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Raw Savouries

  • Dastony Stone Ground Coconut Cream

    Dastony Raw Coconut Butter

    Well, so far, I've just tried this straight out of the jar. Thought I'd have it on its own- to get a real idea of taste & consistency. WOW. This is like nothing I've had before. It's RICH, DECADENT & feels very nourishing. I could literally feel my skin getting moisturised from the inside out! I think it would make a fabulous spread for breads.... Cakes, cookies... It would also be a fantastic ingredient in cakes & chocolates. In fact, I reckon this, blended with two other ingredients alone would make a delicious & quick fudge or truffle. It's got. 'Body'. It's not just oil. The smell is overwhelming & fresh. Smooth & guaranteed to be unspoilt by heat. I'm totally won over by stone ground products these days.

    by Laura Coxeter

  • The Kale Chips Revolution

    One of the more popular products we sell are the Inspiral Kale Chips. Currently, Inspiral produce these little tubs of goodness in four flavours - Cheesie Purple Corn, Baobab & Onion, Wasabi & Wheatgrass and Cacao & Cinnamon. They also have a new flavour on the way, Raspberry & Maca, and some more in the pipeline.

    Inspiral are currently on a mission to get kale chips, as Inspiral's founder Dom, says, "out of the health food stores and into the high streets." To do this they need to raise money for a very fancy bit of equipment which means they can produce the kale chips on an industrial scale and get them out across the nation. They also want to get them into 100% compostable packaging.

    Continue reading

  • The Mysterious Alchemy of Spirulina Crunchies

    Spirulina Crunchies

    These pretty little green crunchies are made of 100% raw spirulina and are 100% delicious.  Many people find straight spirulina a bit of an acquired taste but even those eating a mainstream diet find these crunchies tasty.  It’s a bit of mystery; what do they do to the spirulina to make it taste good?  I gather that it’s some sort of natural alchemy involving sun-drying strands of spirulina paste, but however they do it, I love the results.  I sprinkle these crunchies on practically everything to add sparkles of savoury tastiness to my food, similar to the way the Italians use parmesan cheese.  This photo shows them adding extra flavour to red pepper and walnut pate on a light and crispy Lebanese Cauliflower Cracker from Kate's brilliant recipe book Raw Living.

    Continue reading

  • Raw Living at Planet Organic

    Recently I was in West London for a couple of weeks, and I couldn’t take any of my raw staples with me.  I decided to have faith that I would find what I needed and lo, it turned out that Planet Organic was just round the corner from where I was staying.  I knew Planet Organic have begun stocking Raw Living products so I wasted no time in exploring the store.  And there it was, a whole section of shiny packets with the familiar purple labels, and quite a few other branded goodies too.  It was like bumping into old friends in a foreign country.  Actually it was more exciting than that, I felt like Dorothy in a sort of raw food Oz – chia and cacao and maca, oh my!

    Everything in the shop is well presented, fresh and appealing, I felt virtuous and lovingly catered for just walking through the door.  First thing you see is the display of fresh organic produce and freshly baked bread.  Then there is a chill case displaying things like raw desserts including slices of raw chocolate tart called Chocolate Blackout.  I just had to test that out (well, it was my birthday and yes it was wonderful.)  There was raw hummus and other spreads too.  There's a counter where they serve fresh juices, smoothies and food, both hot food and salads.  Then of course is the raw section with Raw Living granola and superfood powders, plus a whole lot of other raw staples.  There is a boggling selection of raw chocolate bars and goodies, including Raw Living chocolate crispy cakes and most of the Raw Living chocolate bars.  Planet Organic have their priorities right.

    I spoke to Matt, the manager at the Westbourne Grove store.  He said they began on the raw trail about 18 months ago but in response to demand, they now stock a much wider range of products.  He expects the raw section will not only be a permanent fixture, but that they will expand the range even further.  Matt did also say that he often gets people asking about raw foods, they want to know more about it and what benefits they can expect from raw, so education is definitely on the cards, too.

    The raw goodies extend beyond just one section, if you have a good look around.  On other shelves I found raw crackers, good coconut butter and nut/seed butters, and oh joyous! - big jars of raw Biona sauerkraut.  There was an impressive range of green powders like barley grass and sprirulina, and green superfood blends.

    Beyond my immediate pleasure at being able to easily get hold of good raw supplies while away from home, I find it uplifting to see them on offer in a High Street health food store like this.  It shows that the raw movement is gaining momentum and demand for it increases with each year that passes.  There will come a time in the foreseeable future when we will no longer be seen as a bunch of nutballs by mainstream eaters, but will be catered for in the same way vegetarians are now.  Eventually, maybe we WILL be the mainstream, with a minority of dinosaurs clinging to their cooked habits.  Imagine if you had to wear a hoodie for a furtive visit to McDonalds because it was considered so sleazy and self-destructive to eat stuff like that.  I’m reminded of the Pot Noodle tv ad, a tongue-in-cheek thing that put eating Pot Noodle on the same level as pornography.  But I can imagine a time when ‘eatin’ nasty’ is viewed for real by the majority as being akin to drinking and driving, illegal drugs or smoking.  Okay, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, but I can dream.

  • Crackin Crackits

    Reishi Crackits

    One of the things people tend to find most difficult with going raw is adjusting to weeding out the biscuits and crisps that are for many people the epicentre of their everyday diet! At the beginning of transitioning to cleaner foods, it can often be tricky finding a substitute for that afternoon snack that is satisfying and healthy. So when I discovered Inspirals Crackits, I was delighted. I have tried a lot of crackers in my time and I have to say that I'm not a huge fan of dehydrated food. Yes, I have a dehydrator and I do use it occasionally but I prefer to eat the majority of my foods fresh and living.

    But sometimes, fresh food just doesn't cut it when you're looking for the crunch factor. And having some crackers in the cupboard as a snack can act as a saviour in times of need. I recommend having crackers stored in the cupboard for those times you want to snack on something so that you aren't tempted by the KitKat or the ginger nut biscuits in the cupboard that your kids/partner like to have from time to time. (I should know - I live in a household of meat-eating, milk-guzzling, sugar-craving addicts!) so I make sure I'm fully equipped with my raw goodies so I don't stray from my path.

    They come in 3 flavours, Ginseng, Reishi (above) and HoShou, although I've only tried the last two. I love that they are not only made from living foods but are packed with superfoods to increase longevity and vitality. The HoShou crackers are made with sea veggies which is a big bonus for me as I like to squeeze them into my diet wherever possible as they are so darn nutritious and fabulous for regulating the thyroid. They also contain spirulina and kelp which are extremely cleansing and detoxifying for the body.

    I love to spread Apricot Kernel Butter onto mine - how do you eat yours?

  • Pesto Power

    Seggiano Raw Basil Pesto

    I wasn’t sure what to expect with this pesto because even pre-raw I was never keen on ready-made pasta sauce out of a jar.  Being vegan, Seggiano pesto doesn’t contain parmesan and it doesn’t contain garlic either (I thought they would put some in to make up for the lack of parmesan.)  So it was a delightful surprise to discover how intensely tasty this stuff is.  It has a deep, almost meaty punch of mellow flavour, in fact to me it reminds me of Bolognese sauce.  I don’t know how the makers manage to get so much flavour into such a simple set of ingredients.  I imagine the ingredients are seriously high quality.

    So for anyone who misses pasta, some of this pesto on kelp noodles or courgette ‘noodles’ is the biz.  I find real intensity of flavour can be hard to achieve with raw meals so it’s great to have an option like this, especially as it’s an easy dish to make and doesn’t need to be refrigerated.  Also the pesto keeps for two weeks in the fridge once the jar is opened so the fact that I’m the only one in the house eating it isn’t a problem (my other half is a Scotsman who is allergic to vitamins.)  Next time I’m staying with conventional eaters, I shall take a jar of this pesto, a packet of kelp noodles and a bag of salad.  It will look like a more normal meal, and frankly the fewer incredulous questions I get about my way of eating, the better.

    Beware though, the pesto is rich and filling and a little goes a long way.  I made myself what seemed like a reasonably modest portion but couldn’t finish it all.  Okay I did have quite a big portion of salad with it – see photograph – and yes my breath did stink after all the raw onion, but it would have been a bit intense without a salad.  Besides, a juicy side salad is the law of raw, right?  Or maybe I’m just greedy.

  • Sun & Seed Raw Hemp Butter

    Hemp Butter

    The only other kinds of nut or seed butter I have up until now – apart from peanut butter before I went raw – were raw almond butter and raw tahini.  I like both but they are comparatively coarse in texture, certainly not very buttery.  This hemp seed butter, on the other hand, has an amazing silky, muscular texture that half runs, half dollops off the spoon.  It tastes not unsimilar to peanut butter only not so salty.  I keep finding new ways to use it, not just in dips and spreads but in sweet concoctions too.  Hemp packs a big nutritional punch and so this butter is a creamy and tasty way to get my Omega 3 and everything else that hemp delivers.  Besides which, it’s greenish in colour and I can’t help thinking that anything green is good to eat.  With the possible exception of bogies and caterpillars.

  • Hemp Butter Bliss

    Organic Hemp Seed Butter

    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?

  • Peanut Butter is So Last Century

    Hemp Butter

    Hemp is pretty much perfect. Apart from spirulina and chlorella, to the best of my – albeit relatively limited – knowledge, there are few foods which are as nutritious. Just why is hemp so wonderful? It can grow pretty much anywhere, very easily. Organic hemp is easy to grow since it requires no pesticides. They can make it into paper and fabric. It has ten amino acids, including all the essential ones, and is one of only a few plant foods that do. Perhaps most famously, it contains a perfect Essential Fatty Acid ratio - omega-3:omega-6 balance of 3.75:1 (Official guidelines state we should have 4:1 – hemp comes closest! Olive oil has a ratio of 9:1 and canola or rapeseed oil has a ratio of 2:1). We all know how important EFAs are – the clue is in the name! It’s also high in chlorophyll, vitamin E (which is something I personally tend to be low in), and various minerals.
    Hemp comes in various forms – seeds, both hulled and whole (See Raw Magic for more information), oil, and protein powders. Recently I began to use hemp butter, which is a relatively new addition to the market as far as I’m aware. Manitoba Harvest is a great brand, I’ve been using their organic hulled seeds and their protein powder for a while now, so I was excited to give this brand a go!
    When you first open the jar, I’ll grant that it does look a little bit... green... but that’s ok! It doesn’t have an overpowering smell at all, and the taste is brilliant – definitely tastes like hemp, which you’d expect, but not in a catches-your-throat kind of way.
    So what can you do with hemp butter then? You can use it in any way you’d use any other nut or seed butter – make salad dressings with it, use it as a dip, in a nori or green leaf roll-up, anything you can think of. It would be great for feeding kids at hallowe’en too – naturally green gunge, no artificial colours required! You can also use it in milks or smoothies for added hemp goodness. When you’re travelling or moving – as I am now – you often don’t want to or simply can’t carry powders, oils, seeds and butters with you. This is where hemp comes in great!! It fills all the roles you could possibly want it to in a convenient 283g jar (it’s a bizarrely specific measurement, I know – I assume it has something to do with using American and Metric measurements on the same label).
    Raw Magic – I know I constantly mention that book but it’s the recipe book I’ve gotten the most use out of out of any that I’ve ever owned – has lots of recipes which include hemp, my favourite of which is Balance Your Hempispheres Salad which you’ll find on page 130. I made it substituting the illusive hemp oil with olive oil and omitting the sauerkraut because I didn’t have any to hand but it was still amazing – nom nom!!

  • Ummmmm... Kale Chips

    Wasabi & Wheatgrass Kale Chips from Inspiral

     

    As snack foods go, these are undoubtedly one of the healthiest and most delicious. Kale chips have that uniquely yummy quality to them that makes you feel like you're doing something naughty by eating them even when you're not. With Kale chips it's easy to eat your way through the equivalent of a bag of kale without batting an eyelid.

    As Emma attested in her Kale Chip review here they're not something you can just put down and walk away from and my advice is, if you want to share them, buy double.

    These new kale chips are from London's own InSpiral Foods and come in three flavours, Cheesie Purple Corn, Apple Cider Vinegar & Baobab, and Wheatgrass & Wasabi. I tried the latter, and was intrigued to see how the flavours would work together. I was never a fan of the extra pungent wasabi sauce that came with Japanese food but I do enjoy the gentler flavour of dehydrated wasabi cashews so I thought these might be similar.

    Simply put, they are utterly delicious. The wasabi is not overpowering at all and just leaves your mouth with a slight warmth, the perfect snack for this time of year when we all need extra minerals (which kale is full of) as well as a bit of warmth in our food. Wasabi is made with horseradish which has long been used as an important source of warming winter medicine as it helps to dry congestion and boost circulation and of course wheatgrass is also packed with green goodness.

    I think I'll be getting a few packets of these to take to relatives houses over Christmas as it will ensure I've got plenty of delicious snacks whilst everyone else is tucking into the pringles! I might even introduce them to my friends and family... if I can bear to share them that is!

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