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Amazing Peanut-less Peanut Sauce

103113-StirItUp

Eating has come a long way since I was a kid. Not really eating per say; I mean, you still pick up a bite of food with your fork, put it in your mouth and chew. I mean, what we eat and how we prepare it has changed.

When I was a kid there weren’t a lot of options out there. At home, Mom would make one meal and everyone ate that same meal. If you didn’t like it, too bad, there wasn’t anything else. The same was true when you went out to a restaurant, not that we did that often when I was growing up. You picked up a menu, looked for something good and ordered it. Oh, you might be able to substitute onion rings for fries if you were lucky, but your meal came the same way it was served to every other customer that ordered it. There was no such thing as a vegan or gluten-free meal.

There were diets, of course. If you were on a diet, it meant that you didn’t eat as much or you ate things that were classified as having lower calories. Usually, those two things went hand-and-hand, especially as a kid. I mean if something was classified as diet such as diet soda or diet ice cream, you really wanted to eat less of it because they really didn’t taste good.

Now, we have low-carb diets, no-carb diets, vegetarian, vegan, protein and one of the newer diets gaining in popularity is the raw diet. This one would have gone over great at my house. Mom wouldn’t have to cook dinner; instead she would just put a bunch of raw stuff on our plates and we would obediently eat it. It really would have been fun seeing what creative ways my siblings, most of whom didn’t like veggies anyway, would come up with to hide them since they wouldn’t just stick to the bottom of the plate or mush up to hide in a Kleenex.

One of the guys I work with at the water ski school has tried to eat healthy these past few years. Ryan wanted to share one of his favorite and most-asked for raw recipes, and I thought this really sounded intriguing. He says his diet is about 75 percent raw these days and he feels incredibly healthy.

“Cooking destroys the enzymes in food, which makes it much harder to digest,” he says. “Cooking also kills all the nutrients and antioxidants.”

He could go on all day talking about the benefits. Another plus about the raw diet is that you can start with a few meals a week and go up from there. He does say that it is best to eat a raw meal on an empty stomach because it will give you some gas and you want to be able to … how shall we say this delicately … fart. Give it a try. Thanks, Ryan. Enjoy.

Peanut-less Peanut Sauce
1 C raw almond butter
2 T fresh ginger, chopped
4 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
¼ C pure maple syrup
3 T Nama shoyu (unpasteurized soy sauce)
4 t sesame oil
2-3 cloves garlic
½ serrano or jalapeno pepper
A little pure water to thin it to your own desired consistency.

Blend all these ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. This will make a great dipping sauce for carrots and other veggies. For a raw Thai-inspired, pad Thai-styled dish, thinly julienne some zucchini along with some shaved carrots, julienne bell peppers and sliced scallions.

Trained under Master Chef Anton Flory at Top Notch Resort in Stowe, Vt., Smitty is a personal chef specializing in dinner parties, cooking classes and special events. For more information and archived copies of Stir it Up, visit chefsmitty.com. Smitty welcomes your questions and comments at smitty@chefsmitty.com or (530) 412-3598.

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