RAW FOOD

Back in February I discussed how this year nourishing food was poised to have its moment. As I look around I see more and more food establishments offering nutritious twists on classics and menu items such as overnight oats, energy balls and smashed avocado. Healthy food looks like it is here to stay, and indeed the top food trends forecasted for 2017 are centred in health and wellness. One of these predictions is raw, which is something I often get asked about; so here are the reasons why I love raw food.

Often associated with plant based (vegan) cuisine, raw foods are sometimes referred to as living and are usually not heated to above 41 degrees. Keeping food raw is thought to help its nutrients, enzymes and vitamins remain intact and therefore be beneficial for our overall wellbeing. For me, it is also deeply tasty; fresh food tastes good.

As a food producer I believe that we have a responsibility to prepare foods that not only taste and look good, but also nourish and from a professional viewpoint, raw food can help bridge this gap between culinary art and nutrition. It excites me that new techniques are being developed all the time and it is possible to create raw crackers, pates, ice cream and even jam (yes, really).

My favourite raw food – cake has been having its moment for a while. Raw cakes use replacement ingredients that nourish our bodies; for example cashews or macadamia nuts can be soaked and blended in place of cheese to create “cheezecakes”; caramels can be made from dates and flours from seeds. What is not to like, when a cake tastes great, provides you with good fat and proteins and leaves you feeling sustained without the sugar crash? Never has the term have your cake and eat it been so apt.

Minimally processed fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds can help to support overall better health and also happen to taste incredible when prepared with the right ingredients and skills; but don’t despair if you are not in a professional kitchen as it is easy to incorporate more raw foods into your diet (and most of us do this without even realising). Add salads and simple uncooked sides to your main meals, try a juice or smoothie; eat fresh fruit and you will be on your way in no time at all.

 

This was published in Southsea Lifestyle - November 2016