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Old 12-29-2008, 11:33 PM   #1
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Trying raw food diet

I'm experimenting with a raw food diet. For one week I've been eating raw food, mostly gourmet-style dishes that I am purchasing from Whole Foods (I know, it's ridiculously expensive, but it seems to be a good way to get myself motivated for now). I'm starting to look into recipes.

I have what may be a very basic question about flavor theory.

I purchased some bean sprouts. By themselves, they are very tasty, but also have an unpleasant "grassy" or "hollow" taste which gets stronger in the aftertaste. So they aren't really very good by themselves. I can guess that what they need is balance from other ingredients. But here's the noobee question: what other kinds of ingredients? Acids? Sweetener? Spices? Salt and pepper?

Are there any good discussions of flavor theory (is that the right term?) on the web? Any books?



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Old 12-30-2008, 04:18 AM   #2
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How to Balance Flavors In Your Cooking

I found this general description of flavor balancing (the link above).

Apparently the basic flavors are sweet, sour (acid), salty, bitter, and spicy. Or something like that.

I took my bean sprouts and added some italian dressing. It didn't work: the acid from the dressing hits you first (too much) and then disappears before the full "grassy" taste develops, which still dominates the aftertaste.

So I tried adding roma tomatoes along with the italian dressing. The tomatoes provided some sweetness, which helped, and a little more acid. Overall the balance was improving, but the "grassy" taste still dominated the aftertaste.

Then I added some salt. Now it was getting to be pretty delicious, but still the acids and sugars didn't last long enough to balance the "grassy" taste.

So now I'm wondering what kinds of ingredients have a long enough finish to balance that "grassy" taste. Maybe onion? Are there any kinds of spices which tend to develop over time and have a long finish?

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Old 12-30-2008, 04:29 AM   #3
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If it were me, I would lose the bean sprouts and find something that tasted good. You're making dieting sound like work. Either that or fire up the Wok and toss them in a bit of soy and ginger. That will give them some flavor for sure.

This sounds like a diet for a caveman who hasn't figured how to work with a flint.
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:35 AM   #4
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JoeV, I will take your post as teasing. The truth is that the initial taste of bean sprouts is delicious. They are very rich, a little fruity. It's just the presence of bitters that needs to be balanced.

"Work"? It's enjoyable to experiment and the results will be delicious. Salads made from raw foods are quick to prepare.
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Old 12-30-2008, 06:06 AM   #5
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you can try making one of those raw rice paper thai rolls. Where sprouts, carrots, cucumber, basil leaf, jicama, peanuts are added and rolled up. Had one the other day and it was great. The peanuts were roasted though and Im not sure how the rice paper is processed so im not sure if it would be considered raw or not. But the over all dish is a cold dish.
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Old 12-30-2008, 06:17 AM   #6
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How about bean sprouts, tomatoes, avocados and onions with some dressing or salt and pepper or both? Or any combination you enjoy?
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Old 12-30-2008, 06:44 AM   #7
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Some foods that have staying power and go well with bean sprouts:
1. avocado

2. mushrooms (try a little truffle salt)

3. a good and fruity extra virgin olive oil

4. tempeh

5. onion (use the sweetest onions you can find)

6. sesame seed (add some toasted sesame seeds to your salad dressing, or make a sesame salad dressing)

That "grassy" flavor comes from the chlorofil (sp) and is a powerful breat freshener. Actually, I don't mind the aftertaste. Though I find bean sprouts best served with cooked items as in egg rolls/spring rolls, pita-pocket sandwiches with shaved beef or chicken, and avocado, mustard, and cheese, etc.

As for eating a foods diet, know what you are eating. Some veggies, such as spinach, actually have toxins in them that are leached out during the cooking process. You won't get sick from these toxins, but they will inhibit your body from absorbing other nutrients. Spinach is actually much healthier when cooked. The same toxins are found in the green-leafy part of rhubarb, and the leaves of the nightshade family of plants (potatoes, tomatoes, etc.). Also, there are several members of the bean family that contain significant amounts of cyanide. Some of them have enough to be dangerous. A classic example of this is the lima bean. In the U.S., this has been reduced through selective breeding practices. But in many other contries, eating raw lima beans can kill you. Boiling the beans releases the cyanied into the water, and then into the air, removing it from the food. Also, know that many of the foods we eat give up their nutritional value much more readily when cooked.

The raw foods diet can be done. Just know that it isn't something you just jump into. It requires a bit of study and preperation. There is a host of info on the web, both for and against eating raw foods. The choice is up to you. Just do it wisely, and seasonings are your freind.

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Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- http://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:00 AM   #8
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Is there a "pallate cleanser" you can consume after the sprouts?

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