When we first opened in 2013 we dreamed of building a friendly, coffee loving community that reflected our passion for the good things in life; friends, family, food and, of course, delicious coffee! Due to space restrictions our kitchen was without an oven, so any food we did produce would have to be cold, and cleverly constructed in order to work around this obstacle.
Little did we know that this decision, initially made for practical reasons, would lead to us developing and producing an extensive range of delicious, feel good food and a regularly changing menu. Part of this huge and exciting development in our food is our Raw Cake range. What started as little kitchen experiments has blossomed into an incredibly busy & popular side of the business. So much so, it has become a little entity all of its own - Ginger and Peach, who not only create sweet treats, but in the last few months have begun catering for events with incredible raw and vegan platters, mezzes and canapés. There may also be a raw event planned for Southsea Coffee but shhhh! We can’t say much more about that right now!
We wanted to put this post together as we realised that although we talk about lots of our food being ‘raw’, we don't really get the chance to explain what that really means and why it is so flippin’ good for you, especially when it comes to our scrumptious cakes and bites.
First up - the definition of raw food. This is generally understood to be food and ingredients that have either not had any contact with heat, or if they have, it is at very low temperatures, well below conventional oven cooking temperatures. Keeping ingredients uncooked is one of the key elements that allows us to shout about how wonderfully nutritious our raw cakes are - unbaked ingredients are not affected by the cooking process and are therefore able to remain packed full of goodness.
That being said, although it is important to mention that our concept is raw, we do use some ingredients, such as dried fruit and nuts, which have had some contact with heat.
We put huge amounts of time and thought into how we can make our raw cakes and bites enjoyable for everyone, as we truly believe that all our customers should be able to have their cake and eat it! Therefore every Ginger & Peach raw cake is vegan, and lovingly handmade to be free from dairy, soya, gluten and refined sugar.
Nuts and seeds have a huge part to play in lots of our creations, from grinding them up to make our own flours, to rich and creamy ‘cheezecake’ fillings and biscuity bases (it’s amazing what you can do with a cashew!)
When it comes to sweeteners we try to choose low GI, natural alternatives like lucuma, stevia or coconut blossom nectar. Slow GI (Glycemic Index) options are broken down slowly and absorbed into the body, resulting in a steady increase of blood sugar and insulin levels in the bloodstream, which is much better for the body, compared to the wild spikes other refined sugars can produce. However sometimes a bit of stickiness is needed to bind things together, and in those cases we use dates, which although not low in GI when combined with nuts and seeds still will not give you a wild sugar spike.
We take care to always choose whole food ingredients, that are 100% natural and unprocessed, another way we can ensure we pack as much goodness and nourishment in as possible. For example, organic and unroasted cacao gives our chocolate raw cakes a deep, rich chocolatey hit, and by using our own handmade almond ‘mylk’ we can be confident that no other nasties are slipping in there.
Our journey into the world of raw foods and cakes is still in its relatively early days. Every day we’re learning more, coming up with new ideas, exploring new ingredients and receiving some wonderful feedback from our customers about what is working and what they would like to see (and eat!) more of.
From the days when our raw cakes would quietly sell over a few days, we are now having to produce 2 or 3 each day as they are flying out. It warms our hearts to know that this delicious, nutrient-packed food is not only exciting to create, but is also being loved so much by our customers. It is fascinating to see that more and more people are developing an increased awareness and understanding of the importance of making good, balanced choices about what they put in their bodies, and this is now being reflected in the media and even UK legislation with the introduction of the Sugar Tax.
It has long been our belief that eating healthy, feel good food does not have to be bland or boring. Enjoying and sharing delicious, filling meals, a great slab of cake with a lovely cup of tea or coffee, or a box of bites as a treat in your fridge when you fancy a ‘little something’, are all part of life’s best bits. That is exactly what we wanted to capture when we began, and we feel very privileged to be in a position to be able to offer healthy, tempting options every day. Long may the experiments and creation continue!