If you are looking for the most delicious raw desserts that not only taste amazing but look amazing in Sydney, you can't go past Sadhana Kitchen. Their truly innovative, curious and inventive leader Maz has helmed the kitchen from the beginning nourishing people but also educating them through her many workshops. Sadhana kitchen also now does high tea!
What lead you down the path of raw eating?
It all started just over 4 years ago when I first attended a yoga class. I had always been interested in health and fitness but cultivating a yoga practice helped me become more connected with everything else that can affect how I experience this life. What I ate was something I never looked at in such a vital way and when I started seeing how all things are connected, I decided to become vegan and with that came an interest in healthy plant-based foods. Raw food was just something that naturally found me.
Do you eat raw all the time?
I eat mostly raw foods, but I also enjoy some cooked foods that remain or are even more nutritious when cooked. Things like sweet potato, tomatos etc. I think a happy lifestyle shouldn't be restricted, rather it should be inclusive and positive so I like to look at is as eating as much fresh organic seasonal fruits and veggies as I can in their purest most unadulterated form.
What were you doing before becoming a raw chef?
I have a nursing degree and before Sadhana Kitchen and teaching yoga, I was in pharmaceutical sales - I know, it's a huge departure from that!
What would you say are your base/staple pantry ingredients in a raw kitchen?
SEASONAL GREENS! I love me some garden grown kale, spinach etc. These are also things that are easy to grow in a small space. In our home in Alexandria, my boyfriend and I grow herbs, tomatoes, kale and spinach. Secondly, I love coconuts. and they're so versatile! one of the most nutritious foods ever, their water has the same properties as your body's own plasma, and they are full of healthy fats which are essential to a nutritious diet. They also can make a pretty amazing coconut bacon and awesome raw desserts! Finally, superfoods like chia seeds which have 5 times the calcium of dairy milk, 3 times more iron the spinach and 7 times more vitamin C than oranges all in an easily absrobed little package are a great insurance policy to make sure that you are getting all the goodness you need in addition to eating loads of fresh produce.
And kitchen appliances?
I do love my vitamix like a close friend. A high powered personal blender makes is easy and enjoyable to whip up smoothies, frappes, dips, sauces, raw desserts. You name it, it can probably do it. Unless you don't want something liquified, in that case that's when my other buddy the Magimix (a food processor) becomes very handy. It's chops rather than liquifies so it's great for chopping up produce, making chunkier sauces, combining crusts for raw cakes, mixing raw dough etc.
Tell us about these raw donoughts making everyone drool over the screen - what's in them?
They're made from coconut flour, flax meal and dates. We add natural flavours using fresh fruit and spices. They are much easier to digest and way more nutritious than a traditional doughnut, but they're just as tasty. Basically, they are living proof that eating healthier and more conscious foods don't mean you have to sacrifice positive foodie experiences.
Where do you find inspiration for all your recipes and concotions? Seasonal ingredients or meals/snacks/desserts available not from a raw diet?
A little bit of both really. I love looking at the produce that is in season, purchasing what takes my fancy and then just making up dishes based on that availability. That's how we create most of the changeable dishes for our 7 course raw food degustation dinners. I also really enjoy makings traditional recipes more healthy, by cutting out the processed filler ingredients like refined sugars and flours and using fresh, healthy ingredients instead. That's how the doughnuts came to be, and our raw vegan tim tams.
What is your advice for people wanting to try adding some raw meals into their routine at home? Deyhydrators and prep can be quite daunting for first timers who want to do more with their raw meal than just create a salad?
Try starting off each day with a delicious and nutrient packed green smoothie! I love kale, apple, mango, mint, celery and cucumber. For extra potency, I add chia seeds & hemp seeds. About 500 ml to 1 litre will ensure you start off your day right, and you don't need a high powered blender for this. I used a $35 blender from target for ages before I finally got a vitamix, they they are a great investment to get the perfect texture, especially for raw cakes. Also, I really believe there is no such thing as just a salad. Salads are so versatile because nature's offerings always vary depending on the season. If you try to eat seasonal organic produce, you're going to automatically have a lot of variety and therefor an abundance of nutrients in your diet. You can get creative and make the best, most filling salads ever. One of my favourites is finely shredded kale, mixed baby salad leaves, house fermented sauerkraut, cucumbers, sprouts, activated pepitas & activated sunflower seeds in a mustard and apple cider vinaigrette. That salad with a cold pressed green juice in heaven.
“I love looking at the produce that is in season, purchasing what takes my fancy and then just making up dishes based on that availability ”