Something both excites and intrigues me about the concept of “raw” food. My knowledge of this culinary field has been limited to salads and hand held fruit, so it was difficult for me to even imagine how one would eat and “cook” for a raw food diet. I have seen many raw food promotions based upon a vegan or Paleolithic diet. Yet, one glance at the laborious recipes, and my interest instantly vanished. Sprouting grains, soaking nuts, and fermenting pickles just really didn’t appeal.
Then there is the equipment. Who has room for any more appliances, especially items as large as food dehydrators and juicers? Thus far, my blender has suited me fine, thank you.
Still, the concept of a raw diet lingers in the back of my head. The idea that certain foods may retain more nutrients sans heating just seems logical. Recently I have caught myself unconsciously steaming my vegetables al dente and preparing a daily fresh salad loaded with raw veggies. Granted, this isn’t even close to a raw food diet commitment, but it is evident that the awareness alone is having some effect on my culinary ways. .
Luckily, for others like me who have the curiosity but not the motivation, several experienced raw foodists have been bringing new products to market. The influence in energy bars has been huge, with names like Larabar saddling up alongside the infamous Powerbar on prime retail shelf space. However, as I recently discovered, raw food need not be limited to bar form.
About two years ago, famed raw foodist Sarma Melngailis founded One Lucky Duck. This name didn’t mean too much to me, until last week when I received a box filled with One Luck Duck snacks. With my raw food intrigue peaked, it was impossible for me to hide my excitement as I opened the package.
Each item came in a sleek, re-sealable bag that seemed to be filled to the brim. My eyes widened as I pulled out packages of Grawnola (no, that isn’t a typo), Blonde Macaroons, Cocoa Macaroons, Cinnamon Crispies, Cocoa Crispies, Rosemary Quackers, and an Almond Crunch Bar. To my surprise, each item looked remarkably similar to traditional cooked foods. Though I knew there must be something more too these.
My favorite turned out to be the Blonde Macaroons (pictured above). I didn’t think that I would ever describe a pre-packaged cookie-like treat as “fresh,” but their macaroons are beyond high quality. Ground almonds soft shreds of coconut gave them body, while what could only have been premium organic maple syrup and coconut butter acted as the “glue.” The Cocoa version had its own unique flavor, but I must confess that I am not a huge chocolate fan. Vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger will always be my first flavor picks.
Second in line was the Cinnamon Crispies. Incredibly simplistic, these tasty treats were the absolute perfect blend of organic maple syrup, cinnamon, and…the secret ingredient…buckwheat! Who knew. Sweet and hearty are a definitely pluses to my taste buds..
Realistically, I could go on all day about the wonderful snack foods from One Lucky Duck. The Almond Crunch Bar was like two meals in itself, and packed with Omega-3 rich seeds. Visually, the Rosemary Quackers were reminiscent of Wheat Thins, but with a rosemary enhancement, cheesy backdrop, and nutritional profile that far exceeded anything Nabisco could produce. To read the full reviews from my One Lucky Duck product trials, visit our Product Reviews.
The cost of purchasing pre-made “raw” food and the time intensity of preparing it will likely prevent me from becoming a true raw food loyalist. Nonetheless, thanks to the delicious snacks from One Lucky Duck, I do envision a few more nutrient-rich raw food munchies sneaking into my daily routine.
So what is Raw Food? According to One Lucky Duck, foods not heated above 118º make the cut. Highly processed foods like flours and sugars are out. For a primer on the Raw Food Diet, visit Wikipedia.