Eating Raw Food in Winter

by Polly N on October 13, 2011

If you have been eating a predominantly raw food diet over the summer months you may be starting to automatically reduce your raw consumption in favour of more hearty warm dishes. One of the challenges most people find difficult is maintaining the amount of raw food they eat in winter. It certainly is possible but I’m here to tell you the golden rule……Are you ready? Okay, here is is. GOLDEN RULE – It’s super important you stick to the level you are comfortable with and be really clear from the start what your expectations are. After all, how can you know what level of raw you want to eat if you don’t give yourself clear parameters to stick to?

I know it sounds really simple but there’s no point in promising yourself you are going to be 100% raw over winter and then feel like a failure when you “fall off the wagon”. It is much less stressful and kinder to yourself to set manageable goals.

Here are some options for you to consider;

  • Maybe you could decide that with every cooked meal you will have a plate of raw for a healthy dose of enzymes. (Keep in mind that your body takes the most amount of nutrition from the food you eat first, so it’s always a good idea to have a mouthful or two of raw food before diving into some cooked food. If you’re not clued up on what happens to food when it’s cooked, check out this blog post.) The ideal ratio is 51% raw to 49% cooked food.
  • Or you could decide that although you may transition to eating more cooked foods, that you will still have a green smoothie or green juice every day.
  • Make soups in a blender, keeping all the enzymes and nutrients in tact and warm gently on the hob until finger-warm. (Enzymes get destroyed at 115 degrees F (46 degrees C) so don’t overheat or you’ll run this risk of losing many of the nutritional benefits.)

If you do want to keep your consumption of raw food high, then there are some foods you may want to stock your cupboards with ready for the cold spell but first, a little lesson on some of the aspects of food you might not have considered before.

All foods have an effect on the body; you may have heard about expansive foods (for eg.wheatgrass) contracting foods (for eg.eggs), cooling foods ( for eg.cucumber), warming foods (for eg. spices). This is covered more in The Body Ecology Diet which is on one of the book lists on this site.

In this post, we’re talking about winter warmers so I’m going to share with you a list of foods that can be added to your raw food meals which have a warming effect on the body so while you may be eating a cold dish, you still experience that warming feeling internally.

  • carrots
  • squash
  • parsnips
  • walnuts
  • coconut
  • red pepper
  • dates
  • pine nuts
  • sprouted legumes
  • chilli pepper
  • garlic
  • onion
  • cayenne pepper
Here are a few ways to incorporate them into your meals;
  • Add cayenne, diced onion, garlic or chilli powder to your salad dressings and soups
  • Sprinkle pine nuts on top of your soups and salads
  • Make nut cheese from pine nuts
  • Make a walnut pesto sauce and pour over spiralized courgette, carrots, squash or parsnips
  • Thinly slice some red pepper and make Pad Thai
How do you manage eating raw foods in winter? Let me know in the comments box below!
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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Lionel October 14, 2011 at 10:55 am

Or continue raw & have miso soup & herbal teas to warm you up :-)


Ulrika October 14, 2011 at 2:57 pm

I’m not a raw food person or even vegan (eat fish, some chicken/turkey, eggs and some dairy but don’t drink milk) but I do enjoy fruit, veggies, berries et.c. a lot. Listening to my body I tend to be more seasonal in my eating habits, kind of like in ayurveda. I still eat raw veggies and fruits during winter but I probably eat a little more or about equal amounts of cooked food too. The thought of having no cooked foods through the cold season does not feel right in my body.

I think though that people who are not familiar with raw foods as a concept may make the mistake of actually thinking about COLD foods and feel they wouldn’t like that. But of course cold stuff, like straight from the fridge, is not good for the digestion and so it’s important to remember the raw food isn’t cold but at room temperature or even gently warmed up. :)

I like the suggestion too in the previous comment to drink something warm to add some warmth to the body if eating a lot of raw foods during the cold season. :)


Rosie October 14, 2011 at 3:12 pm

A friend forwarded this to me and it’s great to have this information and your ideas. I’d like to receive more of this as, when, if possible?



alison October 14, 2011 at 3:40 pm

sliced ginger root in hot water is great for warming you up (I like to eat the actual root from the cup with a bit of dark chocolate!) Also ginger root in smoothies and grated in salad dressings works- and in soups it’s really fantastic! xxxx


min January 30, 2013 at 12:10 am

this is exactly what im going through right now. at first, i felt guilty for switching to cooked food but i noticed my body really craves that warmth. I still eat probably 50% or more raw foods but cooked CLEAN food during winter feels really natural and right.


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