Herefordshire’s Rosie Purdye has been a raw foodist for eight years.
Far from a fad diet, this was a total overhaul – the booze, the bad diet, the late nights and the lifestyle had to go. Rosie, now 31, has a dehydrator in the basement of her home in Green Street, Hereford, a blender that could “smash up a golf club” and home-made superfood snacks on sale at stockists around the city.
Raw food is, simply put, food in its most natural state – nothing processed, nothing artificial, nothing heated at above 48C (117F). The kale in the recipe below has been massaged by hand, and the cheese is made of nuts.
If it sounds a little… extreme, don’t be put off. Rosie is refreshingly philosophical about the raw lifestyle – the world doesn’t end if her daughters have chips for tea.
Here, she shares four easy recipes for you to try at home.
Kale, a one time borderline weed, has rocketed through the vegetable ranks to become the queen of greens. And it's no surprise, it's packed full of vitamin K, C, iron and loaded with cancer fighting antioxidants. I prep lots of this salad at the start of the week as its keeps really well in the fridge, then it's easy to grab a bowl and add different toppings, to make a quick nutritious and delicious lunch, so you can really be creative with this one.
200 grams of kale
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of lemon juice
¼ tsp salt
¼ of a butternut squash, peeled and spiralized
1 carrot grated
4 sun-dried tomatoes halves finely chopped
¼ cup of kalamata olives, de-stoned and halved
Half an avocado chopped or fanned
Agave and mustard salad dressing
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp agave
1 large clove of garlic crushed
1 tsp dijon mustard
A pinch of salt
A crack of freshly ground black pepper
Prep your kale by removing all the tough stalks and then tearing the leaves into bite sized pieces, now add the kale, the olive oil, lemon juice and salt into a large mixing bowl. Now using your hands massage the oil mixture into the kale, this will start to break down the tough kale fibres and the leaves will start to take on a cooked appearance. This should take around 5-10 minutes. Now make your salad dressing by whisking all the ingredients together with a fork.
Now you can top your kale salad with your salad topping and serve with a few tablespoons of salad dressing drizzled on top. Feel free to experiment, this base salad is great with loads of different veggies. I love serving it with flax cracker and nut cheese!
Avocado Pesto Pasta
Avocados are amazing, I use them in soups, sauces, smoothies, to make puddings, frostings and even facemasks! This avocado pesto pasta is not only packed full of superfoods but is also super quick to make. This whole meal takes under 15 minutes from fridge to table.
2 courgettes spiralized
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup of pine nuts plus extra for garnish
1 bunch of basil about 30 grams
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove
¼ tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
First make the pesto add the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and avocado flesh to your blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Then remove the big stalks from the basil and add to the blender with the pine nuts and the salt. Blend on low until the basil and the pine nuts are broken down but the mixture is still a bit chunky. Now spiralize the courgettes and mix the pesto into your courgette pasta. Garnish with pine nuts and a crack of black pepper and serve.
Chia seeds; they are an excellent source of EFA’s, they make an amazing egg replacement and they are the main component of one of my favourite raw breakfasts of all time. Don't be fooled into buying super expensive chia seeds, they can be sourced relatively cheaply if you shop around, and are more often than not are grown without pesticides due to the plants natural insect repellant properties.
3 ½ tbsp of chia seeds
1 cup of almond milk
¼ cup of blueberries or mixed berries
A drizzle of maple syrup (optional)
Add the milk and chia seeds to a small sealable container. Mix really well with a fork and then shake once, then shake once more about half an hour later. This stops all the chia seeds sinking to the bottom and clumping together. Leave the pudding for 8 hours or overnight to set. In the morning top with fresh berries and maple syrup and serve.
No Bake Peanut Butter Blondies
These brownies with their creamy, sweet, peanut butter topping may be raw, vegan, refined sugar-free, dairy-free AND good for you, but you won’t care about that, as they are so delicious you won’t need another reason to eat them! This is my daughter's favourite pudding and the reason she is obsessed with brownies, the high EFA content is also the reason she is allowed to have them for breakfast!
2 ½ cups of medjool dates (de-stoned after measuring) OR 2 1/2 cups of dried dates soaked for 20 minutes OR 2 ½ cups of chopped dates soaked for 10 minutes.
2 cups of ground almonds
1 cup of walnuts
¾ cup of cacao powder
½ cup of shelled hemp seeds or cashews
¼ cup of sugar-free natural peanut butter
2 tsp of natural vanilla essence
Pinch of pink salt
½ cup of coconut oil
⅓ cup of agave
⅓ cup of peanut butter
1 tsp natural vanilla essence
Add the almonds, walnuts, cocoa powder, shelled hemp seeds and salt and process until well combined and mealy, but with some chunks of walnut left. Add the dates, peanut butter and vanilla essence and process until the mixture is well combined and starts to stick together to form the brownie mixture.
Decant your mixture into your favorite brownie tin and place in the freezer or fridge to set while you make your topping.
Melt the coconut oil over a gentle heat or use a bain marie. Add the agave, peanut butter and vanilla to the melted oil and whisk with a fork until smooth.
Pour over your brownie mixture to form a topping and leave in the fridge for a few hours to set, or pop it in the freezer for half an hour if you can’t wait.
When she’s not making superfood snacks and hosting cookery demos, Rosie is devising recipes for her blog and snack business, Raw Food Rosie’s. Raw Food Rosie’s snacks, including vegan kale crisps and raw vegan macaroons, are on sale locally. Stockists include Fodder in Church Street, Hereford; Hereford Deli in The Mews, St Owen Street, Hereford, and Hereford Leisure Centre in Holmer Road.
These articles were originally published in 2016.