Monday, September 12, 2011

Prez. Hall Hosts First Raw Foods Class

Yesterday I took a Raw Food Fundamentals class at Preservation Hall, offered by FarmMaid Foods. The course was taught by Katie Reed, who explained how food allergies had led her to a radical change in diet and a near total embrace of raw foods. She announced that the two-hour course would provide basic recipes and tips towards sustaining a raw food lifestyle. Since I have heard eating raw foods leads to improved health, I was all ears, as were the other five ladies who had signed up for the course.

First off, Katie showed us how to make a green smoothie with a Vita-prep mixer. We all got to taste and, I must say, it was delicious. (I will make mine in my Cuisinart.)

Next on the menu: kale salad. We learned how to massage the greens, which changed texture and reduced in volume. Katie shared her special dressing with vegetable base and warned us against vinegar, which ends all enzyme activity. Katie added slices of cucumber and orange peppers, cherry tomatoes, then finally sprouts and hemp seeds. Check out how pretty the salad looks in this paper bowl! The dish was so good I requested seconds.

Ever made sauerkraut? If not, you should learn. Boy, was it easy! Several of the attendees helped Katie massage one pound of organic cabbage to which one tablespoon of salt had been added. Then the chef wrung out the shredded cabbage and placed it in a mason jar, just covering with the rendered liquid. She pointed out how economical this sauerkraut is: the cost of one pound of organic cabbage!

Finally the potential raw food converts were treated to an uncooked brownie, whose main ingredient was walnuts. I noted the rocking motion of the food processor, which Katie explained helped keep the walnuts from turning to butter. Would I be able to imitate her technique at home? I sure hope so!

Katie admitted that it is hard to source ingredients on the Cape. She had brought some of the nuts and cacao powder, necessary for the desserts, and made these crucial ingredients available for purchase after the course.

While cooking, Katie spewed raw food tips. For instance, refrigerate your walnuts lest they go rancid and use a certain type of Agave instead of sugar. She also recommended several raw food cookbooks, which we all duly noted.

Prez. Hall will host more raw food classes this fall. Already scheduled, “Asian Fusion” and “Breakfast Reinvented,” next Sunday. Guess which one I’m taking!