Raw Food: Ingredients and Substitutions
Recently, I made dinner for a friend. Not too unusual but I was in California, not Minnesota, in someone else’s kitchen and without my normal ingredients. Wanting to get dinner done fast, I made one of the recipes from the Rawmazing Transition book, Black Beans with Mango Avocado Pineapple Salsa and Lime Cream. The recipe calls for cooked black beans (it is a transitional recipe) and normally, I would soak my beans and cook them in a pressure cooker. I only had canned beans available so in a pinch I used them.
You wouldn’t think that using canned beans vs. using fresh would affect a recipe on a dramatic scale, but it did. It lost 50% of it’s flavor. I still used black beans but the difference in the texture and taste between fresh and canned was remarkable. It got me thinking, how often do you pay attention to the ingredients that are going into your carefully prepared meals? If you are going to take the time to make food, take the time to pick out the best ingredients.
Making sure fruit and veggies are ripe, nuts are fresh and all of the rest of the ingredients are at their peak will help guarantee that your dish tastes the best it can. It might take a little advanced planning but it is worth the effort.
When you have fruit or veggies that are ready to eat now, do a quick search on the site to find out what recipes have the ingredient you want to use. You can find the search box on the right side of the site near the top.
Substitutions: There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t get a request for substitutions. Nuts, flax, avocado, young thai coconut, grains, etc all seem to be things that someone has issues with. Substitution requests are frustrating because it isn’t as simple as one would think.
When I create a recipe, great care is taken when combining ingredients. I am looking for a balance between the flavors, textures and of course, visual appeal. Balance is very important because without it, you are not going to like what you have created. When an ingredient can’t be used, and a substitution is needed, it will throw off all of the other ingredients. So, if you are doing a substitution, you need to taste and be aware of how the new ingredient affects all of the other ingredients.
I wish I had time to recreate every recipe so that it would work for everyone but unfortunately, that isn’t possible. If you have had a success with substitutions, please share them in the comment section of the recipe.
One more note about gluten free. Since Rawmazing is a raw blog, not a gluten free blog, you will find some sprouted grains here. There are tons of recipes on the site that don’t have grains. Hopefully, everyone will find something they would love to try!