisted of raw pumpkin pudding. I was very skeptical that raw pumpkin would taste alright, and I had to cut the pumpkin into pretty small pieces before the blender would take them…but this dish turned out even better than the first!

Raw Pumpkin Pudding

-Cut skin off one small, sweet pumpkin
-Dice into small pieces
-Fill blender about 1/10th full with coconut milk and blend with pumpkin
-Pour into bowl
-Garnish generously with flaxseeds, finely chopped dates, banana and walnut
-Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste

*Recipe adapted from Gina on www.goneraw.com

It took quite a while to source all of these materials and ingredients in Beijing, but after visiting a few stores and markets I found all of the necessary ingredients. David and I also tried spinach-banana smoothies and no-bake coconut-date biscotti made by local Raw Food chef, Jennifer McCLelland (http://www.jennifermcclelland.com/)

In principle I think the Raw Food Diet makes a lot of sense. It doesn’t advocate entirely uncooked or unheated foods, but promotes eating as much raw food as possible. In practice it’s very difficult to maintain this diet with an active lifestyle, as you must constantly be planning your next meal and making daily trips to buy fresh fruits and veggies. Despite the fact that I’ve already had pasta for dinner, I am going to continue to try some of these recipes and aim to eat raw when possible. For more information about a raw food diet, About.com has a pretty good overview: http://altmedicine.about.com/od/popularhealthdiets/a/Raw_Food.htm