World Raw Food Series – Italian Themed!

Last Friday 21st September, in partnership with wonderful raw food chef Irene Arango, founder of Bliss Bites and Detox, we ran the first in series of classes focusing on different cuisines from around the world. Entitled ‘World Raw Food Series’. These workshops are designed to teach skills, tips, techniques and recipes so that people can go away and create tasty dishes successfully and with minimum effort and maximum benefit to health and vitality. This workshop included a 2 hour demonstration followed by a sit down dinner and was based around the ever popular Italian cuisine in an intimate little café in Queens Park.

We started off with an introduction and refreshments. We also served some tasty carrot and buckwheat bruschettas topped with tangy tomato salsa and pesto, which didn’t last very long and certainly tickled the tastebuds of our guests!

Irene and myself then gave  a brief introduction about our journeys into raw food and the numerous health benefits it has offered us. We have both noticed a profoundly positive change to our energy levels, vitality and overall  physical and emotional wellbeing since bringing more living plant based foods into our diet. We do not advocate a strict 100% raw diet, but rather encourage people to increase the amount of raw foods they are eating, to a balance that suits them.

Following the introduction we proceeded to make a number of dishes, with excellent and enthusiastic participation from our guests. I demonstrated how to make the raw vegan lasagne, probably our most popular dish at the organic café I work at and absolutely bursting with flavour. It consists of four layers; a portobello mushroom and sundried tomato ‘meat layer’, tomato sauce, yellow pepper and cashew cheese and pesto, deliciously sandwiched between marinated courgette strips.

Irene, a true expert in creating delicious raw desserts, demonstrated how to make a raw tiramisu, surely a one of the most highly prized sweet Italian exports!

First she made the cookie base, which contained ground almonds, dates and cold pressed coffee. The next layer was a decadent layer of raw chocolate and the final layer was a rich coconut cream, a beautiful blend of fresh coconut milk, coconut oil and cashews. All the layers came together to produce a cake that tasted out of this world!

The other dishes we made were the ever enjoyable and versatile courgette pasta in a pomodoro sauce and sweet beetroot ravioli filled with herbed cashew cheese, drizzled in herb and garlic oil. The food was enjoyed and the company was truly wonderful. Irene and myself really enjoyed the evening and now look forward to the next instalment in the World Raw Food Series which will focus on Japanese cuisine.

Thank you to Eva Mauleon-Mackenzie, a Nutrition Consultant (www.eva-health.com) for her lovely testimonial!

Dear Irene and Rich,

Thank you very much for a great demonstration and amazing meal. Your raw food was out of this world, it was very inspiring and educational. I wish you all the best with your business model which I believe is a great concept. Thank you for sharing all the tips with us, I will be preparing some raw sauces in my kitchen soon and hopefully will be able to inspire my clients as well, helping them achieve better health.

For those of you who couldn’t make the last workshop i’ve created a collection of raw food recipes here as a gift! For more information about us and to keep you posted about all upcoming events please visit my Facebook Page.

Rich Havardi – The Raw Foods Company: www.facebook.com/TheRawFoodsCompany

Irene Arango – Bliss Bites & Detox
www.blissbites.co.uk

What Is Raw Food?

I feel that the best place to start is to talk about what raw food actually is. Responses I get when I tell people that I eat raw food include ‘you mean sushi?’ or ‘do you just eat salads?’ I suspect that many people think of raw food as quite a limited and restrictive way of eating. It is true that when following the raw food lifestyle, meat, wheat, dairy and refined sugar tend not present in the diet, but the idea that a raw food lifestyle is restrictive could not be further from the truth. There are a vast array of nourishing and wonderful foods that can be enjoyed, including vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, sprouts and grains and huge versatility and creativity are involved in the preparation and assembly of raw food dishes.

Raw foods are defined as any food that has not been heated above a certain temperature, around 45°C, as above this temperature, vital enzymes in the food are destroyed. These enzymes carry out many important functions, such as helping to digest food, producing substances important for healthy cell functioning and helping transport of substances and nutrients around the body. Without the enzymes present, these important functions cannot be carried out as effectively and the body also needs to expend more energy producing the enzymes that were not present in the food.

I enjoy eating raw food, as it doesn’t feel to me that there is the same sort of restrictions as there are with so many other diets. It feels like more of a lifestyle choice. For me a big part of eating should be about enjoyment and attributing positive memories to our dining experiences. I challenge any of you to look back on positive memories in your life and I bet a lot of them were centred around eating and enjoyment of food. There are a huge variety of different ways in which raw food can be made. I will be posting blog posts in the coming weeks and months outlining techniques, tips and recipes that I have learnt and how you can use them to simply and easily prepare raw food dishes that are tasty, nourishing and satisfying.

Eating raw foods have had a massive positive impact on my health, including increased energy and focus, improved digestion, better skin, more consistent moods and highly reduced incidence of illness. At this point I would like to stress that I am not advocating anyone to move to a totally raw food diet, either straight away or at any point. Raw food has had enormous benefits for me, but it was not an overnight success. For me, and I suspect, for the vast majority of us, our bodies to a greater or lesser extent, have a level of toxicity, accumulated over years of poor eating habits. So it may be the case that even someone starts eating super healthily, they may not be seeing the benefits of this, as their ability to assimilate some or all of these nutrients may be impaired. I will talk more in an upcoming article about what can be done to naturally cleanse the body and how this can have huge positive impact on health and wellbeing.

I am running a series of Raw Food workshops focusing on different cuisines from around the world. Starting this Friday 21st September in Queens Park, London from 7-10pm. Join me for an educational and delicious journey into raw Italian cuisine.

For more details and to confirm your place please email:
irene@blissbites.co.uk
rich@therawfoodscompany.com
or go to http://raw-world-series.eventbrite.com/

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