At the same time I experimented with being a vegetarian I also dabbled with a raw food diet. I did OK on both but decided that I like meat (as long as it's organic and free range and all that) and that thirty oranges and forty apples isn't my idea of a good meal.

One change I have kept, however, is my breakfast cereal. I had always assumed oatmeal has to be cooked, but that turns out to not be the case. Oatmeal can be eaten raw as long as you soak it overnight.

Mix in some fruit and spices and you have yourself a yummy 100% raw breakfast!

Although I got the idea of eating raw soaked oatmeal from another recipe, this recipe is entirely my creation. (With some help from my wife regarding spices, about which I am clueless. "What would taste good with this? Dill? Amaranth?) So the most important part is to customize it however you like. I started out making it every night, but that got old fast, so now I make a week’s worth at once.

I’ll give the basic recipe in generalities (e.g., numbers of fruit, grains), and then I’ll provide some specific examples.

  • 48 oz fruit (about 8 fruits, usually)
  • 2 1/3 c grain, soaked raw overnight or cooked, as desired
  • 2 c nuts + nut butter, split as desired (I generally go half-and-half)
  • spices to taste (I do 8 teaspoons)
  • 2 c live full fat yogurt

Shred the fruit into tiny chunks using a food processor. Juicing would work too, as long as you add the pulp back into the mix. Slicing the fruit by hand and using a potato masher to smush it all works as well but takes a lot of energy! The more juice you get out of the fruit the better, but balance that against however much crunchiness you want. My food processor shred apples into crunchy bits and pears into pear sauce, which is just right for me.

Now simply mix everything together. Add water as needed to make the mixture as solid or loose as you desire. The more juice you got out of your fruit the less water you’ll need. This depends on what grains you use and how long you’ve presoaked them as well – buckwheat can take in a huge amount of water for example.

Once everything is mixed in you can eat it right away, or it can sit for as long as you want. I generally make a batch during the day on the weekend and then scoop some out each morning. The yogurt helps it all ferment, so the longer it sits the yummier it gets.

Substitutions

I generally use 4 apples and 4 pears, but just about anything is good. Except for citrus – I tried that once and didn’t like the contrast. Raspberries and blackberries are very yummy, as are cranberries.

Most grains are fine eaten raw as long as you presoak them overnight. Grains with a hard shell, such as millet or wheat, aren’t affected by soaking and so need to be cooked. (Unless you want a whole lot of crunch!) When I try a new grain for the first time I test soak about 1/4 c overnight to see how it reacts. You could just wing it but then you’re stuck with an entire batch if you don’t like how it turns out!

The idea behind having grains and nuts is to get a whole protein. I use both nuts and nut butter to get a nice mix of crunch and liquid. I generally go with cashews and almond butter.

How much of what kinds of spices depends on what your tongue and tummy like. I do pumpkin pie spice (i.e., nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and ginger in roughly equal quantities) a lot. Straight cinnamon or straight ginger is good too, as in Chinese Five Spice.

Quantities Resulting

This recipe makes a week’s worth of servings for me. It just gets better with age, so if you eat less at a time it should be fine left in the fridge until you finish it. To scale the recipe up or down, multiply or divide each ingredient by the same factor (e.g., double every amount to make twice as much).