Last Saturday I held another food class. With 9 people in attendance, we had a lot of fun! Five of these people were at the last class, so it was nice to build upon that. I brought out a few of the "toys" - the milk bag, the mandoline, and spiral slicer which seemed to be the most exciting!
I started off the class by doing an almond mylk demo. People said it was definately better than they expected it to be. lol
I then talked about some of the ingredients we would be using for the class, and a few people shared funny stories about their raw food preparation attempts, lol. One woman said she knows all the recipes from the last class off by heart and has been making them for her family almost every day! lol
Here are a few tips I've learned about giving a raw food class that I would like to share with whoever might be reading this:
1. Use ingredients that people have easy access to - this one is really important around here becuase I live in a small, remote town that has no health food store. So when I introduce a new ingredient, I make sure it is available at the local grocery store, or in the town closest to us.
2. Use cost effective ingredients - People often tell me that it seems really expensive to eat raw, or even just healthy. I always explain that when you go back to the basics, it is really very affordable. So, this particular class used ingredients such as apples, zucchini, tomatoes, almonds, lemons, romaine, spinach, cucumber, avocado, and garlic as a BASE...with higher cost items used as secondary ingredients, such as raw tahini, maple syrup, dates, celtic sea salt, pecans, and walnuts - in smaller quantities.
3. Introduce recipes that are familiar - Everyone knows what pasta is, and apple pie, milkshakes, caesar salad, etc. So rather than starting with a green smoothie which I have seen people shy away from right off the hop, I start with food that people know and are comfortable with. One woman on weight watches was so excited that zucchini pasta means Zero Points! That means "she can eat all she wants as opposed to just 1 cup of cooked pasta", she told me.
4. Encourage experimentation with raw food recipes- Another point that I feel is especially important because people will often tell me that raw recipes don't work for them. When I talk to them about their experience, it boils down to having made the recipe exactly as it is written. I encourage people to taste test as they go through a recipe, adjusting the flavours to suit their preference.
5. Stay on the minimal side with garlic and onion to start - two very strong flavours that can each easily ruin a recipe. One woman in my class spoke of trying a recipe where she used a few cloves of garlic in the sauce and it completely ruined it. I can relate. I once made a soup using only one small clove of garlic and it was unbearable. I now start with half of these recommended ingredients and then add accordingly.
After that we broke into groups and made: Cream of Spinach Soup, Caesar Salad, Angel Hair Pasta with Sundried Tomato Sauce, and Apple Crumble Pie
Almond Mylk Soak 1 cup almonds in pure water over night. Drain and rinse well. Blend the almonds with 2-3 cups of water until completely blended. Strain with a milk bag, paint strainer, or panty hose. Add the milk back to the blender with a few dates or few teaspoons of natural sweetener. Blend until smooth and creamy. Any other nut or seed can be used for this mylk recipe.
Creamy Spinach Soup, recipe found here on Raw Freedom Community.
Woody Harelson’s Caesar Salad Dressing
This dressing is sooo great! I especially like how it firms up in the fridge - great as a dip! Everyone in the class particularly enjoyed how similar it is to "real" caesar dressing! yay!
5 tablespoons raw tahini
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 nice clove garlic
2 green onions, or 1/4 cup sweet onion
1 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup or 3 soft dates, pitted
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1-2 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
1-2 teaspoons sea salt or to taste
2 tablespoons good olive oil (optional)
fresh water, 2 tablespoons at a time as necessary to blend.
In a blender, combine all ingredients, adding oil and fresh water, 2 tablespoons at a time as necessary to blend until very smooth.
Makes 1 pint of thick dressing that will keep fresh for a week.
Pasta with Sundried Tomato Sauce
Noodles: 3 zucchinis, peeled into thin strips with a vegetable peeler, or on a mandoline.
Sauce: 1 ½ cups sundried tomatoes, soaked a few hours 1 cup tomato, diced 3-4 tbs fresh basil, chopped 1 pitted, medjool date or tsp honey 1 tbs fresh parsley, minced 1 tbs olive oil 1 small clove of garlic 3-4 pitted kalamata olives (optional)
Blend the sauce ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Mix with the zucchini noodles.
Apple Crumble Pie
Must remember dessert, and what better than apple pie for this time of year? This is simple and yet Oh so delish! It makes my heart sing! I could eat this every day probably!
Crust: 2 cups pecans 1 cup walnuts ¾ cup pitted and packed, medjool dates
In a food processor, combine all ingredients until they become crumbly. Press half of the mixture into a 9” pie plate.
Filling: 6 medium sized apples, separated ½ cup pitted and packed, medjool dates ¼ cup raisins 2 tsp cinnamon
Peel and core all apples. In a food processor, puree 2 of the apples, and remaining ingredients, until smooth. Pour this mixture into a bowl. Chop the other 4 apples into large chunks and then process into small chunks in a food processor, making sure NOT to puree it into applesauce! Add to the puree. Spread this filling into the pie crust. Top with the remaining pie crust, sprinkling it over the top like crumble.