raw, REAL, soaked, fermented and sprouted

This previous post talks about “raw” foods being anything in it’s natural state (whole) that is unprocessed, unrefined and uncooked (or cooked under 100*).  This includes all the food groups, even sweeteners which would include honey, maple syrup…


“Real” foods are similar to “raw” foods in that they are all natural from their origins, plants or animals. They can all also be soaked, fermented or sprouted. The difference is they can be cooked to any temperature. They are not limited to 100*. These are God made and man prepared without commercial processing. Think about something your grandmother would be making.

You can find information supporting both sides of the cooked-vs-uncooked debate. Here are the pro-cooked claims. Some foods are more nutritional when they’re cooked. Cooking meat, for example releases it’s nutrients and brings out it’s flavor. Some vegetables are said to release phytonutrients when cooked which are easier for the body to absorb this way. Cooking broccoli breaks down goitrogen which affects the thyroid. Cooking can kill bacteria such as E. Coli. Sometimes cooking just makes food more palatable. Cooking is not limited and includes steaming, baking, broiling, boiling, roasting, frying, sauteing, grilling… Food should not be charred, as this is carcinogenic(cancer causing).

More on Raw and Real foods:

Obviously raw fruits and vegetables, herbs, spices, whole grains, grass-fed and wild meats, raw dairy products, natural sweeteners and local eggs are all raw and real foods. From here on out, you’ll have to do a little investigating. *Refined white sugars, grains and rices are NOT raw or real.

Most foods in boxes are processed and therefore NOT real. Frozen foods can be healthier than fresh in stores because the nutrients are sealed in right away. Look for single ingredient packages, no sauces, no cheeses, no rices nor pastas. Whether boxed, packaged, bottled or frozen, check the labels for the number of ingredients and what those ingredients are. Look for obvious signs such as lists of numerous and unrecognizable ingredients. The general rule of thumb is that packaged real foods don’t have more than five real ingredients.

*Bonus term- Paleo. This is pretty much living off the land. Similar to raw and real foods, except their is NO processing of any kind. So no grains or dairies.

Happy Cooking!

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