Monthly Archives: June 2011
17th-20th January 2012
What better way to start off the year of legends, 2012, with a life-changing week in paradise.
For the first time ever, Kate is offering a chance to receive a Raw Magic Accreditation. On this twenty hour course, Kate will cover the full spectrum of the Raw Magic lifestyle. From philosophy to sea spaghetti, from B12 to 2012, from relationships to kale chips, we promise that you will finish the course armed with a practical knowledge of how to make magic in the kitchen, along with a transformed awareness of how to empower yourself and implement the magic in your world.
Everyone who completes the course satisfactorily will receive a certificate, an endorsement from Kate and Raw Living, which you may use as a credential should you wish to start teaching classes or catering yourself.
We wanted to find the most amazing setting to launch this new programme, and so we will be landing on the shores of India to soak up sun rays and good karma in between classes. Bhakti Kutir is located 200 m above Palolem beach, arguably Goa’s finest and safest beach, on the terraces of a coconut grove. Established by a raw Goan-German couple, the centre is fully equipped to cater for raw foodists. They grow much of their own produce at their local organic 7 acre farm in the jungle, and we will be using as much as possible on the course.
Libby Grant is facilitating the course, and can advise you on travel arrangements and visas, and help you with booking accommodation and making the arrangements for your stay. If you have questions that you cannot find the answer to on the Raw Magic in Goa site, please email email@example.com.
The cost of the course is £300.
Early bird price (available until 31st July) £275
Price for two people booking together £550
We will also be running one day workshops in North & South Goa for those already out there for the season. For more info on those go here.
With just four ingredients - dates, sesame seeds, cacao and coconut - you would be forgiven for questioning just how good these little chocolatey discs could possibly be.
My suggestion is this; don't question, just try one.
They are dark and delicious, light and moreish. Made from only pure, natural, organic ingredients. There's a lovely balance between sweetness of the dates and the intensity of the cacao. Easy to transport, perfect for a quick energy boost. I think that they would be a really good thing to keep in your bag when you're on the go. Especially since they don't do silly things to your blood sugar levels like other snacks can. Mind you, I wouldn't know, since mine didn't last long enough for me to test out my theory!
I did manage to save a few of them, though, and I can confirm that they make a wonderful addition to any raw chocolate or sweet recipe! They lend a slight 'cornflake cake' element to the proceedings! I mixed some into the Caramaca recipe from Raw Living. This fudge is already one of my favourite things ever, and really, you can't go too wrong with an extra chocolatey and coconutty crunch!
We’re all familiar with that tune, aren’t we? Vaguely at least. Once in a while though, along comes a bubble which isn’t so tiny, in fact it’s gigantic and even magical in its proportions. Have you guessed what I’m talking about yet? Of course, it’s nothing less than KATE’S MAGIC BUBBLE, the exclusive members-only site which is a bit hard to sum up.
When you first sign into the bubble it’s a bit overwhelming – there is so much information up there that it’s really difficult to know where to begin! You should follow your interests and see what part of the ever-expanding site (updated twice a week, by the way) you end up in! If you’re there for the recipes you won’t be disappointed. After Raw Magic was released Kate resolved to not write another recipe book again but the recipes just keep on coming so this website is the end result. Divided into 14 sections the recipe part of the site is sure to have something to tickle your fancy – there’s even an entire “chapter” devoted to kale chips, paradise if you’re an addict like me. I’ve not had kale chips in a while actually... probably because I’ve not seen any kale in the shops. ANYWAY back to the point.
Continuing on the theme of expanding already existing works, the “writings” part of the site is like a continuation to Ecstatic Beings. Kate shares her thoughts on 2011 as well as 2012, writings on the importance of sun and air bathing, and much more. If there’s something you can’t find writings on that you’d like to know more about, you can always ask Kate and she’ll get back to you on it.
One of the most interesting features of the site is the interviews section. Here there are interviews with everyone from the seemingly ubiquitous Miss Eco Glam and raw food super star Ani Phyo to relative unknowns such as the gorgeous Boris Lauser (and I’m not just saying that because he’s my boyfriend). So for your subscription fee you’re not only getting Kate’s knowledge and recipes but you’re able to gain perspectives on raw from almost every angle as well as try guest recipes and maybe even find a new guru you resonate with. Or maybe you’ll get mega-annoyed at everyone and go join 30 Bananas a Day but that’s up to you.
You can jump head-first into the bubble for £95 a year (around 115€), grab short-term access for £10/12€ a month or take a fleeting look through the bubble in the new offer of a £5/6€ one-time-only deal that gains you access for a week – perfect if there’s a recipe you’ve been lusting after but aren’t yet convinced or aren’t able to go for the full deal. The page really has something to offer everyone and as it’s constantly growing is sure to be a source of inspiration for a long time yet!
Virtually every mainstream journalist who interviews me seems to feel it necessary to misquote me and poorly research their article. I cannot think of a mainstream media piece that has appeared recently that hasn't been riddled with inaccuracies. Still, the general tone is always, "This way of eating may sound a bit nutty and crazy, but actually I feel a lot better from trying it out and it seems like surprisingly it might actually work."
Here's an article published in April, from a journalist for The Independent who went raw for a week, Why Cooking is so Last Season.
At least he didn't trot out the old line about lycopene!
This interview was filmed over Skype by Anja Horvat Jeromel for her website in Slovenia.
"Welcome to the other side, where the grass is always greener"
Greener Grass is Raw Living's special blend of green powders and high vibrational food.
I've been sneaking it into my food as possible to up the sparkle level! It's made an appearance in my raw soups, green smoothies and even chocolate creations!
I have also decided to always keep some in my bag for those emergency salad situations...you know what I mean, when you get served a couple of leaves of iceberg lettuce and a slice of tomato! But with some of this blend to hand, there will always be a way of amplifying both the nutritional value and yum factor of any meal!
Greener Grass is really versatile, and such an easy, effortless way to get some extra goodness in you. It's recommended that you start off with off by taking one tablespoon a day, and then work your way up to two or three. For me, taking some makes me feel super charged; uplifted and balanced, ready for anything!
So, what exactly is in this magical mixture?
Hemp Protein Powder gives us a high quality hit of vegetable protein. It's easily digestible, contains essential fatty acids, and is excellent for those of us who are always on the go. It has a subtly nutty taste that combines really well with the green powders in the mix.
Spirulina is a blue green algae which is very high in protein – between 55% and 77% – and contains all of the amino acids. It is also high in B vitamins, minerals, and is a source of those important essential fatty acids.
Crystal Manna is fantastic stuff, and not only because it actually glitters! Crystal Manna is a highly potent form of wild blue-green algae, and probably one of the most perfect things that we can eat. My favourite thing about it is that it contains PEA, also known as the molecule of joy, which can help us to feel happy! Crystal Manna reportedly also contributes to greater mental energy, attention, memory, and focus.
Barleygrass has amazing alkalising properties. It also contains eighteen amino acids and a whole host of vitamins and minerals including magnesium, calcium and five B vitamins.
He Shou Wu, also known as Fo Ti, is a herb that is used a lot in Traditional Chinese medicine. He Shou Wu is renowned as a rejuvenator, and for its ability to increase energy and for promoting longevity. It is also a tonic for the liver and the kidneys, and according to some can help to restore hair colour and thickness. I find it to be energising, yet at the same time grounding!
Kelp is an exceedingly nutrient dense food, a true powerhouse of minerals, and is the best source of iodine that we know about.
Purple Corn Extract is extremely high in antioxidants. Also, since there aren't many purple foods available to us, it's great for making sure we're eating from the full spectrum of colours. In ‘Raw Magic’, I read that there is an ancient Mayan prophecy saying that when purple corn comes to the West, we will experience a shift between the ages, a time of remembrance, and of great changes. Pretty amazing!
Greener Grass also contains a pinch of Himalayan crystal salt and just the right amount of chilli.
There is an amazing selection of natural and raw sweeteners available to us and while it’s great to have choices, it’s helpful to have some basis on which to make those choices. For me, it comes down to taste, texture, how natural it is and most importantly, what impact it has on my blood sugar because I’m prone to candida.
For those of us with blood sugar sensitivity, the Glycaemic Index (GI) of a sweetener is a useful guide to how much trouble we’re going to be in if we use it regularly or in larger amounts. The GI scale gives an idea of how big an impact foods that contain carbohydrate have on blood sugar. As a rule of thumb, foods with a GI of 50 or less are generally considered to be ‘low glycaemic’ though I personally try to avoid anything much over 30 unless it’s for an occasional treat. It’s a personal thing though – try things for yourself and see how they affect you.
So looking at our array of goodies, what do we pick? Let’s start with honey, that most natural of sweet treats. If your blood sugar levels are robust and you’re not a strict vegan then honey is the biz. Human beings are designed to eat it, are indeed privileged to eat it – it’s full of enzymes and other good stuff and is associated with good health and longevity. The GI varies from honey to honey but it’s generally around the 50 mark so a bit high for me in my current state but I hope one day soon to be able to enjoy it regularly. It’s worth trying to get raw local honey. It helps our immune system if the honey is made from the nectar of plants in our local area.
Speaking of nectar, what about agave nectar? There’s been some controversy about it within the raw food movement, about its GI and whether it’s raw. The agave generally available in health food shops and supermarkets isn’t raw unless it says so on the label, but the agave from Raw Living is of course raw, of high quality and has a GI of about 17 so I never worry about using it. I especially love the Ultimate Agave. It’s useful for when you need a clear, light syrup that doesn’t have a strong flavour of its own. For instance, I make a lime syrup that I use as a cordial with sparkling water to make a great summertime drink (see recipe below). I use the same syrup to drizzle over raw coconut ice cream.
For one large jugful of drink, mix
- ¼ cup agave nectar
- Zest of one lime
- Juice of half a lime (or more for a syrup with a tarty tang, ho ho)
- Sprigs of mint or lemon balm if you have it
Make the syrup simply by combining the zest and juice of the lemon with the agave nectar. Put some ice cubes and a couple of sprigs of lemon balm/mint into a large jug. Pour the lime syrup over the ice and then pour a bottle of chilled sparkling water over that (Pellegrino or Perrier are nice because they’re not artificially carbonated). Give it a stir and then serve in the garden to sighs of appreciation.
Next is my favourite stuff ever, yacon syrup – it’s made from a root vegetable and is full of FOS (fructooligosaccharides, can you believe I spelled that without looking it up). This means that not only is it almost zero GI, but it’s a prebiotic ie it feeds the good bacteria in your gut not the candida. Also it has a wonderful rich molasses taste. I like the purple glass bottles Raw Living put it in. Once they’re empty, I wash them and can then be seen swigging my Adya-treated water from them all day long because I read somewhere that the colour blue gives the water good energetic vibes or something. So, just in case…anyway. Yacon flour is brilliant too if you don’t want it in syrup form. You’d use it in a similar way to Peruvian carob, another tasty natural raw powdered sweetener, though yacon flour is sweeter so you’d need to use less. Lucuma is a third contender in this category and absolutely delicious, to me it tastes like powdered apricot custard. I don’t know the GI ratings of either mesquite or lucuma though neither ever seem to give me a candida flare-up as long as I use them in moderation.
A surprise big hitter among the natural sweeteners is xylitol. I say surprise because it looks and tastes like sugar so to see it as a healthy sweetener is maybe counter-intuitive. I don’t think it’s raw (someone correct me if I’m wrong) but it is natural ie made from fermented birch bark, and it has a very low GI of only 7. It’s good to use when you need a sprinkly sweetener ie on raw pancakes, on cereal or as a coating for home made sweets and truffles. This makes it so easy to avoid using sugar, even for someone with a pathologically sweet tooth like me.
Other products worth a mention include stevia and coconut nectar. These can be harder to get hold of in this country. For instance, there is stevia extract which is zero GI, zero calories, is virtually tasteless and you only need a few drops at a time. Here’s the crazy part though – while stevia is completely safe and there’s never been any record of it causing an atom of harm to anyone, and while the UK government expresses concern at the epidemic levels of obesity and diabetes, stevia is banned for use as a sweetener in this country. Why? Well, it’s not hard to work it out. As Deep Throat said in the film ‘All the Presidents Men,’ follow the money… You can get stevia leaf powder but I find the goaty flavour off-putting. The only annoying thing for me about stevia extract is that I never know how to pronounce it. Is it STEEvia or is it STEVia to rhyme with heavier. Any academic types out there who know this? Answers on a postcard please. The coconut nectar deserves a mention, even though there’s less of it about and it has a mid-range GI of about 35 but as a truly raw product and truly yummy it’s worth considering depending on your priorities.
I feel so grateful to have access to these products because I wouldn’t be able to stay raw without them, I have to be able to feed my face with sweet-tasting goodies. I celebrate them all and hope that they gain more mainstream acceptance because heaven knows, they’re desperately needed.
I was very excited when I got an email from Amy a few weeks ago inviting me to her raw chocolate class. I know a lot of people who have been on the course and rave about it. Plus everyone I've met who's been on the course, and whose chocolate I've tasted afterwards, has been producing amazing delights.
The course is out where Amy lives on the Sussex/Kent borders. It's an idyllic rural location, out in the middle of nowhere, but served by efficient high speed rail links so easy to reach from London.
Amy like to keep the group small so everyone gets all their questions answered, and also there is ample opportunity for all participants to get hands on and make the chocolates themselves. I think this really helps as chocolate making is such a science, and there are lots of little tricks to master. Amy also supplies attendees with a comprehensive booklet including recipes, to take home, so there is no need for scrupulous note taking.
You might wonder why i would need to go on the course, seeing as i am such a proficient chocolate maker myself! But I knew Amy, with her professionally trained chef's background, would have valuable information and ideas to share. As well as working for me when we had the shop in Brighton, Amy has worked for The Food Clinic (a short-lived raw restaurant in Brighton), The Raw Chocolate Company, and Saf, so she really has a wealth of experience to draw on.
The first half of the day involved Amy explaining some of the science behind chocolate making - why it is essential to temper to get good chocolate and which different kinds of molds are advisable. Then we made three batches of chocolate using the methods she had explained: white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark. She showed us a huge selection of centres and flavourings that she favoured, and then showed us how to work with them. She also had some coloured chocolate (green, pink and yellow), and we all made our own multi-coloured chocolates, as well as espresso chocolates, and a chipotle and orange combination (at my request!).
We had a short break for lunch which I thought was a really good idea: it was great to get some greens in after all that sugar! Lunch was a light but beautifully presented salad with some of Amy's crackers, and an opportunity to chat and make connections with some of the other course attendees.
After lunch we did coconut bon bons (a bit like a Bounty bar!) and a fantastic creamy Italian hazelnut filling (which was my favourite). She showed us how to properly coat our chocolates for a professional effect, which sounds like it would be simple, but there's more to it than you would expect if you want them to come out presentable!
The day I was there most of the attendees were professional chefs, and I don't know if that is generally the case, but I think people who want to make chocolate on a commercial level are the ones who are likely to get the most out of it. But if you love chocolate and want to learn how to amaze and delight your family and friends with gourmet creations, then you certainly won't be disappointed. Amy said at the beginning of the course that she intended to cover everything you would ever need to know about professional raw chocolate making and I think she succeeded.
The actual chocolate recipes we followed weren't really to my taste. I like my chocolate dark, less sweet and crammed with superfoods! But this didn't detract from my enjoyment of the day. I learnt a lot about how to make chocolate box selections, and picked up plenty of ideas to inspire my own creations.
I feel there is an overkill of raw chocolate bars on the UK market, and much of it is of poor quality and likely to give raw chocolate a bad reputation. However, there are only a few people producing selection boxes (such as Anna Middleton), and it would be fantastic to see more development in this area. So if you fancy setting yourself up in business as a raw chocolatier producing high end goods, Amy's course is undoubtedly the best place to start. It's a shame Amy doesn't want to produce her own line!
To find out more about Amy's work visit her site Ooosha.
I like hemp. I like hemp A LOT.
And we all know that hemp is pretty fantastic for us, full of protein and those essential fatty acids.
Despite this, I've never really loved hemp butter, always finding it a bit grainy and not that exciting.
So, I was a little bit dubious before trying this one. This changed as soon as I took the lid off. Creamy and smooth, this organic, slow ground hemp butter drips beautifully off your spoon.
It's amazingly versatile, too! You can spread it on your raw breads and crackers, make into sauces for salads or blend into smoothies. It's also wonderful by the spoonful, of course...this is peanut butter for the super being, I think!
I also used it to make a super quick hemp milk, just by whizzing it up with a cup of water and vanilla powder in the blender - gorgeous !
The only problem I have with this hemp butter is that I'm torn: do I want to devour its dreamy deliciousness all at once, or do I savour it slowly so as to make the jar last as long as possible?