KITCHEN WHIZ: Scott Mathias adds pepper to his “cous cous”.
KITCHEN WHIZ: Scott Mathias adds pepper to his “cous cous”. Ann Rickard

The virtues of tasty raw diet following extolled

THOUSANDS of us want to embrace it but we're not      sure how to go about it.

I'm talking about raw food.

According to local advocate Scott Mathias, the number of people seeking to eat a diet comprising raw food only, is in the thousands and growing rapidly.

"Raw veganisim is almost vertical; trending extremely highly on Google at the moment," he said.

"I have a couple of thousand followers on Facebook, people who are interested in raw food."

Scott and his partner Clare Darwish have being eating a raw food only diet for several years now and swear by the health benefits of throwing out the pots and pans and turning off the oven.

"Being 60-plus we were concerned about the quality of life in our later years," Scott said.

"We set goals around leading a healthy, productive, pain free lifestyle full of fun going into the future."

According to Scott, not only is it not difficult to give up cooking, it's super simple, and the health benefits are immeasurable.

"I have suffered chronic digestive issues since I was eight years old," he said. "The moment I took the step to raw food, I elevated my physiological feeling to a state I could never have achieved. All the symptoms (bloating, reflux) disappeared. My head cleared, my relationships and work and lifestyle became better."

It's hard not to be swept away by Scott's enthusiasm as he talks so glowingly of a diet comprising fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and oils.

"There are no fish, chicken or animal products in my diet; no processed food and no sugar," he said.

A well known face at the Noosa Farmers' Market with his iLife products, inspired and created by him, Scott also conducts cooking classes to teach people how easy it is to create mouth-watering dishes from fresh produce without any cooking process.

"You can easily find alternatives to favourite dishes and replicate them," he said.

"I love food. I am an avid reader of food magazines. I get ideas from traditional cooked food and change them to create something one hundred percent raw."

Scott believes any international cuisine lends itself to conversion to raw food.

"I can create Moroccan, Mediterranean, Italian, Greek, Thai, Japanese and Mexican dishes by diffusing traditional ingredients but bringing flavours together with the imagination. I can go to a fridge full of vegetables and know what to do with them."

Watching Scott demonstrate to a group of enthusiasts last week proved he not only talks the talk, but walks the walk.

With little effort he created a line up of delicious food including a "cous cous" from raw cauliflower, a beetroot and carrot salad, a "cheese" from nuts, and a good looking panzanella salad.

"I make a 'pasta' dish from peeled zucchini which I slice on the mandolin, and then soak in lime juice. I make up a sauce of walnuts and tomato. It looks like a bolognese mix. I put fresh peas on top, add sprigs of mint, give it a light drizzle of olive oil, a grind of pepper and I have a wonderful meal."

So passionate is Scott in his desire to help others discover the joy of raw food, he has approached many chefs in Noosa's restaurants urging them to have the courage to put raw items on their menus.

"Noosa is one of the best places in Australia to live in terms of lifestyle," Scott said.

"We love the restaurants but their menu offerings in terms of raw vegan food are non-existent. I have talked to some local chefs who are open to coming and doing a raw food appreciation class with me.

" I'd like to see them add a few dishes on their menus for vegans who are looking to go out for dinner to our restaurants and enjoy a meal.

"The potential for restaurants to do this is there. The demand is definitely there for raw food. I would be happy to give the chefs recipes."

Scott believes anything is possible when it comes to making delicious desserts using raw ingredients, and the taste and presentation will pleasantly surprise non-believers.

"I can make a dessert by blending avocado and banana with a little cacao powder, a drop of coconut palm nectar to sweeten it, some local vanilla and a pinch of salt. It blends to a mousse consistency. Serve that in a glass with seasonal fruit on top and even the kids will love it."

Scott has seven products in the iLife range, the two core products green papaya powder and veggie shots, both available in sachets.

Whether you think a raw food diet is for you or not is a question only you can answer. But when Scott says "the body feels so alive when you eat like this" it is hard not to be impressed.

IF YOU GO

Scott Mathias conducts raw food appreciation classes once a month, demonstrating how to prepare dishes, giving recipes and answering questions.

More on 0423 353 109.


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