Raw Dishes to Warm You Up This Winter

By Marisa DiCenso-Pelser, Raw Foods Chef, Personal Trainer, and Nationally Qualified Figure Competitor

Winter is the season for hibernating and eating cozy comfort foods—not exactly what comes to mind when you’re committed to or thinking of adopting a raw food diet. Fortunately, a raw food diet isn’t just salads and carrot sticks. You will be pleasantly surprised at the selection of raw food recipes that will satisfy the hibernator in you.

Since my raw journey started in the spring a few years ago, I wondered how I would stay raw during the long, cold, winter months. What I noticed was that since I was so motivated to improve my health and the recipes were so delicious, it was actually surprisingly achievable.

In addition to the recipes below, here are some tips on how to stay cozy while enjoying the benefits of a raw food diet this winter:
  1. Eat more warming, dense foods and spices, such as dehydrated foods (more calorically dense, therefore they are typically more warming), dried fruit, raw nuts and raw nut butters, coconut, seeds (pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds), avocados, pumpkin, squash, hot peppers, ginger, onions, garlic, and some dark greens. Warming spices include cardamom, cayenne pepper, chili, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, curry, garlic, ginger, peppercorn, and turmeric.
  2. Eat less cooling foods (higher in water content) such as apples, bananas, tomatoes, citrus fruits, watermelon, iceberg lettuce, spinach, celery, cucumber, soy milk, tofu and other soy products, mung beans, wheat, seaweed, peppermint, and cilantro.
  3. Exercise more to promote circulation, keep the body warm, decrease the appetite (and, therefore, cravings) and lift the spirits by increasing serotonin levels.
  4. Use a dehydrator. Warming your food in a dehydrator between 115-130 degrees will warm your food just slightly. If you do not have a dehydrator, you can also warm your food on the stove. If it’s warm to the touch, then it’s probably warm enough.
  5. Dry skin brushing will help promote circulation and blood flow to your extremities.
  6. Drink herbal tea (not raw, but that’s okay). Warm beverages and herbs are very warming and comforting.

Visit Marisa for more delicious raw recipes and helpful tools.

Recipes:

Chai Smoothie

½ cup brewed chai tea
½ cup almond milk
1 medium banana
2 Tablespoons old fashioned oats, uncooked
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
2-3 ice cubes (optional)
  1. Brew chai tea according to package directions and allow tea to cool.
  2. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  3. Select Variable 1.
  4. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  5. Blend for 1 minute or until smooth.

Coco - Vanilla Breakfast Porridge


1½ cups young coconut water
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
2 cups young coconut meat
2 cups almonds (soaked overnight)

  1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 1 minute or until smooth and creamy.

Creamy Carrot Ginger Soup

3 cups carrot juice
½ cup lime juice
2 Tablespoons maple syrup or other liquid sweetener
1 avocado (small, ripe avocado, pit and skin removed)
1 Tablespoon ginger, fresh minced (or ½ Tablespoon dried)
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon sea salt

  1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 2 minutes or until completely smooth and warm.

Cheesy Kale Chips

1 large bunch of curly, green kale, washed, large stems removed
1 lemon (juiced)
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 red bell pepper (seeded, chopped)
1 cup cashews (soaked 2 hours)
¼ cup nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon sea salt

  1. Place lemon juice, maple syrup, red bell pepper, cashews, nutritional yeast, and sea salt into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 1 minute or until smooth.
  5. Using your hands, massage coating onto kale pieces, getting it inside the curls.
  6. Place directly on mesh sheets and dehydrate at 105° overnight or until coating is dry.

Pumpkin Pie in a Bowl


1½ cups coconut milk
¼ cup maple syrup
½ Tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups butternut squash (I like to steam it, but if you want to use raw then I would shred it)
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
5 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 Tablespoons lecithin
½ cup coconut butter

  1. Place coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, butternut squash, sea salt, and pumpkin pie spice into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 2 minutes or until smooth.
  5. Turn machine off and remove lid.
  6. Add lecithin and coconut butter. Secure lid.
  7. Select Variable 1.
  8. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  9. Blend for 1 minute or until smooth.
  10. Pour into a bowl and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.