Sunday, December 12, 2010

eat; cru raw food class

I woke up really early on Sunday 4th of December, even before my alarm had a chance to wake me! My housemates were still asleep as I left the house with a belly full of green smoothie goodness and excitement that I almost couldn't contain. I was heading out the door to Cru for their "A Few Of My Favourite Things" raw food class. Yep, I finally took the plunge and went to learn some secrets of raw food cooking!!!!

The class was filled with all sorts of people, mainly middle aged women. I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of an audience for a raw food cooking class, but the demographic of middle aged women somehow threw me off. There were about 12 of us and the room was filled with such excitement, you wouldn't have guessed it was sooooo early on a Sunday morning!

The room was structured so that we sat in rows in front of a table set up with all the ingredients and equipment. Unfortunately, we were not doing the cooking, but we sat and watched, listened and learned the tricks of the raw food trade. I even learnt how to make nut milk, which is surprisingly easy! It's a good substitute for cows milk in any dish.

I took some photos but was soooo captivated by what was going on and the information being thrown at me that I forgot to keep it up during the whole lesson! So here are some photos I did take with a little commentary.

I was like a total nerd on the first day of class sitting with a front row seat so I could see everything! This is the view into their kitchen at Cru. Our menu to learn for the day was as follows; Cheesy Kale Chips, Curry Carrot Soup, Zucchini Pasta with a Red Pepper Cream Sauce and Banana Ice-Cream. My favourite was the Curry Carrot Soup (recipe to follow!)                                                          
The ingredients for the day consisted of kale, red capsicum, zucchini, carrots, frozen banana, raw soaked cashews, pine nuts and a few spices. The equipment was a blender, juicer, dehydrator and an amazing little machine called a Turning Slicer/Spirooli.
Our teacher was Kristan Andrews who is part owner of Cru with Executive Chef Rachel Carr. Kristan is a Raw Food Chef and Educator also catering for the stars here in Los Angeles. She is not a total rawist but her diet is mainly raw. She looked so vibrant and healthy it was unbelievable.

Kale is one of my least favourite things to cook, maybe because i was only introduced to this leafy superfood when I arrived here at the beginning of the year and am unfamiliar with it. I have tried to make salads with it, make chips with it even sautee it. Nope, don't like it. I am now throwing it into my smoothies every morning and that suits me fine. Even these Kale chips Kristan made in the dehydrator did absolutely nothing for me as everyone in the room were umming and ahhing. You know how some people describe some foods as like eating cardboard? Well, i'm going to be that person and say that about Kale chips. Big call, I know, but Kale chips just aint my thing!

Kristan is blending away the Curry Carrot Soup in this pic. Now this aint no cardboard tasting soup!!! LOVE!!!! So creamy, colourful and full of flavour, I'm definitely going to try this at home soon!
This above is the Turning Slicer/Spirooli which was such a crowd pleaser. Here, Kristan is making the 'spaghetti' out of the raw zucchini. Yes, as you can imagine, every bit of my Italian blood was sooooo dubious about this thing called pasta, that wasn't actual pasta like I knew it. How can anyone call strands of zucchini anything like spaghetti?!?!? So there I was, arms crossed, with all my spiritual ancestors egging on my suspicious glares, waiting to taste this 'spaghetti'.

It was fun watching the zucchini being spun around into long spaghetti...and yes...IT WAS AMAZING TO TASTE!!!!! The texture was exactly like al dente pasta and defintiely does not leave that heavy feeling pasta can sometimes. The Red Pepper Cream Sauce was divine! It was made with pine nuts and olive oil and had a beautifully light creamy constancy. Definitely going to have to add this machine to my kitchen!
Banana Ice-cream....WOW!!!!! Similar to a soft serve ice cream in consistancy and texture, this is the easiest thing ever to make and is WOWOWOWOW!!!! It's simply frozen banana that has been put through a juicer. Thats it! No cream, no stiring, no fussing and it is AMAZING! YOU MUST DO THIS!!! If you don't have a juicer, cut up the banana before putting it into the freezer and when frozen, put it straight into a food processor and wizz away until you get a creamy consistency! You can leave them peeled and whole if using a juicer. Make sure if you're using a juicer to cover the bit where the juice comes out so the banana exists where the skin normally does. YUM!!!!! Also great with mango.

So here is the recipe for the Curry Carrot Soup which blew my mind!!!!! Don't use baby carrots, the flavours in them are not developed enough.

Raw Curry Carrot Soup
What you need;
2 cups of peeled and chopped carrots
1 1/2 cups cashew milk
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup of chopped shallot or onion
2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp of fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp of curry powder
salt to taste


Blend it all together in a food processor until smooth and serve!!! This makes a great summer soup but if you want to put it on the stove to warm up a little, I promise I won't tell any rawists I know!!!

Serves two.

Buon appetitio!

P.S Cashew Milk is made by soaking 3/4 cup of raw cashews for 2-4 hours. Drain them and pop them into your blender with 1 1/2 cups of water. Blend until really smooth and then drain it all through a sieve, using a spoon. Vola, cashew milk!!!!

1 comment:

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