This installment of my raw food series discusses some of the people and brands that focus on raw living. In case you missed it, read some reasons why you might try a raw food diet and essential tools for raw cooking to make the process easier and more enjoyable. As a reminder, I’m not a dietician or medical professional, so please consult with your doctors before changing your eating habits or starting any new diets. Also, this is not a sponsored post or endorsement made in coordination with or paid by any of the brands or individuals mentioned here.
Bobby Flay. Ina Garten. Emeril Lagasse. Rachael Ray. When it comes to a who’s who of cooking, any fans of food could probably also rattle off these familiar names. Those four come to mind first for me, having watched the Food Network since what seems like “day 1”—and more precisely, back when the OJ Simpson trial was dominating the news.
Really. I remember this because my mom was, and still is, a fan of anything involving law and politics. We upgraded our cable package so we could have the channels that would cover the Simpson trial 24/7 instead of just the highlights that would come on the evening news.
The Food Network was only included in these higher-priced packages at the time—FoodTV, as it once was—so the perk for little ol’ me was that this was now my chance to watch it at home, not just at my grandparent’s house. The Essence of Emeril, hosted of course by Emeril Lagasse, was my favorite. And when we got our first family computer (a Packard Bell—did anyone else have one of those?!) and printer (a HP and still to this day I have an HP printer—albeit a more modern one ;), I remember printing some of his more complicated recipes that, one day, I hoped to be able to master.
Learning about raw food introduced me to a whole new set of chefs as well as brands, some of which I’d like to share with you. Have a favorite raw chef or brand that’s not mentioned here? I’d love to know about them, so leave me a comment!
Raw chefs, influencers & bloggers to know:
- Carol Alt is a notable figure in both the entertainment and health industries. Alt is probably most well-known for her career as a supermodel, dating back to the early-80’s. She has also been a raw food celebrity for the last 15-plus years. In her best-selling book Eating in the Raw, she discusses how adapting her diet improved and even eliminated persistent ailments like headaches and sinusitis.
- Ani Phyo is an author, wellness expert, superfood chef, nutritionist, and NASM-certified fitness trainer. Her best-selling books include Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Living Foods Recipes and Ani’s Raw Food Essentials: Recipes and Techniques for Mastering the Art of Live Food.
- Matthew Kenney, winner of Food & Wine’s America’s Best New Chef Award in 2014, essentially has a vegan food empire. His restaurant group has a number of restaurants globally, from Venice to Dubai, as well as books outlining the benefits of a raw lifestyle.
- The Rawtarian, authored by Laura-Jane since 2009, has a large collection of recipes as well as an active community forum. If you’re new to raw food, she has a great section on her website that goes into detail on several different areas, from beginner recipes and tools you need to successfully make raw recipes, to concepts like using a high-speed blender, dehydrator and more (note: you have to sign up for an account to see some of this content.)
Brands that make raw foods and where to find them:
Find these brands at popular grocery stores like Wegmans as well as in health foods or specialty foods stores. When in doubt, you know what to do: look on the internet.
- Navitas Naturals make superfood products and vegan-friendly, paleo-friendly snacks. One of my favorites the brand offers is raw cacao powder, used here in its recipe for raw chocolate mousse. It’s also great to add in a quick protein shake; try a scoop or two of it with a banana, a spoonful or two of peanut or almond butter and a splash of some almond/soy/coconut/other milk of choice blended up with ice.
- Artisana Organics, a source for raw nut butters and coconut oil among other products. Its nut butters are certified R.A.W and C.L.E.A.N by the Clean Food Certified Project, a non-profit group working to set better standards for what it means for a food to be considered “raw” or “clean,” being mindful of the increase of brands and products that are claiming to be such.
- Garden of Life offers many different supplements, vitamins, and nutritional foods and ingredients including raw protein powder.
- If following a raw vegetarian diet, raw milk and products made from them, like cheese, can be found via many family farms that, of course, can be just a Google search away. Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurized (heated to 161.5° F or higher), to kill off any potential bacteria. Many argue that the process also kills helpful enzymes that help give the milk its flavor, which is why milk you may purchase commercially, from a grocery or convenience store, often tastes thin, flat, and watery.
- A few vendors near my area that sell raw milk and raw milk products include Klein Farms & Dairy in Easton, PA; Flint Hill Farm in Coopersburg, PA; and Birchwood Farms in Newtown, PA. You can find these vendors at the Easton Farmers Market and Saucon Valley Farmers Market, too. All of these are driveable and could be a day trip from Philadelphia, New York City, and New Jersey if you’re looking for something to do on a weekend.
- Bunker Hill Cheese, based in Ohio, also ships raw milk cheddar and other products nationally.