Raw food diet: Ready to give it a whirl?

Raw food "lasagna."

Raw food "lasagna."

Summer's about the only time you might want to test-drive a raw foods diet. The obstacles of chilly temps and the lack of fresh fruits and vegetables clearly just wouldn't be the best way to start out if you've never tried it.

What the heck is a raw foods diet? Here's Slashfood's description (followed by a recipe for California salad):

The raw diet consists of natural, unprocessed foods that are not heated above 114 degrees Fahrenheit. Most raw foodists eat mainly plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, grains and legumes. They believe that the raw foods provide energy-charged nutrients that are killed during cooking, mainly enzymes that not only fuel the body but can provide other astounding health benefits.
If you're interested in giving a life of cashew cheese, zucchini "pasta," and dehydrated potatos, local blogger and raw foods aficionado Susan Powers is holding a class next Thursday, Aug. 1, called "Easing Into Raw" at Lakewinds Natural Foods in Minnetonka.

Curious but not committed? Have you tried Ecopolitan? The cozy Minneapolis restaurant serves 100 percent raw foods. The restaurant is also a good resource in general and hosts their own monthly "un-cooking" class. Check it out and try something new yo.