Many of us embark upon an ambitious rawfood diet or healthy eating regime fully intending to stick rigidly to the programme, come what way. Whilst a little forward planning is usually all it takes to procure the necessary ingredients for a variety of nutritious, well thought out meals that last the entire week, we often fall down when it comes to choosing wholesome rawfood snacks. So what do you do when your stomach starts rumbling in between all of those carefully organised meals? Or if a sugar craving strikes when you are out and about and don’t have immediate access to a healthy option?
In this article we reveal two exceptionally versatile superfruits, which will help you to prepare a range of delicious, yet simple rawfood snacks for three such tricky situations.
Spotlight on amazing Amazonian Incan berries
Raw Incan berries, sometimes known as Golden berries, Aztec berries or Peruvian cherries are powerful, protein packed super fruits from the Amazon. Incan berries are both a treasured source of food and a traditional medicine for generations of South American tribes who use them to treat a range of illnesses including cancer, leukaemia, diabetes, malaria, asthma, hepatitis, dermatitis and rheumatism.
Comprised of 16% vegetable protein, Incan berries are brimming with vitamins (including C, A, B1, B2, B6 and B12), bioflavonoids (which possess anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine and antioxidant properties), Pectin (which regulates blood sugar levels, balances cholesterol levels and strengthens our immune system) and finally melatonin (which can help regulate our biorhythm and promote a sound night’s sleep). A report published by the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2009, suggests that Incan Berries can help combat both diabetes and hypertension, whilst another in Food Chemistry that same year points to the anti-carcinogenic properties of ‘withanolides’, which are found in the Incan berry plant. And the countless tiny seeds contained in each and every Incan berry are known to work as a mild laxative and prevent the build up of toxic substances in our bodies.
These smooth, yellow berries boast a surprising, sweet and sour citrus flavour that compliments raw cacao or dried fruits such as goji berries and camu camu berries perfectly. Indeed, their delightfully tangy taste is simply ideal for a range of healthy rawfood snacks that can be enjoyed throughout the day.
Introducing munchable mulberries
Raw mulberries, which grow on the mulberry bush in temperate, subtropical parts of Asia, Africa and North America, are both sensationally sweet and marvellously medicinal. In fact traditional Chinese medicine has harnessed the power of mulberries for centuries to promote a healthy heart and cardiovascular system and encourage a robust immune system. Mulberries are also associated with a prized ability to slow down the process of aging, lower blood sugar levels and improve our eyesight. Whilst there are some fifteen different types of mulberry, the most widely available is the white mulberry, which is also the staple diet of the economically important silkworm. Mulberries are crammed with a whole host of beneficial nutrients including vitamins C and K, iron (essential for healthy blood cells, muscle performance and resistance), calcium (crucial for strong teeth and bones, nerve and muscle function and blood coagulation), fibre (for a healthy digestive system and antioxidants (which lower cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of both cancer and heart disease, strengthen the immune system and prevent premature aging). Mulberries are especially high in the antioxidants resveratrol and anthocyanin. Resveratrol is a natural antibiotic that can help combat bacteria, fungi and environmental stress and is also believed to support a healthy cardiovascular system, manage blood sugar levels, prevent cancer and Alzheimer’s and increase the lifespan of our cells. Anthocyanins are flavonoids, which boast vigorous antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. They are linked to a decreased risk of heart disease and stroke and thought to improve blood circulation and vision and to actively delay the growth of tumours.
Mulberries have an exceptionally sweet, honey-like flavour and make a great alternative to sugary sweets. They can be enjoyed as they come, mixed with your favourite nuts, seeds and other dried fruits or combined with the bitter flavour of cacao, to create an exciting selection of chocolate rawfood snacks.
3 rawfood snack moments – featuring Incan berries & mulberries
1) Rawfood snacks for on the road
These days you might be able to source a limited supply of rawfood snacks from your local supermarket, yet it’s still notoriously difficult to get hold of them at motorway service stations, railway kiosks or airport terminal shops and cafes. Long trips often spell boredom, which can result in an increased temptation to snack between meals. So, if you want to avoid over-priced, sugar-laden, fattening sweets and snacks on your next outing, then you’ll need to be prepared! Trail mix can be bagged up into handy individual portions, which stay fresh during even the longest of journeys, and are the perfect rawfood snack for on the road.
And it’s extremely easy to make your own delicious trail mix at home – simply select your favourite raw nuts and seeds, crush in a blender and add liberal handfuls of dried mulberries for an intensely sweet treat, or generous amounts of zesty Incan berries for a filling fix of protein on the go.
2) Rawfood snacks for behind the computer
Whether it’s at home or in the office, many of us crave a mid morning snack or suffer from an afternoon energy dip while working behind the computer. Standard sweets and confectionary, teeming with refined sugar and other hidden additives are not only bad for our waistline, they also leave a trail of sticky fingers, which are just as bad for our computer screens and keyboards! Dried Incan berries or mulberries enjoyed straight from the bag make for rapid rawfood snacks that will relieve your rumbling tummy and leave your PC equipment in tip top condition.
3) Rawfood snacks for relaxing at home
Settling down to an episode of your favourite soap opera or the latest Hollywood blockbuster just wouldn’t be the same without something appetising to nibble on. Rather than plumping for ready-made popcorn, crisps and confectionary, which are high in salt, sugar, artificial colourings, flavourings and preservatives, why not have a go at preparing your own indulgent rawfood snacks from raw chocolate? Raw chocolate contains zero sugar or milk, practically no caffeine, is rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants and essential fatty acids and most importantly, tastes absolutely incredible. And the succulent sweetness of Incan berries or the bittersweet taste of mulberries, paired with the sharpness of raw cacao, is a match made in heaven. You can find a complete range of tempting recipes for chocolate rawfood snacks in ‘Naked Chocolate’ by David Wolfe and Shazzie.