While researching things to do in my new city, I came across an advetisement for a raw food preparation course. This seemed like a fun thing to do, so I signed up. Tons of fun.
I really appreciated that the introduction at the beginning of the day included a disclaimer that the raw food diet is not for everyone. My experience has been that many adherents to more extreme diets (e.g. paleo, veganism, etc) treat it like a religion -- that anyone who doesn't subscribe to their dietary worldview is somehow an unlenlightened terrible person. This, however, was a raw food course that was carnivore-friendly (or carnivore-tolerant, at least outwardly).
The course covered all the weird and wonderful things you hear about when raw food comes up: nut milks, green smoothies, dehydrating, spiral vegetable preparation, juicing.
Lunch looked like this:
The 'noodles' are cut up zucchini with blended raw marinara sauce. Just above that, the blob of white stuff is a cashew-based 'rawmesan.' The yellow blob is a sunflower seed curry pâté. The alfalfa sprouts where the main component of a light veggie salad. There is also some sauerkraut hiding somewhere on the plate. Everything was really tasty. The pâté was probably my favourite.
The course made me pine for all the raw food fancy toys: the Excalibur dehydrator, the VitaMix blender, the Omega juicer, and the food processor. I don't think I will be able to fit any of these into my budget anytime soon, but I really loved how these tools multiplied the number of ways fruits, veggies, and nuts can be prepared. The VitaMix especially is quite the machine. I never quite understood how a blender could have such a cult-like following. After seeing two tomatoes, three celery stalks, and an onion (all whole) tossed in and pureed silky smooth within seconds, I get it. It's beautiful.
What I most loved about this course is that it made raw preparation seem like something even an omnivore like me could pull off at home. I was always so intimidated by raw food prep, even though I am very comfortable in the kitchen. It just seemed so tedious and time-consuming. However, I was so pumped after my workshop that I purchased a raw food un-cookbook called Crudessence that had been recommended to me. It's gorgeous (I'm all about the pictures when it comes to cookbooks), and I love the idea of supporting Canadian authors. I can't wait to uncook at home!