This week we started exploring raw cuisine! We spent the week learning some of the theory behind raw and living foods, as well as the basic principles we’ll use throughout the next three weeks of the module. We met a new chef instructor for this module, Chef Dianne, who happens to also be our awesome final event/Recipe and Product Development instructor. One of the first things Chef had us do was learn about flavor balancing. We sampled a bunch of foods, oils, and spices that we all thought we already knew pretty well, but we had to really think about what the flavors were in each. Next we came up with weird and random flavor combinations that ended up being surprisingly delicious, for example kale, mustard, and light agave. It was interesting to see how different flavors can really meld nicely, which is especially important when you’re not heating ingredients.
Our first lab was all about sprouting. Sprouting helps make more of the nutritional value available and easier to absorb. We each started our own little sprout babies from mung beans, sweet peas, chickpeas, etc. and have been caring for them all week and weekend. It has been really neat to see the transformation take place, and we almost didn’t kill any! Next we learned about milks, juices, and smoothies. It is so easy to make your own nut milks, and they taste so good! We even experimented with a savory smoothie, which turned out to be pretty yummy. Another fun thing we learned was how to open a young coconut for the fresh coconut meat and water. I was a bit nervous about hacking it open, but it ended up being pretty easy and not so scary, thankfully!
The latter part of the week consisted of learning about the awesomeness that is a spiralizer, which you can use to make things like zucchini and daikon noodles for healthy and delicious pasta alternatives. We also had a sushi rolling day, including making some “rice” out of dehydrated daikon. The sushi rolling party was a lot of fun. We ended the week with a class on fermentation, including how to brew your own kombucha and how to create some simple vegan cheeses. Anyone who wanted one was able to take home a “SCOBY”, which is literally a “symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast,” aka what makes the tea and sugar ferment into kombucha. I started my kombucha this weekend and I am nervous/excited for the process. Hopefully it turns out great!