Guest blog by Simon Beswetherick
When I switched to a high-raw diet in 2012, I soon noticed a number of benefits: improved digestion, higher energy levels, better sleep and clearer skin.
This process involved cutting out acidifying foods - fried food, refined sugar, alcohol, dairy and animal products - and increasing my intake of raw fruit, vegetables and juices. The basic aim of a raw diet is to eliminate all the junk and eat whole foods in their most nutritious and unadulterated form.
To help keep me motivated with my new diet, I started following other raw foodists on Instagram and posting pictures of my own raw recipes via my account1 @simonbes_rawsome_creations.
Instagram has a very active and engaged healthy-eating community with a positive flow of ideas. I relished the challenge of creating tasty, appealing and exciting raw recipes, exploring health-promoting foods and sometimes 'rawifying' familiar dishes such as bangers and mash or Bakewell tart. With a little imagination and the help of a dehydrator and a powerful blender, I discovered a whole new culinary dimension.
Early this summer, one of my Instagram followers got in touch and invited me to help design the menu and develop the recipes for Italy's first fully raw vegan restaurant. So, in August and September I went to Milan and did just that. Spending whole days in the kitchen tweaking old recipes, creating new recipes from scratch and then getting feedback from taste testers was a truly rich and rewarding experience.
I have returned to London fired up to develop new raw food projects here in the UK. To start with, I am planning a regular raw dining club in London, the first of which will take place at the end of October 2014 (www.facebook.com/RawDiningClub2). The raw food movement seems to be gaining momentum at the moment, so I feel that there are exciting times ahead.
To wrap up, I'm going to share a simple raw dessert recipe.
Extra virgin coconut oil features highly in raw food preparation, especially sweet dishes, since it helps firm up or bind cakes, brownies and cheesecakes, as it solidifies at around 23°C. Here's a simple, healthy and very moreish chocolate mousse recipe without eggs, butter, cream or refined sugar!
2 large avocados
3 heaped tbsp. of raw cacao
3 tbsp. of gently melted Lucy Bee Coconut Oil
A pinch of salt
1 tsp. of vanilla powder
Natural sweetener of your choice to taste (I used coconut blossom nectar)
In a food processor or blender, mix all the ingredients, apart from the cacao nibs, until a smooth consistency is reached, adding enough sweetener to suit your taste. Spoon the mousse into individual bowls and refrigerate for 1 hour to firm up. Sprinkle with cacao nibs to serve.
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