Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Raw Foods Chef Reinvents Breakfast

A week ago I took a Raw Foods Fundamentals course at Preservation Hall, taught by local raw foods chef Katie Reed of FarmMaid Foods. I enjoyed the experience so much that I returned Sunday for “Breakfast Reinvented.” The class did not disappoint.

“The power of raw foods comes out with breakfast in the morning,” Katie said, busy cramming a variety of green veggies into her Vitamix.

There was curly kale, organic celery, core-less apples, a fistful of cilantro. With a flick of the switch, her machine began its high-speed blend. A smile spread across my face as I thought of all the enzymes and vitamins in the green juice I would soon be drinking. “Carrot Splendor” followed the “Get Up and Go.” I can see why raw foodies get inspired to eat fresh and raw for the whole day. These concoctions even taste healthy!

Apparently most people need more veggies than the usual diet provides. Memo to self, Add veggies to diet. Katie explained why: “They provide a highly accessible form of nutrients.”

A mother and daughter team had joined the class as we moved on to a strawberry kefir smoothie, a drink that was truly yummy.

“Kefir is super nourishing. If you get sugar cravings, drink this,” Katie told us.

Next, we admired a bottle of black and white high-protein chia seeds. Chia porridge is served raw but can be warmed for cool fall days.

“Chia is good for heart health, prostate and breast cancer,” Katie was telling us, adding the final ingredient to the blender bowl, Goji berries. The porridge looked festive (see above). Apparently athletes consume it, too.

“I’m amazed,” said Ann-Marie, on the next stool. “I wasn’t anticipating liking this one.”

Then Katie taught us how to make no-cholesterol vanilla almond milk. In this photo, she is squeezing kale but obtained milk from the blended, pre-soaked almonds the same way. The residue in the Rawsome Creations nut milk bag can be turned into almond flour. If juicing pulp remains, it can be turned into veggie crackers.

“Raw foods is not a diet really, it’s a lifestyle,” Katie explained.

I’m glad the raw-foods philosophy can be embraced without obligation to eat only raw. I can see adding a lot of these recipes to my repertoire and reaping the benefits as Sven and I grow older.

At the beginning of class, a woman had rushed in off the street, unable to attend class that day. She purchased three bags of raw granola instead. Our final lesson was making it. Katie began by draining raw buckwheat groats that had soaked overnight and shredding two apples. The raw granola also has coconut, sprouted pumpkin and sunflower seeds and Medjool dates as a binder. But, since a dehydrator is involved, I don’t think I will make raw granola any time soon. I just invested in a Vitamix!