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Three healthy raw foods.

! want to eat more fruits and vegetables, so I've decided to eat three servings a day raw. I'm not interested in juicing or buying anything exotic or making a salad -- just straight produce. So far I've decided an apple and a carrot or two are good choices, but stuck on a third. I already have green vegetables at dinner, so that's covered. Any suggestions?

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  1. Kale.

    Edit: why not make the third item whatever is really seasonal?

    1 Reply
    1. re: wattacetti

      Not something I'd just pick up and eat plain.

      1. re: magiesmom

        You would just eat a wedge of cabbage out of your hand?

          1. re: escondido123

            I do that often, or I put it in a wrap or use it as a wrap.
            Why do you want the same ones each day? It is far mor healthful to eat a variety?
            And why can't you make say a kale salad?
            I guess your premise eludes me.
            Are you interested in what is seasonal?
            I never eat tomatoes for instance in winter , as they suck.

            1. re: magiesmom

              I cook seasonally every night. I decided to keep three raw fruits/vegetables in the frig that I would know would be there and could be taken and eaten on the fly. No prep, no plate, no silverware. Three more servings of low cal, good for me food without having to think about it. Don't see what is so odd about that.

              1. re: escondido123

                It seemed odd that they are all the same all the time.
                I would get bored to death.
                But clearly this plan seems good to you.

                1. re: magiesmom

                  They will only be a small part of what I eat -- just trying to have something quick to snack on that won't go bad quickly. If this was all I ate, it would bore me to death too. There's lots of interesting eating in the evening.

                2. re: escondido123

                  In that case I see Apples as one of the fruits. No need to keep them in the fridge. I buy local apples all winter long from the farms, but our local Whole Foods is selling Massachusetts apples right now so that's convenient. Kiwi could be another fruit. A third might be avocado or even dried organic apricots.

              2. re: escondido123

                A wedge of raw cabbage with some lemon juice & chopped dill is quite tasty.

                1. re: escondido123

                  I would.
                  shred some cabbage into a bowl, add some chopped cilantro, and stir in some raspberry viniagrette. It's one of those things that's way better than the sum of its ingredients.

                2. Bananas?

                  Red bell peppers are good raw, just have to slice them up.

                  3 Replies
                    1. re: juliejulez

                      Honestly, I will just eat a whole red pepper out of hand. Call it laziness, but all it needs is washing. Start at the bottom, work your way up and around the "core" (stem and seeds/membrane).

                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                        Oh for sure! I was just thinking sliced would be easier/cleaner to eat on the go... no seeds etc to worry about flying all over the place after the first few bites.

                    2. Cukes. Tomatoes. Celery (you can always dip).

                      1. Fruit is easy - vegetables can be a little more challenging. I second the idea of red (or yellow/orange) bell peppers. I know they're technically a fruit, but they function like a vegetable. Same with tomatoes and cucumbers. I love raw fennel - slice it up and eat it like carrot or celery sticks.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: biondanonima

                          As an aside -

                          From a culinary perspective, peppers are a vegetable. If you start splitting up by fruit, etc, you'll find that nothing is actually a vegetable - tomato, cucumber and peppers are technically fruit, lettuce and cabbage are leaves, broccoli and cauliflower flowers, carrots and beets a root, okra a seed pod, celery a stalk, and so on.

                        2. Something w/ a lot of color like pomegranates. If you want veggies, those baby peppers in a variety of colors.

                          1. If you don't mind a little pickling, you can do a quick cucumber pickle or a giardiniera. I think the vinegar might be a healthy addition to the mix.

                            Also, snow peas or sugar snaps.

                            1 Reply
                            1. Cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, bell peppers, avocado

                              1. Celery sticks. Citrus.

                                1. Zucchini sticks, cucumber slices, asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower florets, snap peas, grape or cherry tomatoes.
                                  Kiwi fruit, clementines, strawberries, blueberries (we buy them frozen and defrost in the fridge), melons or pineapple if you're ok with cutting it up, pears.
                                  I love raw, straight up veggies... :)

                                  1. Cucumber
                                    Bell Peppers (the mini ones are great for snacking)

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: boogiebaby

                                      I like jicama with lime juice, chili powder and salt.

                                        1. re: mcel215

                                          Your question wasn't directed to me, but for jicama, I peel it & cut into fat sticks or slices, then squeeze on lime juice, sprinkle with chili powder & kosher salt. Yummy & low cal, if high sodium.....

                                          1. re: mcel215

                                            I've grated it into a slaw or a salad but usually just peeled and cut into sticks like celery. I like it sprinkled with seasoned rice wine vinegar or salt and pepper

                                      1. I cut up carrots, celery, sometimes beets into nibble-size sticks or slices, trim snap or snowpeas, cherry/grape toms, sometimes broccoli or cauliflower; generally 3-5 items of this list are prepped on an evening and placed into a large re-used salad clamshell. We snack out of this for several days since it tends to be 4-6#.

                                        I recommend it since it's always handy and easy to scoop from, there's a variety of choices, and I can further chop and add items to whatever I'm cooking. Maybe worth trying?

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: DuchessNukem

                                          This is a great idea, thanks for mentioning it. I did this same thing for years. Fell out of the habit. That's one habit that I need to resume!

                                          1. re: DuchessNukem

                                            I've never heard of eating raw beets!

                                            1. re: c oliver

                                              They are very nice, if they have not gotten old and woody.

                                              1. re: magiesmom

                                                Exactly, magiesmom. Just a touch of sweet; a bit of that "earthy/dirt" flavor that some folks dislike; crunch and chew. Plus the rings for visual and that striking red (or gold beets are lovely too). I highly prefer raw beets to cooked or pickled.

                                                (An aside: beets in large quantity will colorifically affect one's output. Both pathways. I'm trying to be discreet here lol but....)

                                                1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                  I like them raw and cooked.
                                                  Chiogas with their stripes are so gorgeous also.

                                            2. re: DuchessNukem

                                              I used to make a crudites tray each night for the young folks in my family to nibble on before dinner as they'd come into the kitchen "just starving" and wanting dinner.

                                            3. Once a week i prep a ton of veggies. This time of year i roast everything- cold roasted veggies can be a great snack! I recently roasted a mix of brussel sprouts, carrots, butternut squash and yellow beets with about 2TB olive oil and salt and pepper.

                                              Raw veggies this time of year can be more limiting, all the previous suggestions are great- i love a spiced salt mix on raw veggies, or the japanese seaweed sesame salt blends.
                                              This time of year citrus is great- clementines, tangerines and oranges.

                                              At the end of the day whatever veggies you enjoy the most and will eat are the right ones.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                More inspiration! Thanks for sharing. I love roasted veg also. Sometimes add a little balsamic.

                                              2. Celery. Easy, crunchy, essentially non-caloric.

                                                I personally love red grapefruit (Texas, not Florida -- there is a difference).

                                                1. Bananas

                                                  (All convenient)

                                                  There are few things as delicious as a RIPE JUICY PEAR!
                                                  I used to eat a pear every day in boarding school and I don't know why people don't eat them more often.

                                                  Kiwis are fun and portable.

                                                  As for raw veggies:
                                                  I second the rec for snap peas!

                                                  1. Celery is a great choice
                                                    But I love tomatoes (cherry or not).

                                                      1. re: ohmyyum

                                                        Any veggies that you'd find on a crudite platter. You can make a light dressing if you aren't a lover of raw veggies plain. It's also not a crime to quickly blanch any veggies in lightly salted water that seem just a little too crunchy when completely raw. They'll be bright in color and less than parcooked, if you take them out after about 30 seconds and shock them in ice water

                                                        As for fruits, you are limited only by availability in your area and season. If there isn't much that's affordable or ripe, don't hesitate to investigate high quality IQF fruits in bags in the freezer section.

                                                      2. Spinach, it cooks down to literally nothing.
                                                        Bell peppers - SO sits around chomping on them as a snack
                                                        Broccoli - I like to just nibble on raw broccoli

                                                        1. Clementines or mandarin oranges, you can get a box of them pretty cheaply and they are super easy to peel and eat, and very mess free.
                                                          Grapes, wash them all when you get home from the store and just keep in a bowl in the fridge
                                                          Pears if you get sick of apples.
                                                          Veggie wise I agree with cucumbers...or buy the smaller pickling cukes and you won't even have to slice them.
                                                          Cherry/grape tomatoes are easy too.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: WhatsEatingYou

                                                            I like your choices. Had wonderful grapes at a potluck lunch yesterday so will certainly add them to the mix. Thanks.

                                                            1. I love to bite into a raw white turnip, especially a baby one.
                                                              Radishes are a nice wake up call.
                                                              Fennel bulb sliced is crunchy and licorice like.
                                                              And how about mango? If you have a ripe one, almost always satisfying...

                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                  My Persian friend and I eat sweet onions like apple wedges by the bag full. Great dipped in a yogurt dip to cut the spice.

                                                                  1. re: melpy

                                                                    Totally underrated.

                                                                    Mostly because, I fear, Americans are eating bad onions.

                                                                    Their loss.

                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                      Bad onions?

                                                                      When I was 16, my parents sent me to reformatory school. One of the school's ideas of a good time for us kids was to drop us off in the cold forest with some camping gear and leave us for a few days. We had one staff member stay behind--a 30-something year old pot head with a thick red beard.

                                                                      Every time a new naïve girl joined our school (and thus the camping trips), he'd sit us all around the fire late at night and pull an onion from his backpack. He'd start on this long poetic stoner rant about how onions are basically just the apples of the vegetable world. And he'd end it by saying that if you pinch your nose and eat an onion, it's got this incredible apple flavor. It was a very believable story. And after a few days in the woods, we were always hungry enough to eat anything remotely edible.

                                                                      So then he'd "randomly" pick the new girl to test out the apple thing. And they'd do it with much coaxing. And after a couple bites, they'd start tearing up and some of them would puke.

                                                                2. If this is about health, then getting plenty of variety is much better than eating the same three things every day. Why not have a whole bunch of options and rotate through them based on availability and appetite?

                                                                  - ANY fruit
                                                                  - Tomatoes
                                                                  - Celery
                                                                  - Radish
                                                                  - Cauliflower
                                                                  - Bell peppers

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Scrofula

                                                                    Tomatoes are not in season and raw cauliflower has no appeal for me. I do eat a variety of vegetables at dinner time (last night it was a big bowl of green beans with olive oil and salt followed by pasta with kale and bacon) but was looking for those I could eat out of hand during the day knowing that together they provide a good variety of nutrients and that they keep well in the frig.

                                                                    1. re: escondido123

                                                                      Cherry tomatoes are pretty much the only tomatoes I eat off season. Good for snacking and they still retain a lot if flavor

                                                                  2. I like sliced cucumbers and pepper strips to nibble on while I'm sitting in traffic. I cut them up and stick them in containers while I'm doing dinner prep so I'm set for a couple of days.

                                                                    I've been loving the clementines recently. Pears would be a good switch up from apples if you want a bit of variety.

                                                                    1. corn, I basically only eat corn raw now it's so good.
                                                                      fresh garden peas

                                                                      1. has anyone mentioned daikon? i love it.

                                                                        grapefruit, tangelos.

                                                                        cruciferous vegetables can be a challenge to digest when raw and some vegetables become more bio-available when cooked. raw isn't always better.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                          <some vegetables become more bio-available when cooked.>

                                                                          Maybe that is the point. Eat to make you feel full, but you absorb nothing.

                                                                        2. Avocado, maybe? A little salt and lime juice, and you can just spoon it out of each half. Alternately, it's pretty good topped with some raw honey.

                                                                          Endive, the Belgian kind, or raddicchio, with a little shmear of cream cheese, goat cheese, salad dressing or hummus in the spears/cups.

                                                                          Roll a stack of Romaine leaves around cheese slices or lunch meat.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. The bioavailability of carrot's nutrients is much better if they are cooked. Ditto for the lycopene in tomatoes.

                                                                            Since you want things to eat out of hand, dried fruit should be considered but you need to limit the portion to what you'd eat raw - e.g, a couple of plums, which means two prunes, not a large fistful. If you make a point of drinking 8 or more ounces of water along with your portion of dried fruit, it will fill you up.

                                                                            Pears, like apples, have a lot of fiber. For less messy eating, Bosc pears are generally less drippy than other prominent varieties.

                                                                            I have a hard time eating celery plain, but a thin bead of ranch dressing down the gully, or dipping just the end before each bite, and it goes down easy.

                                                                            Melon, in season, can be cut into chunks to keep in the fridge. Ditto pineapple, which is always in supermarkets - I buy it, regardless of season, when it's perfumey.

                                                                            If you can make an exception to the out-of-hand rule, you can always shred whatever veg appeals to you and make slaws, which can be mixed with any salad dressing you like, or just sweetened vinegar and water. The vinegar keeps the slaw from spoiling, though the veggies do get soft after a few days. As a fermented food, vinegar is very healthy, and it lowers the glycemic index of the food it's eaten with. Since I try to have at least one portion of legumes daily, I often include cooked beans in my random slaws. It did not take long before I came to prefer accompanying a sandwich or burger with slaw than with chips or fries.

                                                                            1. cucumber
                                                                              red pepper
                                                                              sugar snaps
                                                                              grape tomatoes