I spent this morning in a beautiful, family home learning to cook a delicious and natural brunch. Anna Freedman, a qualified macrobiotic cook and wholefoods coach, founded Wholefood Harmony with her husband Scott to inspire others to cook and eat nourishing, organic food. The couple host relaxed cookery workshops in their home in Golders Green and then serve up the food around a communal table.
When I arrived with my mum, Anna greeted us at the front door and sat us in the dining room with the rest of the class (about 10 women), a cup of fresh mint tea and a coconut cookie (perfectly sweetened by coconut milk without a grain of processed sugar). We chatted happily about our diets and health and swapped recommendations for restaurants and detox spas. When everyone had arrived, Anna started the workshop with an introduction to the day’s menu and the health benefits associated with the key ingredients which included whole grains, beans, seaweeds, soya and seasonal vegetables. She gave advice on how to cook the lesser used ingredients and passed around examples from the brands that she found to be the most nutritious and wholesome.
Once we had familiarised ourselves with the recipes, we paired up and collected the ingredients for a couple of the dishes. Mum and I characteristically opted for the desserts! We were in charge of creating Peanut Butter Puffed Rice Treats and Autumn Fruit Compote. While we were chopping and stewing, Anna and her mother, Pauline, floated between groups to taste the food, make flavour suggestions and demonstrate techniques. The kitchen was filled with laughter and mouth-watering aromas. In a marvel of impeccable timing, all dishes finished cooking at the same time and we filtered out onto the patio to enjoy yellow bean and sweet potato soup in the October sunshine whilst Anna prepared the table for a feast! The food was glorious! Main dishes of scrambled tofu, butternut squash bake and grain cake with thyme were accompanied by sides of carrot and arame salad, seasonal greens and pesto, and hummus. Despite the savoury bliss, everybody saved room for a puffed rice treat (or three) – a sweet end to a wonderful morning.
Wholefood Harmony begins their Winter Kitchen workshop series in December with a focus on seasonal canapés, warming stews and festive puddings. I cannot think of a better way to welcome the advent period – I’m hungry already!
Peanut Butter Puffed Rice Treats
P.S. I noticed that the recipe for the Peanut Butter Puffed Rice Treats is on the Wholefood Harmony facebook page so I’ve copied it here, too. Make them next Sunday to celebrate the start of Go Vegan Week!
- 6 dessertspoons peanut butter
- 3 dessertspoons rice syrup
- Dash of vanilla essence
- Handful raisons
- Handful chopped almonds
- Puffed rice
Combine the peanut butter, syrup, raisons and vanilla in a pan and stir until the butter is melted. Add the almonds and puffed rice and stir. Spoon out into paper cup cakes as individual servings or keep as whole. Enjoy!