Traveling on Raw Foods
by Sergie Boutenko
Traveling, for raw fooders, is very often challenging to the point that many people cannot sustain the raw food diet on their trip. I would like to share some tips that I acquired while traveling around the world with my family.
I see two main challenges for raw fooders on the road. Challenge number one is finding good quality raw produce wherever you go. This includes locating health food stores, produce stands and even local farmers in or around your final destination area. Challenge number two is coping with the cooked foods that are around you on your travels, i.e. the strong, sweet aromas that follow you on airplanes, buses etc. The good news is that you can kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. If you make food preparations ahead of time, your excursion will be “raw food compliant” and you can go on and enjoy your trip relaxed and temptation free. Here is an example of what happened to my parents when they left on a trip unprepared.
My parents flew to Puerto Rico from Texas. Prior to their departure they bought delicious, organic fruits and veggies to last them the duration of the flight and then some. However, U.S. customs took all their raw goodness away before they boarded the flight. My parents didn’t have anything left except water. Hungry upon arrival, my parents rushed to a supermarket but were unfortunate enough to find out that all of Puerto Rico had closed early due to a holiday. Left with no other options, my mom and dad rented a car and began the six-hour drive to the Ann Wigmore Institute. When they finally arrived at the institute at two o’clock in the morning, they were so hungry that they found someone’s leftover energy soup in the refrigerator and gulped it down.
Instances like these are better off avoided because they produce unnecessary temptations. It can be very difficult to stay raw for even the most hardcore raw foodists if they do not plan ahead. The one good thing about these kinds of situations is that they teach you quickly what not to do.
Before our family’s next long trip, my parents made sure to plan ahead. They went to our local food co-op and bought some slightly over-ripened fruit in the marked-down section. Then the four of us took this fruit, sliced it, and dried it in the dehydrator. Next we bought some of our favorite vegetables, carrots, celery, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, cilantro, parsley, and tomatoes, sliced them up in thin slices and dried them. Once dried the veggies were mixed together in a bag to make re-hydratable soup. You only need to add water, salt and a little bit of oil to taste, and you have a complete, delicious, organic raw meal! We also dehydrated several kinds of flax crackers and made some delicious dehydrated cookies. Finally, we mixed our own trail mixes with our favorite nuts, seeds and raisins.
So this trip was a piece of (raw) cake! When mealtime came around aboard our airplane, we requested a bowl of warm water for each one of us to re-hydrate our dried soup. We made delicious sandwiches with our crackers and slices of vegetables served by the airline. When the aroma of our soup wafted over to the other passengers, they started to point at us and say, “We want what they’re having!”
For the rest of our trip we snacked on dried fruit and trail mix, which made traveling more exciting and less stressful. We enjoyed sharing our food with other people throughout our trip; our raw cookies were the most popular.
While one should always plan ahead, it is also important to remember why you are traveling in the first place! One of the things that stimulates me to travel is the exotic fruit! Maybe I will never get to try authentic Italian pizza or French cheese, but who cares when you compare pizza and cheese to the exquisite taste of tree-ripened jack fruit, or the decadent taste of a mangosteen! One of the many great benefits to being raw is that your body has a high immune system, so you don’t have to worry at all about getting sick from fruit. Of course some caution should be taken and it is a good idea to find out about new plants if you do not know what they are, but as far as getting sick from fruit you buy at fruit stands, I have been to seven Third World countries and have never run into any problems. In fact, I always felt much better when I came back! I would have never encountered some of the most delicious fruits I ever tasted, if I had never ventured far away from home.
Having said that, enjoy your travels and plan ahead!
Valya’s Low-Fat Lemon Cookies
Blend the following ingredients in a food processor until they are finely chopped:
2 cups pulp after making nut milk (we prefer almond pulp)
1 cups raisins
1 medium lemon, whole
1/4 teaspoon salt
When all the ingredients are finely processed, use a spatula to spread cookie mixture onto a dehydrator tray. Decorate each cookie with sliced nuts or raisins.
Makes 10-12 cookies
Better Than Roasted Sunflower Seeds
9 cups raw sunflower seeds soaked for 8 hours and dried for 4 hours
2 cups raw soy sauce (or 3 Tablespoons sea salt)
Enough water to submerge the seeds an inch
2 Tablespoons turmeric powder
2 Tablespoons raw honey (optional)
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
Mix all ingredients well in a gallon jar. Let the seeds soak for 12 hours. Spread out onto Teflex sheet and dry in dehydrator for 18-24 hours or until totally crunchy and crisp. These make a really good snack; they are filling but will not make you feel heavy and best of all, they are easy to pack.
Yields approximately 1 pound of ready-to-eat mix
2 cups whole flax seed
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
If you want to enhance the flavor, blend in a bunch of your favorite herbs and/or a tomato. Mix and spread one-inch thick with a spatula on dehydrator sheets. Dehydrate for about 12 hours or until crisp.
Yields 16 crackers