I'm not really a fan of these books, as they are based on making choices involving SAD (Standard American Diet) foods, without always considering the nutritional content. Yes, the selections are made with calories and fat grams in mind, but in my opinion, I think vitamin/mineral content should also weigh heavily in the decision process (a fresh fruit smoothie, although it may contain more calories, has got to be better for you than a highly-processed, sugary doughnut, right?).
But enough about that, as this post's topic is actually about something else; it involves the importance of researching your food before you eat it raw.
Not all produce is safe to consume in its raw state. Since I tend to be an adventurous eater, I always make sure to look up as much info as possible about a new (meaning new to me) food, before I put it in my body sans cooking.
The other day, I brought home a yucca root for the fun of it. Thank goodness I did my research, as I discovered that it is highly toxic in its raw state and must be cooked (I didn't post a pic of it on this site, so that my readers who didn't actually "read" this post wouldn't run out and buy one). With the increasing interest in raw foods, you would think they would post a warning on these things in the supermarket (something like a Mr. Yuk sticker on the yucca; remember those green frowny faces?).
Anyway, I just wanted to remind everyone to make sure you know what can and cannot be eaten raw before you try something new. Knowledge is power, and it can keep you safe, too.
Speaking of safe, I recently discovered that plantains can be eaten raw, thanks to the Fit on Raw website. I had always thought they needed to be baked, boiled and/or fried, but with a little patience, you'll find the sweetest, mushy stuff inside.
To make the Plantain Pudding on the site, you need to wait until the plantain turns entirely black and feels very soft and pliable. Here's what mine looked like when I cut it open (like when Han Solo cuts open the Tauntaun in "The Empire Strikes Back" to keep Luke warm inside. Yuck; let's get that image out of my head).
Instead of blending the plantain with banana, I just smashed mine in none other than my trusty snack jar. Between the plantain mush, I also layered some slices of kiwi and banana to jazz it up. I must say, this is really good stuff :-)
By the way, I just wanted to mention that NaturalZing is having a product review contest. All customers providing a product review on their website/blogs, will be placed in a prize drawing for a $50 Natural Zing Gift Certificate.
E-mail Helen ("her name"@naturalzing.com) with a link to your review. To write a review on their site, log into your account, go to the product page and scroll down to find the review button on the bottom of the page.
Contest ends March 26. Good luck!