I'm dreaming of a raw Christmas

Things I like: cooking. Things I like slightly more than cooking: cheap cooking.

A Groupon deal came through a while ago offering a raw vegan dessert class for under half price, so I thought with Christmas coming up, I should get involved.

I'll be honest, I hesitated for a while - I've had some dodgy experiences with raw food classes. Not so long ago, I did a raw chocolate class with a friend where everything was demonstration (no hands on!) and tasted awful. The person running the class also became quite aggressive when the friend and I (very politely) questioned some of the outrageous pseudoscience that was being presented as fact.


Luckily, I squashed those less than pleasant memories, and bought the Groupon - and a good job it was too.

The class was run Yuuga Kemistri. I turned up late after stomping through a downpour and settled down with around 20 other raw-curious types. (I don't follow a raw diet, I should add, I've just had a lot of good raw food and wouldn't mind making more at home).

After a brief introduction to the ingredients, we got stuck in. No demos, just us and some hands-on making stuff. There were five different recipes to work on, and I attached myself to some kindly sisters working on the raw Christmas pudding.

A mix of raisins, flax, oranges and other goodies, I was pleased that we managed to turn out something that looked like the traditional English pudding and tasted phenomenal too, especially because I normally loathe raisins. (Be honest, they're like sultanas that have given up on life, aren't they?)

Other kind types had worked up rose petal dusted brownies, bocca di dama biscuits, chia pudding, and raw truffles. They were all fabulous, and I'll be making quite a few of them at home.

Here's the mango and banana chia pudding:

Don't these brownies look pretty? Bit heavy on the coconut oi, but otherwise nice - there was a subtle rose flavouring that was great.

One of the interesting discoveries for me was mesquite powder (not the Southern rub, a sort of sweet smelling brown powder with a wonderful caramel type taste). Have you tried it? If so, let me know what you make with it, as I've now just acquired a great big bag of the stuff.

After all the raw endeavours, we sat down and troughed what we had made, each group showing off its contribution and being met with 'oh, that is good' and other approving, full-mouthed noises of approval.

I shuffled off into the night full of raw goodness, good will to all people, and my faith in raw cooking classes restored. Isn't Christmas wonderful?

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  1. Oh, how fantastic! I did a raw cooking class last December actually - my first and only - and really enjoyed it. It was dessert focused, so that went down well with my tastes ;) It looks like yours was too, and with delicious outcomes.

  2. everything looks beautiful, and tasty. I love raw desserts - it's not as easy to overdo it, and when you do, you don't feel as sick anyway. It's also difficult to screw them up, in my experience. Hope you make a lovely Christmas spread.

  3. I have not really got into raw foods - well not in a big way - but I am always curious about them and some do look so pretty - including those brownies. There is a raw dessert cafe in town that I am curious to try. Glad your course went well - I have done very few cooking classes and when I did one earlier this year I wasn't sure how typical its format was but it sounded quite like yours.

  4. Oh this looks like a great class - i would love to do something like this! I absolutely love raw sweets! They all look delicious. I haven't tried mesquite powder- it's expensive and am always a bit reluctant to spend so much on so called superfoods, but may have to try it now!

  5. Ooh that looks ace! I've just tried the Inspiral Xmas cake in a jar and I really liked it.

  6. Brilliant find! Groupon never offers me anything good locally, but I would totally snap up a ticket to that cooking class in a heartbeat.

  7. How fun! I've only been to demo style classes, hands-on seems much more interesting. So jealous, I've yet to come across a worthwhile Groupon. :-)

  8. What a lovely find! All of these raw dishes you made look delicious and they definitely look very festive for the holidays! I'm not a huge fan of raw foods, but eat them occasionally (as long as there aren't too much dates involved). Mesquite powder is amazing…I love it in cocktails, too! So glad the raw cooking class worked well for you! :D


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