Keep the temperatures low

A new recipe book by Israeli-born nutritionist Shirly Bar promotes the benefits of eating raw, uncooked foods.

Tarimsu (photo credit: Dana Meirson)
(photo credit: Dana Meirson)
Thought raw food was all about dried-up lentils? Think again. In a new cookbook, Israeli-born nutritionist Shirly Bar offers sumptuous recipes for dishes that adhere to all the rules, require no special instruments or knowledge but do call for an open mind. The raw food diet consists primarily of unheated foods or foods cooked to a temperature less than 40º to 48ºC. The reasoning behind it is that heating food beyond these temperatures kills the enzymes, thus reducing its nutritional value. Instead, the diet offers preservation of foods through dehydrating in special dryers and eating mainly fresh vegetables, sprouts, fruit, nuts and whole grains.
Bar lived for 22 years in New York, where raw food is a growing trend. She spent 15 years at her clinic specializing in raw food and treating many celebrities who became avid followers of the diet.
Back in Israel, she recently published a cookbook in Hebrew based on raw food,offering information and easy to prepare recipes. Bar says she lost 15 kg. with the diet and changed her life. Currently she teaches raw food cooking in schools and workshops and also helps chefs introduce the idea into their kitchens.
ZUCCHINI LASAGNA Makes 2-3 servings
A celebration to the eyes and the mouth, this vegetarian raw food lasagna does not resemble its traditional namesake but may change what you think about vegan food.
First layer: Zucchini
✔ 2 zucchini, julienned ✔ 1⁄4 cup olive oil ✔ Pinch sea salt ✔ Dried basil and oregano
Prepare a marinade from the oil, salt and herbs and soak the zucchini in it.
Second layer: Dried tomato paste
✔ 1 tomato ✔ 6-8 dried tomatoes, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes ✔ 1 clove garlic ✔ 1⁄4 tsp. sea salt ✔ 3 Tbsp. virgin olive oil
Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
Third layer: ‘Cheese’
✔ 1⁄2 cup ground pumpkin seeds ✔ 1⁄2 cup ground sunflower seeds ✔ Handful almonds, ground ✔ 1 Tbsp. beer yeast ✔ 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup water ✔ 1 tsp. soy sauce
Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until a smooth, thick paste forms. Do not add too much water.
Fourth layer: Pesto
✔ 1 cup fresh basil ✔ 1⁄4 cup walnuts ✔ 3 Tbsp. virgin olive oil ✔ 1 clove garlic ✔ Pinch black pepper ✔ 1⁄2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
Process all the ingredients in a food processor until a smooth, thick paste forms.
Use individual forms for an elegant outcome. Place a few slices of the zucchini at the bottom of an individual ring form.
Top with a substantial amount of the tomato paste. Add a thick layer of the faux cheese and top with pesto. Finish with a thin layer of the zucchini, and garnish with a cherry tomato and a basil leaf.
No need to feel guilty, says Bar. This dessert can be consumed with pleasure.
You will need a 20-cm. diameter baking form.
First and third layers: ✔ 8 Medjool (or other) dates ✔ 1⁄4 cup coconut oil ✔ 2 tsp. natural vanilla extract ✔ 1⁄2 tsp. sea salt ✔ 4 cups ground almonds ✔ 1⁄4 cup almond milk Second layer: ✔ 1⁄2 cup almond milk ✔ 1⁄4 cup honey ✔ 6 Medjool dates ✔ 2 heaping Tbsp. organic cocoa powder ✔ 2 tsp. natural vanilla extract ✔ 1 Tbsp. natural lecithin ✔ 4 Tbsp. coconut oil
Fourth layer: ✔ 11⁄2 cups cashew nuts ✔ 1 cup coconut milk ✔ 1⁄4 cup honey ✔ 1 tsp, vanilla extract ✔ 2 Tbsp. natural lecithin ✔ 1⁄3 cup coconut oil ✔ 1⁄4 cup espresso
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer into a large bowl. Press half the date mixture on the bottom of the baking form. Leave the other half aside.
Prepare the second layer: Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix until a rich cream forms. Pour the cream on the first layer and place in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
When the cream layer hardens, remove from freezer and gently spread the rest of the date mixture on top.
Prepare the fourth layer: Place all the ingredients in a blender and mix well until smooth, with no pieces of nuts. Pour over the third layer and place in the freezer for 1-2 hours. Keep refrigerated until serving.
Before serving, sprinkle with cocoa powder.
Recipes and photos courtesy of Raw Food by Shirly Bar and Focus Publishing. The book is available at Steimatzky shops and online. (