As a student of holistic nutrition, the concept of raw food has been brought up time and time again. It is clearly a healthy diet and lifestyle, requires quite a bit of commitment and practice, but ultimately offers wonderful health benefits for life. I've been reading a few raw food blogs for a while now, as well as experimenting with raw recipes (okay, just desserts!) - so the interest has been there. But frankly, eating completely raw has scared me off - I can't live without my warm comfort food from time to time. And especially during the cold winter months! So while I don't think I could be 100% raw, I do plan on incorporating some raw meals into my diet as often as possible. The nutrients you receive from a raw fruit or vegetable or nut or seed far exceed that of cooked food.
Tanya from better raw is a fabulous raw foodie based here in London who occasionally hosts workshops and masterclasses at Saf restaurant. When I saw that she was teaching a beginner's raw food workshop at the Kensington branch of Saf (much closer to my home than the Shoreditch outpost, all the way in East London) I jumped at the chance! It was a wonderful morning, and I came away with some great recipes and inspiration on how to bring some raw food love into my kitchen.
Have a look...
The setup before class began. Note the food processor and blender on the other side of the table, next to all that fabulous fresh fruit and veg.
So colorful! Tanya used EVERYTHING you see here (plus more) for just a few recipes...
First on the menu: a savory green smoothie. Don't let the color put you off - it was actually quite sweet and tasty. Her rule of thumb on green smoothies is 50% greens, 50% fruit, then cover with pure water. And I had total blender envy - she was using a Vitamix. Threw a whole lemon in there no problem.
Next was a sweet green smoothie - snow pea shoots, pineapple, pears, strawberries, and mint, all blended up!
Tanya in the background, preparing our next treat - but in the foreground, a super-creamy and decadent almond milkshake. The freshly made almond milk is in the big glass jug you can see behind! ingredients of the milkshake included raw cacao powder, agave nectar, and purple corn powder. There was one more ingredient she added at the end for extra creaminess. Can you guess what it was? hint!
More greens! Massaged kale - so tasty, and all it requires is a little TLC with some fresh kale, olive oil, and lemon juice.
The massaged kale smothered in a delicious dressing/dip made from cashew nuts, red pepper, tahini, nutritional yeast, onion, garlic, and a few other special ingredients. Super creamy and cheesy, I'll definitely be making this!
Finally, a raw energy ball - walnuts, dates, sunflower seeds, tahini, cacao powder, spirulina, and cinnamon. All rolled up in some coconut. YUM.
So that's all the goods from the workshop - now time for me to put some of these goodies into practice. Look out for more raw adventures in the future!