Monday, 20 October 2014

Introductory to Raw - Explore Raw Cookery School

Getting Started With Raw Foods Module I

I attended my first ever cookery class, well first ever raw cookery class. It was hosted by the very passionate raw foods educator Stephanie Jeffs founder of Explore Raw.

The venue was located in Central London in a modern learning kitchen in Central Street near Old Street Station. On arrival we were treated to a fresh glass of apple & grapefruit juice.

Fresh Apple & Grapefruit Juice

Delicious raw chocolate sticky balls, which were just devine! date parcels & a plate of berries, we were also handed a goodie bag courtesy of Udo's Choice, which contained a bottle of Udo's Ultimate Oil Blend & Beyond Greens, plus another goody bag from Stephanie containing, Tupperware, mason jars & bottles and not forgetting out own apron in Pink!

Raw Chocolate Sticky Balls

Date Parcels

Berry Platter
After chatting with the other ladies and sampling the treats, we ventured into the kitchen area which was rather spacious and very clean which is always good when cooking. We all had our own workstations with a training pack containing agenda and recipes we were going to be creating.

We started off by introducing ourselves and why we were here - for me it was all about trying to heal myself through a change of diet to veganism, introducing raw eating, also for me to learn the basis about raw food and how to incorporate it into my daily life.

Stephanie then began to explain what raw was about and how it was an unprocessed living food from nature, a diet that is free from animal products of any kind. She then moved onto to talk about enzymes, their importance and how they are responsible for all metabolic activity in the body. Did you know that cooking food destroys many minerals, vitamins and amino acids? Me either....But there are a few exceptions i.e tomatoes and carrots now here the science - when tomatoes are cooked lycopene is more available in the body (around an 18% increase in bioavailability) but that same tomato loses almost half is vitamin A, 65% of vitamin K, 35% of beta carotene and 100% of it's alpha carotene.

Time for the practical part  

Stephanie demonstrated how to make nut milk using a slowstar juicer. It was fascinating to watch, we got to try making some ourselves but we used portable blenders, never thought it would be so easy to make with some pre-socked nuts and water, it tasted really good and it was all nature.

Next we made some carrot & ginger juice & a lemon & ginger shot.

Moving on from the nut milks and juice making, it was time for food - with the nut milk we made a chocolate chia pudding.

What it looked like after being in the fridge overnight
We then made some marinade for our Chinese stir fry, the pulp from our carrot & ginger juice we used to make raw carrot cake, we also got to try out a spiralizer to make vegetable noodles for our raw stir fry & Thai soup.

Chinese Stir Fry
The whole experience was amazing, I really had a lot of fun and learnt some great tips.  

We finished of the session with a sit down meal with one of our creations - Thai Soup, but by that time with all the tasting during the class, I was slightly full. The Thai soup was so easy to make, one I will definitely be making for lunch at work on those cold winter months. We all took home our creations in out containers provided thanks to Stephanie, so of coarse got to share the yumminess with the hubby which is he was very happy about.

Thai Soup

If your interested in raw foods, clean healthy eating and added benefits to your health, then I highly recommend trying raw foods or even going along to one of Stephanie's Cookery Classes. You will be amazed by the favours you can achieve with raw foods, it's certainly not boring by any means, all foods prepared was was absolutely delicious.

Me wearing my explore raw apron - picture courtesy of Explore Raw

I enjoyed it so much I've booked myself onto the next class which is taking place on 29th November - Living with Raw Foods Module II. Do contact Stephanie via her website, Facebook or Twitter if you are interested in attending this class or the other two classes she has on offer.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Stephanie over email, you can read about it here. An Interview with Stephanie Jeffs

Thanks for reading. :-) 


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