It's the latest trend in healthy eating and it's making its way across Sydney. Raw vegan cafes, cold pressed juice bars, market stalls selling raw treats—raw food chefs are transforming the way we think about food and dining with the raw diet. Baked goods are out, and raw vegan cakes are in! Here is our extended guide to the raw diet in Sydney.
Eating raw is so much more than getting your recommended daily serving of fresh fruit and veg. It's fancy and sophisticated, dining with things like raw coconut "bacon" and walnut "pizza" becoming popular menu additions.
What Is Raw Eating
For a long time we've been led to believe that the best food is cooked and served warm. A raw food diet is eating food exactly how it occurs in nature, without cooking or heating, and with minimal processing. The foundation of the diet consists of fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
A raw foodie's kitchen is likely to contain a food dehydrator, various stainless steel knives, graters and other gadgets designed to turn raw ingredients into colourful works of art. And if you consider the many ways food can be prepared without cooking – such as sprouting, blending, dehydrating, soaking, juicing, fermenting and pickling – raw food is far from uninspiring!
Why Eat Raw
Raw food is high in nutrients and minerals, and by eliminating heating it preserves the enzymes that naturally occur in foods. It has been described as "natures medicine" and advocates boast clear skin, increased energy and mental clarity, as well as praising it for its cleansing and detoxification benefits.
Where To Eat Raw
Earth to Table | Bondi Junction
A local favourite, Earth to Table is putting raw food on the map. From the outside it's very unassuming but after stepping inside you'll soon realise what all the fuss is about. Opened by raw food chef Julie Mitsios, Earth to Table defines itself as a raw organic vegan cafe. Open for breakfast and lunch, the menu includes a range of super-food juices, smoothies, and nutrient-rich meals.
Sadhana Kitchen | Enmore
Starting as a pop-up and recently moving into its new location on Enmore Road, Sadhana is a bustling raw vegan cafe with something new to try every day. You can also order home or office delivery, which is great for people on the run. To get the full raw food experience, Sadhana Kitchen offers a fortnightly seven-course raw degustation dinner, as well as a raw high tea available any day of the week (booking is required). A must for the curious, creative and culinary connoisseur.
Ungaro Raw | Rozelle
Ungaro Raw specialises in raw, organic and vegan cuisine. Serving a mixture of cooked and uncooked fare, all the meals are labeled with the dietary requirements they meet, including gluten-free, vegan, wheat-free etc. It's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and we love some of the signature dishes including raw tacos, raw zucchini pasta and raw vegan curry!
Raw Bar | Bondi
For the raw carnivores try Raw Bar, a sushi restaurant with plenty of raw options including sashimi platters and a 'cold kitchen' menu with a range of raw Japanese-inspired dishes. It's a popular spot for locals and offers a nice vantage point to the iconic Bondi Beach.
Where To Drink Raw
Press Juices | Surry Hills
For your daily dose of raw goodness, grab a cold pressed juice from Pressed Juices in Surry Hills, Bondi or Mosman. Cold pressing is a method of juicing, which preserves more vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Ditch the coffee and get a natural energy hit with juices such as 'berry glow' and 'zing'.
Where To Shop Raw
Smiths Organic Markets | Woollahra
If you prefer to make your own, stock up on some fresh, seasonal and organically grown produce from the recently opened Smiths Organic Markets in Woollahra. At this bright and airy marketplace, everything is sourced from local farmers and there's a great range of pantry items that will help you create some raw delights at home. In the mix you'll find Organic Bread Bar loaves and biodynamic eggs from northern NSW, as well as a daily take-out menu, which includes wholesome salads, healthy desserts and cold-pressed juices.
Oneness Cafe | Coogee
Don't know where to start? Try a raw food class at Oneness Cafe in Coogee. Qualified raw vegan chef Flora will show you how simple it is to add more raw food to your daily diet, including how to add flavour, texture and make your meals more rawsome!
TUL Note: Alison Sims is the author of the popular blog site Paleo Foodies.
Image credit: Ananas e Hortela