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Raw Food in South Africa

Photo courtesy of AshleyAull

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Greetings from Cape Town, South Africa!

I’ve been visiting here for about a month as my husband has been teaching shamanic movement workshops. Here in Cape Town, there is a small but thriving raw food community that has only recently become established.

Up until several years ago raw foods were virtually unheard of in South Africa. This is a culture with food traditions deeply rooted in meat and potatoes with fresh raw fruit and salads playing a very small part in the traditional cuisine.

All of this started to change several years ago when Peter and Beryn Daniel returned to Cape Town after living abroad where they started eating a raw food diet. They were stunned to realize that no one in South Africa had any real knowledge of a raw food diet so they started teaching raw food workshops. They now also operate a thriving superfood business.

Their workshops are very popular and due to demand from participants, they have now released their first book of raw food recipes. My husband and I were fortunate to be invited to their home to share a raw food dinner with Peter and Beryn and it was one of the most delightful meals we have enjoyed.

Firstly we were taken of a tour of the gardens around where they live, which contains an abundance of local plants as well as a large veggie garden. One of the plant species of note is the Cape gooseberry (pictured above), which is also known as the Incan berry and is highly regarded as an antioxidant-rich superfood.

After this, we returned to the house where we enjoyed a blue drink made from coconut water and anthocyanin, which is the blue component of spirulina. Apparently it is very expensive but extremely potent for boosting immunity but mostly it was just fun for the novelty factor because it looked so pretty.

Following this Beryn prepared the most delicious soup I have ever tasted in my life, raw or cooked. It consisted of a base of coconut cream with lemongrass, kaffir lime, onion, and miso and she served it warm straight out of the Vitamix. So rich and nourishing yet very subtle in flavor. I think I might have to ask her if she is willing to share the recipe because it was absolutely fantastic.

We then all realized that the soup was quite filling yet we didn’t’ want to miss out on enjoying the main course so digestive enzymes were in order. After a short break, we then enjoyed a butternut lasagna with marinated mushrooms, spinach, and macadamia cheese. Beryn made the cheese with Irish moss, which made it delightfully light; very unusual for a nut-based cheese.

We were then feeling very satisfied yet there was still dessert! After a short break to digest a little more we then indulged in a key lime pie served with fresh figs, raspberries, and a vanilla coconut crème. The crust was delightfully light and based on coconut while the filling was a classic creamy avocado but with the addition of anthocyanins to give a blue-green color.

Due to the sweetness of the dessert, Peter then decided that some bitter raw chocolate would be the perfect counterbalance. He brought out some special raw chocolate called Pacari that is made from 100% cacao. Knowing that I am a little bit sensitive to cacao and can’t sleep if I have it in the evening, I just had the tiniest piece; the smallest nibble you can imagine.

Wow! This stuff is potent. With this smallest amount, I felt an instant buzz, as if I had a couple of tablespoons of cacao nibs. I asked Peter why it is so potent and he said it is because they start with the highest quality cacao beans and then process it for three days to remove all the moisture. What is left is an extremely intense raw chocolate that would impress the most dedicated chocoholic and apparently this chocolate has won prizes for its very high quality.

My friend Kirsten explained to me that the stimulation would only last a moment since I had such a small amount and that what I was experiencing was more the feeling of the energy of the plant. I found this was to be true and after a few minutes I felt more grounded again.

As an antidote to the cacao, we then ended the meal with a nice relaxing chamomile tea. What a beautiful meal. Great raw food and great company!

As we were leaving Peter generously gave me a copy of their raw recipe book, Rawlicious, which I hope to review for you as soon as I have had a chance to digest the contents and try a few of the recipes. At first glance it looks fantastic.

In a few days, I am off to Costa Rica for some more raw adventures!

17 comments

  1. Sounds fantastic.

    Heard about anthocyanin (blue pigment) the other day, Incan Berries, too.

    Glad yer still rockin!!

    Much Love,

    Yogs, His Guitar & the Creator of All/The Creator of Soul

  2. I feel I should say, I love this website. Maybe you could let me know how I can keeping up to date with it? I feel I should let you know I discovered this site through Aol.

  3. Hi Rocky. You can subscribe by clicking the icon on the top right of the page where it says ‘posts’. Glad you are enjoying the site.

  4. hi peter and beryl;like your website; i,ve been following the raw food lifestye for around 5 years now.and i know how benifical this diet is to our wellbeing. iwas wondering if there is somewhere in south africa i could stay for around 6 months when fruits are in season;like a farm or a community. ive saw many pictures of SA ; it looks a beautiful country and ive always wanted to visit,im currently studying accountancy and would be planning to study most of the time when i am there;the more rural the better;hope the two of you have a wild and wonderful weekend. robert glasgow

  5. Hi Robert. My name is Mizpah and this is my site. At the moment I am living in Costa Rica.

    If you are interested in connecting with raw foodists in South Africa I recommend you contact Peter and Beryn. Here is the link to their site:

    http://www.superfoods.co.za/

  6. Hello, Mizpah. You mention the effect cocao has on you, one like caffeine. Have you noticed a similar effect from ginger?

  7. Lil coyote – ginger is mildly stimulating but nothing like cacao. Also I find it can be overheating if I use too much.

    Cacao also seems to have a very strong effect on mental alertness. I find it increases my mental clarity. Although there is a very fine line between what is too much and for those of us who are sensitive it is very easy to overdo.

  8. Hi,
    I am trying to find organic MISO that does not come in small plastic packets (plastic having all the negative publicity), and that one can buy in bulk from a supplier in Cape Town perhaps. Do you have any?
    Thanks – am living in Hermanus.
    Judy

  9. If you are interested in the Butternut Lasagna that Beryn made, here is the recipe.

    Butternut Lasagna

    Punnet Porticcini mushrooms
    1 med onion
    1 red pepper
    1 tsp crushed garlic
    1 piece ginger +-3cm x 2cm – crushed
    1 tsp salt
    Dash olive oil
    Dash braggs liquid aminos
    Dash vinegar (I used Rosendal Vynbos)

    Slice mushrooms, onions and pepper, toss all above together and dehydrate for +- 2 hours.
    Slice butternut paper thin and soak in hot salty water
    Make runny cashew nut sauce: 1 cup cashews, 1 tsp alt and 1 tsp onion powder. If you want a thicker sauce use about half a teaspoon of hydrated and soaked Irish Moss.
    Start with butternut layer, veg and then sauce, and repeat – end on butternut layer
    Sprinlke with cashew nuts (I used pine nuts) – pour over remaining sauce and top with sunflower sprouts

    Great served with cauliflower mash or parsnip rice

    By Gayleen Evans
    http://www.seedingthefuture.co.za – Raw food in South Africa

  10. Hi Shosa,

    Where are you located?

    Usually it can be found in specialty health stores otherwise you can purchase it online.

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