Fresh cuisine covers an amazing range of delicious ingredients. First you will need some basics to begin with, including:
Cooking herbs and spices
Raw grains and sprouting seeds
Raw cacao and chocolate
Raw nuts and seeds
Raw unprocessed oils
Unprocessed salt Raw soy sauce (nama shoyu)
In addition to the basic ingredients, here are some raw food staples you should always have on hand:
Sprouts — Have one or two trays of sprouts, such as alfalfa, chick peas, lentils, or mung beans, going in a rotation so there are always fresh sprouts available. You may also want to grow leafy green sprouts, such as sunflower greens or wheatgrass.
Dried bulk foods — Dried foods store well and last for a long time, so you can buy a pound of each type of nut and seed that you use, such as almonds, green pumpkin seeds, sunflower, and sesame seeds. To prepare them for the coming day, just start them soaking before you go to bed at night and they'll be ready to use in the morning. Other dried bulk items include unprocessed salt such as Celtic sea salt, Himalayan salt, and Utah Real Salt. Algae can be purchased in a number of forms — spirulina is available in powder, chlorella comes in tablets, and Klamath blue-green algae is sold in powder and capsules. Other pantry staples include herbs and spices, hemp protein powder, green superfood powder, and sea vegetables.
Pâté — Ideally, make vegan pâté about once a week and store it in the fridge. You'll probably find that you use it daily, so each time you prepare it you can mix in different herbs and spices to change the flavor and give you variety.
Homemade sauerkraut — This traditional cultured food is another good staple because it lasts for a long time: it will keep for up to six months in the fridge. It takes about half an hour to prepare and then about five days to ferment.
Miso and other fermented foods — Miso is available at most all natural foods markets and is an excellent ingredient in soups, salad dressings, and pâtés.
To keep your fresh produce restocked, you'll want to develop a comfortable shopping routine. If you shop twice a week, you can stay stocked with the following essentials:
Leafy greens — Greens are essential. You want to have a good variety of green vegetables on hand for salads and smoothies. Each time you go to the store, pick up a different type of produce. Good choices include lettuces and baby greens, beet greens, bok choy, cabbages, chard, cilantro, dandelion greens, endive, kale, parsley, radicchio, spinach, watercress, and fresh herbs.
Fresh vegetables — Good choices include young asparagus, celery, chives, cucumbers, fennel, peas in the pod, peppers of all kinds, scallions, snow peas, string beans, tomatoes, yellow squash, and zucchini.
Root vegetables — These vegetables store well even without refrigeration and will last quite a while in the fridge. Favorites include beets, carrots, parsnips, turnips, sweet potatoes and yams, as well as celery root, daikon and other radishes, fennel, ginger, Jerusalem artichokes, jicama, maca, and water chestnuts.
Fresh fruits — Fruits that are in season are preferable; you don't really need to buy produce that has been shipped halfway around the world. Familiar fruits that are delicious but not overly sweet include apples and pears; berries such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries; citrus such as oranges and grapefruit; kiwis and mangoes; and stone fruits such as cherries, nectarines, peaches, and plums.
Dried fruits — Good choices include apricots, currants, dates, figs, goji berries, and raisins. Soak them for about a half-hour to reconstitute the fruit.
The only scientifically proven way to extend lifespan is through calorie restriction. Scientists have studied mice and monkeys over a number of years. They found that the animals eating a low-calorie diet live longer and have less disease than their well-fed peers. Eating predominately raw foods is an easy way to gain the benefits of a calorie-restricted diet. Raw foods are naturally low in calories while high in nutrients.
You'll find coconut oil as an ingredient in a number of recipes in this book. Coconut oil is solid at temperatures below 76°F. To use in recipes, the coconut oil must first be in liquid form. You can turn the coconut oil into liquid by placing the jar in warm water for a couple of minutes.