KimChi – more than pepped-up Sauerkraut!

Here is another stunning fermented vegetable recipe. I am pleased to announce it is purely plant-based, so no fish sauce or other ingredients of dubious origin have been used 🙂

KimChiAt first I was concerned that all the spicy ingredients, which are natural anti-biotics would stunt the fermentation process. And yes, it slows the fermentation down a wee bit but not too much – if you leave it out at room temperature like sauerkraut. The batch in the picture above and to the left was made like  sauerkraut and worked out perfectly.

You have the option though to make the KimChi without adding the spicy chili paste to it initially. Let the vegetable mix ferment in peace first and store the chili paste in a thick-walled glass jar (it might burn holes in any fragile vessel *Twinkle*) Once the fermentation has stopped – after 3-4 days, add the chili paste to taste.
The chili paste can be kept indefinitely in the fridge.

Here comes the recipe. It is the shortened form of a very thorough description I found years ago on this website: www.treelight.com/health/nutrition/UltimateKimchi.html

KimChi
Makes 3-4l of KimChi

Vegetables

  • 1 head cabbage, shredded finely
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 2 cucumbers or zucchini, shredded
  • 3 heads broccoli, shredded
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 2 small oranges, juiced
  • 2 t sea salt (more if needed)
  • 1T Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ c Sesame seeds
Chili Paste

  • 3.5 red onions
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 small hand ginger
  • 4 soft flesh pieces of preserved lemons, optional
  • 2T Apple Cider Vinegar
  • fresh or frozen chilies, amount according to desired heat
  • ½ t natural sea salt
  • 1T toasted sesame oil, to cover the finished product when storing in a glass jar
  1. Prepare the vegetables by massaging with sea salt like Sauerkraut. Add diced apple, orange juice, sesame seeds and Apple Cider Vinegar and mix well.
  2. Prepare chili paste in a blender and balance flavours. Keep the toasted sesame oil aside for later!
  3. Now mix some of the chili paste with the vegetable mixture and massage with your hands. Test flavour and add more if desired. Keep left over chili paste in a glass jar. Cover top with a layer of toasted sesame oil to prevent oxidization and store in fridge.
  4. This Kimchi can be eaten immediately. Stored in the fridge in a sealed glass jar it will develop a stronger flavour over time and even ferment. Alternatively weigh the top down as when making Sauerkraut (cover top with plastic bag to keep the bugs out!) and leave it sitting in a bowl to catch any bubbling liquids that might escape the jar (see picture below!) on your kitchen counter or in your hot water closet for a week or so. Then take the weight and cover off. Seal the jar with a lid and transfer to fridge.

KimChi bowlAlternatively ferment Kimchi vegetables first, like in the Sauerkraut recipe. After 3-4 days you can add the chili paste and transfer the jar into your fridge.

What else can I say but:
‘Best of Success!’

René
🙂

Wakame Miso Nut Crumble – a perfect salad tune-up!

Another day with the same salad? Healthy snacks nowhere to find?
There is help! If you have a dehydrator or kind-of-modern oven this recipe will brighten your day!

Wakame Miso Nut Crumble
Makes about 4-5 dehydrator trays

  • 400g Almonds, soaked over night
  • 300g Pumpkin seeds, soaked over night
  • 300g Sunflower seeds, soaked over night
  • 300g Sesame seeds, soaked over night
  • ½ c chia seeds
  • 25g dried Wakame sea weed (1 bag), crushed and soaked for 2 hours
  • 3 T Tamari sauce
  • 4 T Brown Rice Miso
  • 1 T Honey or coconut flower nectar
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, minced (Microplane)
  • 2 t natural sea salt
  • ½ t mild chili powder
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 1 lime, juice
  1. Rinse the soaked nuts and seeds. In a food processor pulse the almonds and pumpkin seeds into a coarse crumbly texture.
  2. Combine everything in a large mixing bowl and stir well. Let it sit for a while for the seaweed and chia seeds to soak up some of the moisture of the mix. That will help sticking things together when dry.
  3. Spread loosely onto Teflex sheets so that enough air can flow through the clusters and the wet mix does not touch the tray above.
  4. Start dehydrating at around 145°F, turn down gradually to 115°F and eventually to 105°F. If you have an Excalibur dehydrator make sure to rotate the trays horizontally from time to time and also rotate from the centre out to the top and bottom rack.
    Should the oven be your only gadget, set the temperature on low: 50°C, turn the fan on, leave the door slightly ajar and go for it! Yes, a few baking trays will do.
    Dehydrate till crisp and completely dry.
  5. Enjoy as crumble over your salads or as individual snack.

Miso Wakame Crumble dry

Miso is one of the few soy-based foods I would actually use. Tamari is the run-off/whey from the Miso production.

Enjoy!
René
🙂

Turmeric, Cauliflower and Carrot Brine Pickles

Have you ever wondered how those delicious pickled cucumbers or vegies were made when you grew up? I certainly did.
If you happen to ask any chef about pickles, they will highly likely start talking about vinegar, sugar etc. The art of preserving and enhancing vegetables with a salt brine, creating a lactic fermentation process is almost forgotten.

Large jar

Thank Heavens and himself for Sandor Ellix Katz’ book: ‘Wild Fermentation’!!! It reconnected me with more than one traditional way of preserving and enhancing food.

These brine pickles have become an absolute staple in our kitchen. And here we go:

Cauliflower and Turmeric Brine Pickle
adapted from Sandor Ellix Katz’ recipe for Sour Pickles
Time frame 1 – 4 weeks
Will make enough to fill a 4.5l jar/crock pot.

  • 2-3 heads of organic cauliflower, cut to small florets, stalks peeled and diced
  • 1kg organic carrots, sliced into thin ‘coins’
  • 500g fresh turmeric.
  • 3-5 heads of garlic, peeled, cloves cut in half
  • ½ t Grape tannin powder (home brewing supply shops). Or a handful fresh grape-, cherry-, oak-, and/or horseradish leaves (if available).
  • 20+ black peppercorns
  • 1T black mustard seeds
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves, optional
  • 6 T sea salt and 2 liters filtered water (keep ratio to 3T salt/liter of water, if more liquid is required!)
  • 2-3 cabbage leaves, outer
  1. Chop cauliflower into small florets. Peel the stems and dice. Using a mandolin, grate/cut Turmeric into small matchsticks.
  2. In a large bowl mix all the vegetables, turmeric and garlic. Keep a few cloves of garlic aside to put on top of the finished crock. Keep cabbage leaves aside.
  3. Dissolve the sea salt (6T/90ml) in 2 liters of water to create a brine solution. Stir until salt is thoroughly dissolved.
    This concentration works well in most applications: 3T sea salt/1 liter water
  4. Clean the crock, then place at the bottom of it some of the mustard seeds, fresh grape leaves and a pinch of black peppercorns.
  5. Place the mixed vegetables in the crock. Disperse some more of the black mustard seeds, bay leaves and black pepper throughout. Finish with the remaining garlic cloves on the top.
  6. Pour brine over the vegetables. Fill the jar/crock almost to the top. Put folded cabbage leaves on the very top of the mix and press down. The cabbage leaves should be partially covered by the brine. Now put lid in place and close the crock/jar.
    Cabbage leaves on top
    The jar in the picture has been fermenting for a week or so. You can see that some of the brine has been forced out by the fermentation. You can top that up with fresh brine (3T sea salt/liter of water)
  7. If the crock pot does not have a tight fitting lid or you are using a traditional Sauerkraut crock pot, place a clean plate over the vegetables  then weigh it down with a jug filled with water or a boiled rock. If the brine doesn’t cover the weighed-down plate, add more brine mixed at the same ratio of just under 1 T sea salt to each cup of water.
  8. Cover the crock with a cloth to keep out dust and flies and store it in a cool place.
  9. Check the crock every day. Skim any mold from the surface, but don’t worry if you can’t get it all. If there’s mold, be sure to rinse the plate and weight. Taste the pickles after a few days.

10. Enjoy the pickles as they continue to ferment. Continue to check the crock/jar every day.

11. Eventually, after one to four weeks (depending on the temperature), the pickles will be fully sour. Continue to enjoy them, moving them to the fridge to slow down fermentation.

The same recipe works to create different colours, e.g. with zucchini (add tannin to keep crisp!!!), beetroot, carrots and garlic. This will be a deep purple pickle! Experiment with greens too! Silver beet pickles beautifully!

Purple Pickles

Feel free to play with other spices too! Ginger, coriander seeds, juniper berries etc.

Cauliflower Turmeric

This one was made at the last Raw Chef Training Level 1 http://wp.me/P1RysK-5F

I find it not necessary to weigh down the top of the pickles etc.. It is usually fine to fill the jar to the top with vegies and brine and then just seal the lid, put the jar into a bowl to ferment – to catch the brine that gets squeezed out during fermentation.

For metal lids I use a double sheet of cling film over the top of the jar before putting on the lid. That prevents the salt brine from corroding the lid.

Pickles

Enjoy your pickles as a side dish, vegetable part of your meal or a yummy snack between meals!

René
🙂

PS: Yes, we’ll make these kind of pickles at the Raw Chef Trainings, Level 1.

How to learn a craft? or What does it take to apprentice?

Funny title for a food related blog, you might think. I agree, yet it’s not that weird.

Why are you here reading this? Right, you want to learn, expand your horizon. You were maybe looking for that ONE recipe out there that finally tells you how to use fresh turmeric. You are willing to go out of your way for new knowledge that will improve the quality of your life.
If I’m wrong I probably lost you by now 😉

That’s however not the kind of learning I mean with ‘apprenticing’ or ‘apprenticeship’. These days online courses, webinars and home study courses are all the hype.
Why?
In my arrogant opinion: because they are easy to market and have a low commitment level from the student (both in terms of financial- and time- investment as well as showing up to the actual course).
Usually in the end, your online education provider will send you a certificate that you can display on your website or hand you a few e-book files that you are now allowed to sell with your name on.
There is:

  1. Active marketing and an initial sales process, usually with brilliant promises of ease and great gain
  2. You pay up front, once you have convinced yourself that this is what you really need and always desired
  3. You receive the information
  4. End of interaction for now
  5. You remain on their e-mail list to be continuously marketed to

What’s wrong with that? Nothing! I might do it myself one day 🙂

It has, however, NOTHING to do with learning a craft.

Have you ever started a new sports discipline?
How long did it take you to stand up on that surfboard, ride that horse/bicycle/motorbike…?
It took me 5 years in bicycle racing (started at age 10), 3 years in whitewater kayaking and 4 years on motorbikes to attain a level of unconscious competency. Same in my professional life: first mechanical engineering, then raw food chefing and teaching, network marketing, now traditional nutrient-dense foods. Coaching next.

A common progression for learning a new discipline in life is:

  1. Discover your Passion.
  2. Develop it.
  3. Practice, practice, practice – no shortcuts here.
  4. Realisation that you require more training and guidance
  5. Pick a Master in your field, who has accomplished what you strive for
  6. Apply with the Master
  7. Pass the Test and agree on the terms
  8. Apprentice. Study, train and work side by side your Master
  9. Teach others while you learn. It develops your own mastery.

Intl Raw Food Festival 2004

Basically, any learning evolves through 4 phases:

  1. Unconscious Incompetence. We don’t know that we don’t know and go on an ill-prepared kayak trip into a cyclone weather front.
  2. Conscious Incompetence. We now know that we don’t know. Ring the ‘Coastguard’, get rescued, become a member and apologise to our dear partner who knew all along that this was crazy 😉
  3. Conscious Competence. We learn study and practice and now know that we know. We have the right gear, are practicing our paddling and rescue skills and are gaining confidence.
  4. Unconscious Competence. We don’t even know that we know. Our subconscious mind has taken over. Think of driving your car now vs. when you first started driving!

In my experience, from teaching hundreds of people in sports as well as the culinary field, many of us operate in the first category: Unconscious Incompetence. We think we like something, attend a seminar, webinar, food demo and usually get some great entertainment out of it. Once back home we might give it a shot to do what we saw the lecturer do.
Now HERE is the chance for real learning! If we DON’T succeed, we might throw the towel in and call it ‘too hard‘, OR we get intrigued and switch into Conscious Incompetence with a keenness to learn and to find out how.
This state, B.T.W., is not automatically maintained! You can easily fool yourself and think: ‘Aah, now I know!’, ‘I could have done that myself.’
Trust me, until you are actually doing it yourself, you won’t!

For me this is usually the stage when I engage with a Master in my field of interest – by default when apprenticing as a machine builder in 1985 at the BWF in East Berlin; with Master Chef Chad Sarno in 2003 and lately with Sally Anderson.

Freefall Coach

Now what’s required at this point? – you might ask. First of all an empty glass. You might have heard the Bruce Lee story and how he prepared his students to teach his excellence in martial arts. Stop reading until you have watched this video below with John Kanary at least twice!

Have you ever had a small school kid lecturing you with incorrect facts about something you had attained mastery in? Funny isn’t it?! Yet a waste of your time trying to re-educate the little one – until he is willing to let go of what he thinks he knows.

So the first step in asking a Master to teach you is to let go of what you think you know. The next step will highly likely be a test. In my mechanical engineering apprenticeship it went like this:
Master: “Who wants to really get to know a turning lathe?”
Apprentices: “Me!”, “Me!”, “Please, can I?!”
Master: “Sure. There is a broom and shovel, rags are over there, and the dirty turning lathe is right here. Start cleaning it!”
Apprentices: “*@$%*#!!!”
– and we learned! 🙂
In kitchens it often involves peeling potatoes or chopping onions. Similar scenario, just more tears.

Why? Because the person teaching is extremely happy to share her/his knowledge with keen students. Yet, the way to test anyone on their keenness to learn is to test their commitment to excellence in an easy field first.

Do yourself a favour and order this book: ‘Don’t Try This At Home! Culinary Catastrophes from the World’s Greatest Chefs‘ by Kimberley Witherspoon and Andrew Friedman!
In there you will find a story of a young New York chef who had recently found herself a job at a Seattle restaurant. Her boss was a Master in French patisserie (correct me if I’m wrong!) and she was keen to be taught by him. Yet he refused to teach her his craft until she took sweeping the kitchen floors seriously. For how could he teach her excellence in a craft that required a very high skill level if she showed NO excellence whatsoever at a task that required no skills?!!!

So it is often at the bottom we start in any new craft. It is a test of our commitment to completion (Excellence). Once the Master sees that the student is willing to do what it takes to learn, then the next door opens. It is a rite of passage of some sort.

Think of it! It will have taken any Master in their field long years of practice, often disastrous mistakes, hard learning to accomplish their level of game – and they are still learning!
Would you be spilling out all your hard-learned experience to that school kid, trying to lecture you with incorrect facts?
Hell No! You are looking for an empty glass and a willing mind who treasures your wisdom.
What a Master is looking for in an apprentice is:

  • Commitment
  • Dedication to walking it out in their own life
  • Someone who will carry their Legacy forward
  • Someone they can TRUST their secrets and wisdom to

At this point the real apprenticeship starts. The terms will be clear. How long, how often, how much – most apprenticeships are free B.T.W. (but that’s another blog post :-)). Just know, Wisdom/Teaching is always a GIFT, regardless the price or fee.
Prove yourself to be worthy of receiving it!

I had a Master of mechanical engineering at the IWF of the TU Berlin, Reinhard Preiss, who took a long time to open his heart, but once I was in, I was considered family. We had a great relationship! I still look up to his level of excellence and attention to detail! Yet, our relationship was enriched by a great human interaction, a trust that had developed by me being diligent under his cautious eyes. I had earned it.

Now it is on the student to be a ‘sponge’, an ’empty vessel’, to absorb as much of the Master’s experience, knowledge and wisdom as possible. This is often not done by lecturing, but by working alongside each other, by sharing the space, solving a task together. It is the VIBRATION of Excellence that is taught!

Now, since we are on a culinary playing field… What does it take to work with a master here?
Travel! Volunteer! Work with the people who have gone before you! Approach them in a humble manner and ask if you can be of service and help them! Bring your own sharp knives and know how to use them.
Again, this does not have to cost you more than your travel and accommodation. That’s how I studied and worked with Chad Sarno from 2002-2005.

Fresh Festival 2005
When you are with your Master/Mentor these are the qualities most suited to acquiring what she/he has got and you want:

  • Courage to be open and let go
  • Trust
  • Patience
  • Commitment
  • Passion/Drive
  • Stamina and Staying Power
  • Vision
  • Humility
  • Reverence and Respect
  • Gratitude and Love for your Teacher/Master (that will come naturally)
  • Eagerness to learn
  • Faith
  • The application of what you learn in your own practice

If you come to an accomplished chef to learn new recipes you are wasting your time.
Get yourself a recipe book and start playing!
When you are with them you will learn a new way of being with food. That’s what is taught!

When back in your own kitchen you are now Consciously Competent and will have to PRACTICE, PLAY, CREATE and TEACH! Nothing will shortcut your 10000 hours to mastery and Unconscious Competence but doing it (read ‘Outliers, The Story of Success’ by Malcolm Gladwell!)!

It comes down to the question I first heard from Artemis Limpert:
“Are you willing to be bad for long enough to become good?” – Are you???

Just don’t rock up at a Master’s door not practicing in your own life what you came to learn here! Takeaways are just not an option when you want to become a chef. Sorry!
Work your field! Every day! Be in the kitchen, cater, teach, invite your friends for dinner! Again: 10000 hours.

In the traditional way of how a craft was passed on in the guilds of Europe an apprentice, once considered being skilled enough to have finished his/her apprenticeship, was given a task to prove his/her skill level (Gesellenstueck). Passing the test they were now considered a skilled worker (again the concept of Conscious Competence).
To achieve the title of ‘Master’ in that tradition requires to complete an even more complex task, to prove all one’s skills: the Master Piece.

Once you have reached that level of Mastery, you will highly likely have developed these essential qualities of a good Master and are fit to train others:

  • Excellence – the commitment to completion
  • Trust
  • Love
  • Patience
  • Vision and an understanding of your Legacy
  • Letting go
  • Respect
  • A commitment to your student’s success – a stance for their very own Greatness

Does that resonate? It has been on my heart for a while. I trust it will be understood on a heart level too.
What I have written here applies not so much to individual classes and workshops I offer, yet to the craft of ‘Culinary Arts and Education’. Should you consider to attend my Raw Chef Trainings to further your education I will however appreciate your understanding of the above.

With much Love,
René
Rene

Strawberry Chocolate Torte – a Summer Treat!

It’s summer! – at least for us on the Southern half of this planet 🙂

That means an abundance of local, fresh, ripe fruit, especially berries! What better to do than to whip up a yummy chocolate torte with it?! Make sure you use organic or spray-free berries though, as the ‘conventionally’ grown ones can hold a lot of pesticides.

Raw Chocolate Strawberry Torte

Should you happen to not dwell on the strawberry side of the globe this torte is easily made with orange slices, bananas or even pears. For a more decadent crust feel free to replace the shredded coconut with macadamia nuts and make sure to sprinkle some bits over the top! B.T.W. the torte below was made in a spring form.

Orange Chocolate Torte

This recipe was introduced to me by my dear friend Matt Samuelson in 2004 and has been a staple in my dessert repertoire ever since.

And here we go!

Strawberry Chocolate Torte
Serves 8

For the crust:

  • 1.5c shredded coconut
  • 1.5c cashews
  • 4-6 Medjool dates, pitted
  • Pinch cayenne pepper

For the filling:

  • 3 avocados, peeled, pit removed
  • 1T vanilla extract
  • 5T organic cocoa powder, raw if you prefer
  • 1/2c Rapadura, raw cane sugar
  • a few drops lemon or lime juice
  • 1 punnet (500g) fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
  • To make the crust, in a food processor grind the shredded coconut into a fine powder. Add the cashews and cayenne pepper. Continue processing to a coarse meal.
  • Add the pitted dates and homogenize until the texture resembles a graham cracker crust. Mixture should be loose and crumbly, yet hold together when pressed tightly.
  • Press the crust into a 9 inch ungreased pie plate. Press firmly to get the crust to hold together. Place it in the freezer or refrigerator to set up while making the filling.
  • To make the filling: place the avocados, vanilla, cocoa and Rapadura in a food processor with the “S” blade and homogenize until completely smooth. Make sure to add a little splash of lemon or lime juice! It will nicely balance the flavours in your chocolate. (Just don’t tell anyone! ;-))
  • To assemble: Divide the filling into 3 equal parts. Spread a thin layer of filling on top of the crust. Next, place a layer of strawberries on the filling. Spread another layer of chocolate filling on top of the strawberries, and then layer more strawberries, another layer of filling and the remainder of the berries.
  • Refrigerate for at least one hour prior to serving.

Be sure to use a very sharp knife, yes VERY sharp!, when cutting this torte. The strawberries have a tendency to slide all over the place when cut with a dull knife.

Strawberry Chocolate Torte

Enjoy!

René
🙂

Apple Spice Granola Recipe – a staple in our house

Ever been suspicious of what these supermarket breakfast cereals contain? Often less nutrition than the cardboard boxes they come in.

Here is a time proven raw granola recipe I was introduced to years ago by my good friend and mentor Chad Sarno. Not much tweaking needed to happen since. Some creations are just perfect. Saying that, especially this basic granola recipe is almost crying for some playful changes or addition of ingredients like Maca powder, chia seeds, cacao nibs, Sacha Inchi powder, freeze dried fruit slices etc.. Knock yourself out! 😉

wet nut mix for apple spice granola

Don’t be afraid to substitute or add other nuts and seeds like pumpkin seeds, coconut chips or brazil nuts. Just adjust the amount of date paste to obtain the desired sweetness.

I often use sprouted buckwheat for this recipe as it is a reasonably priced alternative to lot of highly priced nuts, like pecans or walnuts. Buckwheat also dehydrates beautifully into a crispy crunch. I believe the thick ‘slimy’ run-off from the sprouting grains also helps to bind the granola clusters together – similarly to what happens with flax and chia seeds when you soak them.

This brings us to another great little secret wit this recipe. By soaking and sprouting the nuts and seeds and then mixing the wet ingredients with date paste, apples and whatever spices and superfood powders you want to add, you achieve a natural clustered crunchy granola after dehydration. Adding wet and dry ingredients to nuts and seeds before dehydration and then dry the lot together in clusters, bars or any shape, will nicely attach the flavours and hold all other components together.

Now just pop your granola clusters into a bowl, add some banana slices and pour your freshly made almond milk or raw organic Jersey cow’s cream over it and enjoy!

Fresh Fruit Salad with Granola

You are still waiting for the actual recipe, right?!
Here it is:

Apple Spice Granola
Makes 4 cups

  • 1 c pecans or walnut pieces, soaked10-12 hours
  • 1 c almonds, soaked 10-12 hours
  • 1 c sunflower seeds, soaked 10-12 hours
  • 1 c hulled buckwheat, sprouted for 1-2 days
  • 1-2 c date paste
  • 1/2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 T chia seeds
  • 3 apples, diced small
  • 2 T cinnamon, ground
  • 1 T maca powder
  • t natural sea salt
  • 1/2 t lemon juice
  1. Keep the sprouted buckwheat aside. Using the food processor, pulse all other nuts and seeds until coarsely ground. Add in a large bowl to the sprouted buckwheat.
  2. Also using the food processor blend the dates with a small amount of water until it becomes a smooth paste. Dry dates will require soaking over night.
  3. Toss the paste along with the diced apples, chia seeds, maca powder, cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt with the nut mixture. Hand mix well. Adjust flavour with lemon juice.
    wet nut mix for apple spice granola
  4. Continue by crumbling the ‘wet’ granola onto Teflex dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 145 F for 2 hours. Over the next hours turn the temperature gradually down to 115 F. Turn trays periodically. After 6-8hours flip over and remove Teflex sheets. Dehydrate at 105 F for 12 more hours or until crisp.
    wet granola ready for dehydrator
    This process is important to stop the granola from fermenting during the dehydration process. Not that it would be bad for you, yet the flavour would be slightly different 😉 It would definitely clear up any phytic acid remnants after the soaking and sprouting.

    Spaced granola clusters on dehydrator tray

    Notice the space between the clusters when wet!

  5. Store in sealed glass jars.

4 dehydrator trays of granola

Enjoy!
René
🙂

Fermented Foods – nourishing traditions re-discovered

[Please be aware that this is an old post from 2012 in preparation for one of my still very popular ‘Traditional Cultured Foods’ workshops!]

Have you ever pondered the miracle of digestion?

How is it that we can eat certain foods and in a matter of, literally, seconds we feel a surge of energy? While at other times we eat things for comfort yet we feel horrible shortly after.

How come?

You have probably heard the term ‘gut flora’ before. Did you know that our intestinal tract, where most of the digestion and assimilation of food happens, contains Trillions of micro-organisms? These little critters outnumber our human body cells by a factor of 10! Means 90% of the cells and the genetic material we contain in our body is our gut flora!!!

In an ideal world our bodies live in perfect symbiosis with these friendly micro-organisms. They even take charge of the health of our gut lining and the cells it consists of. While we in return are supposed to provide a healthy nourishing living environment for them.

So where shall we look first to improve our state of health and wellbeing?

Right! Our GUT FLORA 🙂

Unfortunately most of us have a less than optimal cultural mix in our digestive tract. Many environmental factors, the contraceptive pill, anti-biotics, alcohol, stress, etc. can devastate the healthy and beneficial bacteria in our gut. This opportunity is used by toxic and foreign bacteria to populate our gut. That means the percentage of beneficial bacteria can drop dramatically with severe health implications. For a more complete explanation please inform yourself on Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride’s website, her books on  GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) and many youtube videos.

Fermented foods variety

One key factor in one’s nutrition on the way to restored wellbeing is Fermented Foods. Our ancestor’s diet consisted of a variety of fermented foods and beverages. Through the commercialisation of the world’s ‘food’ supply many of these traditional fermented foods are not any longer part of everybody’s diet. Fermenting food was a prime way of preserving food and simultaneously increased its digestibility and nutritional profile. That’s how our symbiotic relationship with our beneficial gut flora evolved. We are meant to consume fermented foods on a regular basis!

A glass of Kombucha

Kombucha with Curry Cashews

The Weston A. Price Foundation is doing excellent work in educating the public about this important factor in our nutrition. And so am I 🙂

We have secured the beautiful Mahurangi West Hall as our regular venue for one-day workshops and raw food chef trainings. It is a historical building, in the most scenic setting, newly renovated with all the creature comforts (including our dear, yet superfluous dishwasher).

Mahurangi West Hall

So what’s on the menu? Shortened as of today, 18.8.2012!

  • Sauerkraut, of course!
  • Coconut yoghurt
  • Sour Beets and other fermented vegetable

    Sour Beets

    Sour Beets

  • Kim Chi
  • Natto
  • Kombucha

    A glass of Kombucha

    Kombucha

  • Water kefir

    Water Kefir

    Water Kefir

  • Kefir (dairy) and yoghurt from organic milk
  • wild-fermented sourdough

    Sourdough

    Sourdough

  • Gundru from Nepal/Tibet

    Gundru

    Gundru

  • Cider
  • Chinese Pickles
  • Japanese Nuka Bran Pickles
  • Quinoa Chicha
  • and more… What is crossed out we’ll deal with in future workshops!

This will be a very interactive workshop, balancing demo with hands-on preparation. You will take home the absolute confidence that fermented foods are easy to make and can be a regular staple in your diet.
As always, samples of all our organic food and the full recipe booklet is included. We will have a late lunch at the end of the workshop sampling our creations.

The workshop starts at 10am. We will be finished by 3pm.
That will give you enough time in the morning to visit the Matakana Market and get your knives sharpened there by Mike. 🙂

To ensure a very private atmosphere and an optimal learning environment this class is limited to only 12 students.
We are receiving bookings already. This workshop is going to be sold out shortly.

Your investment is $300+gst for the half day, including an organic lunch and samples as well as the comprehensive recipe booklet.

For bookings please refer to our Event Calendar page.

Bookings are essential for this workshop! Your payment confirms your booking. Due to the high demand and limited space we are not able to hold spaces which are not paid for in advance.

Feel free to get in touch with questions and booking requests here.

OK, I’ll better get back to all those bubbling vessels in our kitchen and hot water cupboard 😉 This is the most Fun I have had in preparing a workshop. I’m determined to pass that Joy on to you!

See you on August 25th for a nourishing Fermented Foods workshop!

Much Love,
René
🙂

Water Kefir, Kombucha, Curry Cashews

Almond Lime Cookie recipe – a versatile sweet raw treat

You would never think these little darlings are raw, would you?!
Trust me, they are 🙂

A cookie jar of Love

Among the White and Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tart and Amy Levin’s Candied Hazelnut Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting they almost disappeared at last week’s Divine Desserts class. Yet… try them! The flavour and texture is pretty close to marzipan, well worth the effort of hot-soaking, peeling, soaking, dehydrating… Double the batch and have your family help you peel the almonds. They might get a cookie for it 😉

And here is how:

Almond Lime Cookies

Makes about 60 cookies

  • 3 c almonds, hot-soaked, peeled, soaked for 6-8 hours, dehydrated until crisp
  • 4 T agave nectar or light honey like clover
  • 1/4 t natural sea salt or to taste
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 1 t lime zest
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  1. Process all of the almonds in a food processor until coarsely ground.
  2. Add the other ingredients and process into a firm dough.
  3. Form dough into a ball and flatten between two teflex sheets into 0.5cm thickness. With a cookie cutter cut out heart-shaped cookies and place on dehydrator sheet.
  4. Dehydrate at 42° C for 8-12 hours or until crisp.

Enjoy!

René
🙂

A lunchbox full of sweet Love

Stir Raw recipe – a simple classic!

Sometimes it is just the brilliant colours of a picture that inspire me to share a recipes. I’m sure you understand. Forgive the mess and enjoy the aliveness! 🙂

This recipe is by my dear friend and raw food mentor, Master Chef Chad Sarno. Such a simple way to make a delicious warm raw meal!!!
If you don’t own a square dehydrator like the Excalibur or Sedona, just put the dish in your oven at about 50°-75°C with the door ajar. Stir it frequently and after 30min it should be ready to be served. Test the food temperature with your little finger!

We made this dish at last week’s ‘Warm Winter Raw Foods – Asian’ class. Very enthusiastically received! Make more of the sauce and keep it in the fridge as an addition to your salads, sprouts or boiled potatoes/kumara!

You can add some lemon grass and kaffir lime leaf if you feel adventurous.
Here it is:

Stir Raw

By Chad Sarno
Serves 4-6

¨      1 c broccoli florets
¨      1 c julienne red bell pepper
¨      1 c red cabbage shredded
¨      1 c carrots julienne thin
¨      1 c portabella mushrooms, cubed and marinated in 3 T olive oil and
2 T tamari sauce
¨      1 c Asian bean sprouts
¨      ½ c cilantro chopped
¨      ½ c basil, fresh and torn
¨      ½ c olive oil
¨      2/3 c orange juice
¨      3 T white miso
¨      2 T tamari sauce
¨      3 T ginger chopped
¨      T garlic minced
¨      ½ T natural sea salt
¨      t cayenne
  1. In large bowl toss the broccoli, bell pepper, cabbage, carrot, marinated portabella mushrooms, Asian bean sprouts, cilantro and basil. Set aside.
  2. In high speed blender, continue to blend the olive oil, orange juice, miso, ginger, garlic, tamari, sea salt and cayenne.
  3. Toss the sauce with the mixture of vegetables. Allow to marinate for about an hour.
  4. Spread on dehydrator sheets and continue to dehydrate at 105°F for 2-3hours. Serve warm.
    Stir Raw, fresh from the dehydrator

Enjoy!

René
🙂

Raw “Chef” or what?! Your Feedback requested!

Help!!!

at recent chef training with Anna

This is not a recipe post – for a change, and neither is it a class announcement. However, classes and teaching it is – my Passion!
My dear friend Sanjiv Deva of Total Business Solutions, after studying my business plan, pointed out to me that I’m sending mixed messages. Right he is!
Nowhere in my planning attempts was there talk about ‘real’ chef work. Coming out of mechanical engineering that might not surprise you. It did surprise me however when Sanjiv pointed it out.
What comes up a lot when describing my business and calling is: education, inspiration, teaching, raised consciousness, entertainment, health awareness, culinary education… You get my drift.

So, if there is no catering, cooking, baking, feeding people – means: no chefing, what is it???

Yes?

What does one call a person who enjoys inspiring others to explore unknown culinary territory, that comes with the side effects of increased energy, wellbeing and fun? …and puts the responsibility for peoples’ health and food choices back to where it belongs: to the people themselves.

Demo class at Wise Cicada

This is a serious request for your, dear readers’, input.

Initial attempts: raw food teacher, culinary educator, living foods consultant… all sound a bit klutzy.

Teaching at Green Expo

So with my main service being raw food demo classes and hands-on trainings and workshops for lovely mainstream people as well as freaks like you and me ;-), what shall I call myself, apart from René Archner???

The raw BBQ Man

The raw vegan BBQ Man?

There is plenty of space below ↓ for your constructive comments. Asking for ‘baptism by fire’…

With great anticipation and much Love,

René
🙂

Chef training lecture