We’ve already written about the benefits of eating raw cacao, but adopting a raw diet in general has a host of benefits. Vitamins and minerals in most vegetables lose their potency and become less present in fruit and vegetables when cooked. Eating them raw simply means you get greater nutritional benefits out of them – a great way to counter-act the over-indulgences at this time of year.
Whether you’re thinking of starting a raw diet and having a healthier Christmas, or you want to show your family just how good eating raw can be, you’ll love the ideas and recipes in our guide. Read on to find out how to plan the perfect raw and ethical Christmas.
There are loads of fantastic recipes out there – you just need to know where to look. Here are some of our favourites:
Peanut butter chocolate cups
This recipe is a firm favourite of Bettina Campolucci Bordi, who decided to adopt a plant-based diet after hitting a health wall six years ago.
“I was over-worked, unhealthy and loved going out,” she told us. “I had a health scare and it made me turn my life around.”
Being healthy doesn’t mean having to give up chocolate, thankfully! These peanut butter cups make awesome Christmas presents for both vegans and diabetics, as they don’t contain any sugar. We love a guilt-free chocolatey treat!
Hot superfood chocolate
Lynn, creator of Heavenlynn Healthy, created this delicious recipe because she wanted a healthy alternative to sugar-loaded hot chocolate.
“It’s not overly sweet, but has a strong chocolate-y flavour, and it also tastes a lot like fall and winter,” she says.
Containing turmeric (known for its anti-inflammatory properties), Maca powder (rich in a variety of minerals and vitamins) and Ombar chocolate (made from raw cacao – of course!), this recipe is perfect for those cold winter evenings.
Raw vegan Christmas cake
If you’re looking for a pudding to serve as part of your Christmas lunch/dinner, this is an excellent choice. You don’t need to make it months in advance like you would a traditional Christmas cake – in fact, it’s incredibly easy to make, despite its long list of ingredients (you can cut some of them out, if you wish).
Plus, it serves 10 people, so it’s ideal for large family lunches, and you can keep any leftovers in the fridge for up to three weeks.
Raw lasagne with cashew cheese and broccoli sun-dried tomato paste
Looking for a raw alternative to Tofurky or nut roast? This delicious lasagne by Em at This Rawsome Vegan Life is quick and easy to make, meaning there’s no need to stress about timings come Christmas Day.
Em has used courgette instead of pasta, made cashew cheese in place of dairy and created a tasty sun-dried tomato and broccoli pesto from scratch. You can then add whatever veggies you like to each layer – Em recommends sprouts, tomatoes, basil leaves and mushrooms.
How to package your raw Christmas treats
Christmas shopping can be an absolute nightmare, especially if you know someone who owns one of everything already. How can you give them a gift without the possibility of doubling-up?
Creating your own Christmas presents is an inexpensive, ethical and thoughtful alternative to just buying a gift for the sake of it. If you’ve been inspired by some of the recipes above to give raw, healthy treats to your friends and family this year, you’re going to want to know how to package them. Here are some quick tips.
Keep it simple
Bettina told us that she loves making tasty raw presents, such as her chocolate brownie balls and she keeps her packaging simple.
“I always use brown paper and string for packaging,” she explains. “It looks old-school and is super simple, yet looks awesome.”
Use recycled paper
Old maps, book pages and magazines are a readily available, ethical alternative to traditional gift wrap. Plus, you’ll always know which presents were wrapped by you when they’re under the tree!
If you need gift tags, try cutting up bits of last year’s Christmas cards (if you held onto them). They look unique and will save you money.
Use natural decorations
Want to add an extra bit of something to your packages but don’t want to buy ribbon? Raid your garden or local forest floor for holly leaves, red berries, pine cones and twigs instead. They’ll smell and look amazing.
If this Christmas will be your first raw one, we wish you the best of luck – not that you’ll need it, of course! We’ll leave you with one final tip from Bettina, which is well-worth remembering:
“Go simple, don’t over think and try to use ingredients that are local. Nine out of ten times they will taste better.”