Well it turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. I met Kim and Mark, this lovely couple who are dedicated to making wholesome foods with fresh, organic, local and minimally processed ingredients. Their stall include an array of raw goodies from superfood slices, macaroons, nut cheeses, dehydrated barks to breakfast granola. Whilst digging into a raw green tea macaroon, I saw that they were offering a raw food workshop so of course I signed up and then left their stall with buckwheat bark, a beautiful lemon cheesecake, a herb cashew probiotic cream cheese and a portobello mushroom pate, all which were absolutely amazingly tasty!
So Saturday came around and I went to their home, along with about 14 other people and had a wonderful afternoon sampling and talking about raw goodness. It really was wonderful to have a group of people come together who are so enthusiastic about learning a healthier approach to eating well, as it isn't just simple the foods you put inside of you, it really becomes a lifestyle because it affects so many other things in your life. Issues came up with food allergies and sensitivities, women trying to fall pregnant, people with families who are wanting to educate their children and make sure that they are getting the best nutrition and lifestyle they can.
First what is raw? Raw is defined as any foods that are prepared under 44˚C or 115˚, this ensures that the living enzymes in the food remains intact and thus preserving the nutritional benefits of the foods you are eating. Most people I encounter think that raw is just basically some greens thrown together but it is so much more than that! Perth has really taken off in the last year with raw restaurants opening and people are starting to get more into wholesome eating. What I love the best about raw is that your imagination and creativity really is the key to making foods. There is no set recipe. I am inspired by foods that I eat, recipes that I come across and whatever I feel like for the day. For example, if it's too sweet you can add more cacao, if it lacks a bit of a kick you can add more lemon juice or thicken things up with nuts etc... It's all up to the individual. Very unlike baking and roasting where things can go wrong so quickly!
What I really enjoyed about the workshop was that it wasn't just about recipe sharing and cooking; a lot of it was focused on discussing wellbeing as a whole and also the nutritional value of superfoods and fresh foods, about how it makes people feel, simple ways one can start to incorporate more raw or healthier options into their lives. The booklet they put together incorporated the benefits of healthy eating, stable items for the pantry and also equipment and tools, recipes and a great section on soaking and sprouting.
Of course there was the food! It was delicious. We started off with homemade almond milk, which was combined with greens and bananas for a green smoothie. Then moved onto salads (a beet and carrot one), which was then placed in a lettuce leaf with a dollop of raw hummus wrapped with raw nori to make a delicious flavoursome wrap. Then Kim made a pizza, with a dehydrated base topped with spinach, marinated mushrooms, capsicums and their amazing brazil/cashew nut cheese with sundried tomato and chilli. The great thing about raw food is that because a lot of it is nutrient dense with the nuts and seeds, you don't need a lot of it. If you have a normal pizza, one might eat a whole one, with a raw pizza, you could have a few slices and be full. We sampled dehydrated kale chips and zucchini strips whilst she talked us through sprouting seeds. That's one thing I don't do much of, sprouting and dehydrating, so it was definitely great to learn more about, and now I want a Exalibur dehydrator! I have everything else, a thermomix, a juicer, a spirooli... the list goes on! The dehydrator would be the cream of the crop, I'd be one happy happy girl! We finished off with cacao almond chia pudding and I purchased and took home some of their granola goodies as well as a bottle of coconut nectar, which by the way, is absolutely divine.
I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon, it went for about 3.5 hours and for $90 I thought it was fabulous value for money. We were all encouraged to ask questions and it was a laidback relaxed environment. Even though I make raw things at home all the time, it's still great to get ideas and it keeps me passionate about eating well and living healthy!