There is more to raw food than carrot sticks

Combining raw ingredients into a sumptuous dish, without any cooking, is particularly clever in my view.

My discovery of the raw food movement started with lunch at Genki cafe in Palm beach.  While waiting to pay at the counter, I was fascinated by a collection of cabinet desserts made entirely from raw food. I ended up trying a berry cake.  It was incredible, the taste, look and texture had striking similarities to it’s cooked version. Up until then, my idea of a raw food diet was salad, carrot sticks and fruit.

Raw food diets do vary but at the core of the movement is a desire to eat raw organic, unprocessed, highly nutritious food. The idea is that food enzymes are destroyed when food is heated above 45 degrees.

Keen to debunk my own preconceptions of raw food, I decided to check out a  ROAR Food cooking class.

The Class

ROAR food is a business run by partners Brendan and Suki. They offer catering, lessons and sell a collection of products at the markets.

The class I went to in the Masonic hall at Burleigh Heads, was run by Brendan and Katie (Suki was away at a Yoga retreat). It went from 6pm till 8pm and had about 25 people in attendance and cost $55 per person.

It was not a hands on experience.  Instead I got to sit back, watch the process and sample a 5 course dinner menu.

The aim of the class was to show you how to make raw dishes, in about 10 minutes, using fairly common ingredients. We were all provided with a recipe booklet to take home.

So here is what was created…

Thai Coconut soup:  juice of a young coconut, medjool dates, lime, mint, garlic, ginger, olive oil, tamari, salt and fresh chilli.

First up was the Thai Coconut Soup. Made in a blender this soup was an immediate boost. The sugar from the dates counteracts the chilli and the olive oil thickens the mixture.

Cashew cream cheese:  dairy free, made from cashews, lemon juice, lime juice, shallots and salt.

The Cashew cream cheese is one of Brendan and Suki’s favourite recipes. It is dairy free and extremely versatile.  Not all cashews are ‘raw’ in the true sense, most have been heat treated. Ideally you want cold-processed organic cashew nuts.

This cashew cream cheese will last up to 5 days in the fridge.  Did you know that the green part of shallots holds double the vitamins  than the whiter ends?

Savoury pie: vegetable top of mushrooms, sun-dried tomato, olives, olive oil, lime/lemon. The filing is the cashew cream cheese and the base is made from cashews, almonds, carrots and beetroot.

There is an art to pressing the pie tin base. Brendan skillfully demonstrated how this is done so that you can remove the tin and the sides stay firmly in place. The vegetable top is marinated for about 20 minutes, allowing the lemon juice and salt to soften the mixture.

Preparing the spiraled zucchini pasta

Raw Zucchini pasta with cashew cream sauce. Zucchini is a silent flavour in this dish, it absorbs the flavours of the sauce. This was one of my favourite dishes.

Raw Pizza. The base of the pizza is a signature product of ROAR Food and can be ordered for delivery or purchased from their market stall.

We didn’t see the pizza base being made as it involved sun dehydrating. It is firm and compact and makes a great pizza base. 

Marinated vegetable Cous Cous. The cous cous is made using cauliflower and parsnip. It is then marinated with capsicum, eggplant, mushrooms, raisins, salt, olive olive, walnuts and lemon juice. It tasted a bit like coleslaw. 

Zucchini and cashew cream cheese appetisers

Raw Apple pie. Given the time frame of the class, this pie was not left to marinate fully. The longer it is left, the softer the apples become.

Sweet date pie base. This is an up close shot of the apple pie base. It can also been eaten on its own as little bliss balls (just leave out the salt). It is rich, made entirely of almonds, macadamias, walnuts and medjool dates. 

Chocolate avocado mousse: made blending avocados, raw cacoa powder, coconut oil and medjool dates.

The chocolate avocado mousse is hands down my favourite. The mousse is also the filler in a pie but it required setting time.  The avocado taste is absorbed by the cacoa powder. While there is a hint of the nutty avocado flesh, it is so beautiful. I could eats spoons of this stuff!

So there you have it. I hope this opens up a new world of raw food possibilities, it did for me.

Information about the ROAR Food cooking classes can be found on their website. I found that the lesson dates were not regularly updated so if you are keen, I suggest you email Suki for upcoming class times and venues.They also have a regular stall at the Gold Coast Organic Miami Markets every Sunday from 6am to 11.30am.

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3 thoughts on “There is more to raw food than carrot sticks

  1. Dean Katsavos says:

    Wow. Who would have thought. I think I’ll try the cashew cream cheese and choc avocado mousse. I’ll let you know how they turn out!

    (ps. is mixing raw ingredients still considered “cooking” ??)

    Thanks for the inspiration – keep up the good work.

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