Sunday, March 30, 2008

Raw! Raw! Raw! food workshop

Had a savoury workshop here at the farm yesterday, facilitated by Beth Weisberg of RawKit. She specializes in raw foods, and presented a highly informative workshop on "power snacks and palate pleasers" - basically simple raw foods (appetizers or snackables) which require minimal special kitchen equipment to prepare.

Of course, we have all eaten raw to some extent whether we have called it a raw diet or not (green salads, fresh carrot sticks, guacamole, fresh salsa, pure fruit juices, fresh fruit). With this workshop we learned some new creative recipes using the dehydrator, mandoline and food processor, tools that are not too expensive or hard to come by. We discussed what "raw" diets mean, and some of the benefits of raw, including the live enzymes which help with proper nutrient assimilation and digestion. Beth made the good point of saying that a 100% raw diet is not necessary (or even desirable), that some raw chefs have described foods at optimum eating potential when their colour is most brilliant (e.g. lightly steamed broccoli, compared to raw broccoli). She also mentioned the value of eating in season, using local and organic foods rather than "exotic" raw items which has travelled far distances.

The above photo is of her black beans (made of dehydrated sunflower seeds); avocado guacamole (which could be made with local peas); crispy spicy corn chips; sourcream (made of sprouted cashews); and mango salsa (which could be made with local peaches, apricots, other herbs)...endless creative opportunities! She advocated to slow down when we prepare to eat, smelling the aromas, appreciating the beautiful presentation which brings our mouth to a water, and then eating with slow intention until we are satisfied (not over-filled). The other big hit of the workshop was the raw chocolate mousse, served with a dash of hot powdered cayenne pepper...served soft, or frozen....mmm.

Future food workshops on the fall horizon may include:
* fermented foods (sauerkrauts, crock pickles);
* sprouted foods;
* raw vegan sushi;
* raw decadent desserts, and more!

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