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Vegetables that are good raw?


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My next eating-better improvement is to eat more vegetables.  Right now the can of low-sodium V8 I pack for weekday lunches and a salad once a week or so are about it, and that needs to change.

I'm looking for ideas on vegetables that are good raw. Not because I'm into the raw-foods movement, but because (1) I really dislike cooking and (2) I'd like to have things I can conveniently snack on whenever, can pack a ziplock baggie of in my lunch, etc.

The problem is most of the vegetables I like are either the not-so-good-raw kind like peas and beans, or aren't exactly the sort of thing you'd just grab and eat like you can an apple or a banana (spinach for example, I love the stuff but it's not a grab-and-eat food).

I've already mentally gone through what I think are the obvious things.  Carrot sticks (don't care for them a lot, I could eat them but I wouldn't enjoy it much), cucumber slices (ditto), celery (ditto, and just not the same without a big smear of peanut butter).

So far I've come up with... radishes.  I love radishes, but I'm thinking my love for them would begin to pale if I tried eating them every day, so I'm looking for more ideas for things I can alternate with them. 

Any suggestions would be most welcome!

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Bell peppers (red, esp) are my favorite raw veggie.

grape tomatoes, slices of green and red peppers, sugar snap peas.

Cherry tomatoes & button mushrooms

I mix up carrot sticks, celery sticks, bell peppers (red, yellow and green), grape tomatoes...whatever I find.  Celery isn't a favorite, but if paired with a green pepper slice, it's not so bad.  It helps make the strong flavor of a green pepper more mild.  I wrap carrot sticks in baby spinach leaves...sometimes one leaf per tomato.  Be creative and you will find a combination you like. 

Excellent goal, btw!

Red, yellow, orange, and green peppers are my fave!

I also love cherry tomatoes, snow peas, cauliflower, mushrooms.

I like to mix a bunch of different raw veggies into one snack rather than eat a bagful of carrot sticks so it doesn't get boring or repetitive.

Broccoli is pretty good raw, great to use to snack on.  Asparagus when its in season is also really good fresh and raw, if you wanna be a little crazy you could throw in in the oven for a few and roast it. When it cools throw it in the bag for later and its great that way too. Minimal effort. If you add hummus to carrots and/or celery it can substitute as a healthy peanut butter and might make it more tolerable.

buy baby spinach in the/a bin, pre washed, pre cut. I live on it -- but make sure you don't have kidney problems read this page:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=food spice&dbid=43

this is under "individual concerns" on that page:

individuals with already existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating spinach.

and some individuals who are susceptible to purine-related problems, excessive intake of these substances can cause health problems. Since purines can be broken down to form uric acid, excess accumulation of purines in the body can lead to excess accumulation of uric acid.

so that said; I try to have a salad for lunch every day to get my required veggies. I take a few handfuls of the spinach, chop up a tomato, and then i chop up any old raw veggie at hand. except, of course - potatoes. :) 

so basically it's a 5 minute salad. my add-ins include:

roughly chopped cauliflower, chopped celery (i keep the bunch bunched, wash it like that, and just chop from the top down 3 chops you have a good handful, throw everything in, leaves, etc & all - im not fussy i pull it apart and wash it better near the bottom cuz its dirtier down there), diced cucumber, basically whatever i can wash, chop & throw in. you can also buy pre-chopped 'matchstick" carrots, you can get a julienne peeler and put zucchini in, etc.... peppers and cukes are my faves.

FOR PROTEIN YOU CAN BUY PRE-COOKED CHICKEN BREAST, DRINK A WHEY POWDER PROTEIN DRINK, ADD FLAKED TUNA, ADD SOME CANNED BEANS, ??? wherever else you get your protein.

then i sprinkle with a mixture of about 1/3 olive oil and 2/3 balsamic vinegar to taste. a few nuts or some feta cheese if i'm feeling fancy.

sometimes i'm even lazy i just grab a few things in a bag and chop them at work.

thats the easiest and most healthy raw veggie mix i can think of. enjoy :) 

 

ALSO NOTE: you may also want to research the effect of raw vegetables, especially "cruciferous" ones (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, etc) on your digestion. They are sometimes not fully digestable and cause a lot of gas. Which in turn causes bloating, and abdominal pain. And tons of toots! Undecided which sometimes are not fun.

You can get 'digestion enzymes' to prevent this.

 

Research it. :) 

Mmm... Cherry Tomatoes, Bell Peppers [all colors... although green isn't too good, ha ha], Cabbage, Lettuce & Spinach...

I'm glad I asked, my imagination obviously stinks! 

Mushrooms, peppers, cherry tomatoes: things I like to put on salads but somehow never thought of as vegetables in their own right. Didn't think of combining them, either.

I'll have to sneak by the veggie section of my market and spy on the snow/sugar peas, I've never had any that I knew of by those names and certainly never had raw.  If they don't look too dangerous I'll try them.

I like green peppers, even raw.  Are the red kind a lot different?  I think I've only had those in sauced-up stir-fry before and have no idea what their basic taste is like.  Are they "sweeter" than green ones, or just not as hot (or is that the same thing)?

(Oh, and I refuse to believe hummus is vegetable-based.  Nothing can taste that good and be a vegetable!)

My favourites:

  • cherry tomatoes!  (already mentioned, but they're my favourites)
  • cauliflower (broccoli's okay, but cauliflower's tastier, in my opinion)
  • red pepper slices (or yellow or orange); all the non-green peppers are sweeter than green peppers

I also like carrot sticks and cucumber slices (though you ruled those out).  Can't stand celery.

Other ways to sneak veggies in without cooking:

  • mix diced tomato and/or a little diced onion into cottage cheese (which is too boring to eat on its own, in my opinion); I often add herbs and/or freshly cracked black pepper
  • avocado slices on whole grain crackers topped with roasted red peppers (can buy jars of these) or a light sprinkling of garlic powder; an avocado and roasted red pepper sandwich is also a great big pile of yumminess
  • when making fish/chicken/steak, plop it onto a big pile of baby spinach; the heat of the meat lightly cooks the spinach without actually having to cook it separately

And hummus is totally vegetable-based.  So, enjoy within reason!  (The oil means that overly large servings will get a bit high cal, but a couple of tablespoons is fine.)

If you like hummus then you should like chick peas (the base of hummus).  They come in cans so you can rinse them and portion them into baggies to munch on.  Or roast them I suppose.

I am strange in that I like raw onion.  Try scallions...easily portable. 

Whenever I'm getting bored with the usual raw veggies (carrot, celery, cucumber, tomato), I change it with:

  • zucchini and summer squash cut into thick sticks
  • portobello mushroom (also cut into sticks) 
  • asparagus
  • fennel slices (very palate cleansing and good for digestion!)
  • jicama (a little more exotic, very crunchy, especially good with lemon juice and chili powder!)
  • sugar snap peas

The other thing I do, is that I lightly steam the harder-to-digest veggies, like broccoli, green beans, even cauliflower - and then have them cold.  Since they are lightly steamed, it doesn't take a lot of work, and they are easier to digest than raw! 

 

 

 

Original Post by jp5074139:

 

(Oh, and I refuse to believe hummus is vegetable-based.  Nothing can taste that good and be a vegetable!)

it isn't. it's made out of chick peas which are in the bean/lentil family. technically:A 'legume' fruit is a simple dry fruit that develops from a simple carpel and usually dehisces (opens along a seam) on two sides.  

It's higher in calories and protein than most vegetables, and is 'dried' before you eat it, you have to re-hydrate it or cook it to eat it. You can't just pluck it off the plant and eat it. 

Also the other half of hummus is TAHINI which is ground up sesame seeds, technically:Sesame is grown primarily for its oil-rich seeds.  Note that "oil rich" which is also making it a little farther from the fresh veggie type of food into the 'nuts' kind of foods.

so no, something with high protein and fat is not exactly what you meant by "fresh vegetables" :) 

Original Post by cc31:

The other thing I do, is that I lightly steam the harder-to-digest veggies, like broccoli, green beans, even cauliflower - and then have them cold.  Since they are lightly steamed, it doesn't take a lot of work, and they are easier to digest than raw! 

 

 

 

just don't try to steam broccoli or cauliflower in your office microwave. I almost got fired for it! (just kidding) but no, really, it smells like a giant FART and all my co-workers had a FIT.

funny. someone burns cancer-causing microwave popcorn and noone cares. i eat a healthy steamed veggie and it's like a dropped a bomb.

heh. grr. :P ha ha 

It is amazing to me that when I get an attack of wanting to eat "munchies," how satisfying eating some of the vegetables in my list can replace my want for high-calorie munchies.

Vegetables I love to eat raw (no, I don't mean I am raw):

  • baby carrots
  • celery
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • colored bell peppers (the green are just a tad sharp for me)
  • radishes
  • black olives (in moderation)

I wish I could add broccoli to the list, but raw broccoli almost gags me.  I really don't know why I don't like it, since I love eating vegetables.

I'm addicted to raw mushrooms! there's so many different kinds, with variable textures, tastes and shapes.

#19  
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Original Post by jp5074139:

I'll have to sneak by the veggie section of my market and spy on the snow/sugar peas, I've never had any that I knew of by those names and certainly never had raw.  If they don't look too dangerous I'll try them.

(Oh, and I refuse to believe hummus is vegetable-based.  Nothing can taste that good and be a vegetable!)

Sugar snap peas are awesome! They're a hybrid of sweet English peas and snow peas (I think), and the whole pod is edible. They're sweet, crunchy, juicy and are good plain or dipped in just about anything. Also, they're very easy to grow (and depending on where you live, now might be the time to start them).

If you like hummus, it's super-easy to make if you have  a food processor, and slightly more laborious if you do it by hand. Like someone else said, it's legume-based, so more calorie-dense than your standard carrot, but still tasty. Another snack in a similar vein is edamame (soy beans). You can get them frozen in or out of the pod. They cook in five minutes and are highly portable (but again, more calorie-dense than, say, celery)

Since you like radishes, you also might like raw turnips. For the record, I don't, but some people do. Rather than the standard purple-topped turnips, look for "salad" turnips, which tend to be younger, smaller, and sweeter.

You might also try kohlrabi. I'm not really a fan, but if you like the taste (it's sort of broccoli-ish) it's also crunchy and juicy.

 

Original Post by jp5074139:

I like green peppers, even raw.  Are the red kind a lot different?  I think I've only had those in sauced-up stir-fry before and have no idea what their basic taste is like.  Are they "sweeter" than green ones, or just not as hot (or is that the same thing)?

Red peppers (along with yellow & orange peppers) tend to be sweeter than green peppers. Bell peppers in general are not hot/spicy. 

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