Firstly, I should state that I am not a RAWtarian, or even a vegetarian for that matter. That's really saying something, considering what I'm about to say regarding the raw foods I have tried recently.
I discovered Little Bird Organics in February this year. I heard about the place from a close friend who happens to eat mostly RAW or vegan. Whilst I was fully aware of veganism, I didn't know the slightest thing about the raw food diet, let alone the fact that there was one. (Read below if you don't know what it is either). When I found out about it, I had mixed feelings. I eat a lot of raw fruit and vegetables as snacks, but never as an entire meal. I expected RAW food to be flavourless and boring so I was never tempted to visit Little Bird, until they opened a store in the CBD. I work in the CBD so it didn't take much effort to walk down there and see what this RAW food was all about. Even though my friend had really talked the place up, I didn't have very high expectations. What I didn't expect was to walk into a cute little shop with a cabinet full of sweet treats. From cakes, to cheesecakes to slices, they had it all. Having the sweet tooth that I do, I almost completely ignored the savory food!
I was confused by the products. How can you produce a raw brownie or a raw carrot cake? Everything looked like it should contain dairy of some sort, yet it doesn't. I was intrigued to say the least. I just had to purchase something to see what the taste was like. I purchased a Cacao Raspberry Brownie because it looked good and I was told it's one of their best sellers. At $6 for a slice of brownie, "it better taste good" I thought.
Upon first bite of this brownie the raised eyebrows and shocked look on my face would have been priceless. I was exactly that, SHOCKED. This was the most chocolatey brownie I'd ever tasted in my life. The raspberries cut through the chocolate perfectly and was well matched by the creaminess of the cashew cream layer. Every bite after that felt like heaven!
Since my first visit I have tried several treats from The Unbakery in the last few months. I am actually concerned that I am starting to become addicted to the treats they make. I am absolutely amazed that they are able to produce sweet satisfying treats that are sugar free, dairy free, gluten free, vegan, organic and still taste amazing. The cashew cream layer in their brownie could fool anybody that it was dairy. Their cheesecakes are nothing short of amazing. I have eaten and made a good few cheesecakes in my time and nothing has ever been as smooth, creamy and flavourful as the ones from The Unbakery. I have researched a tonne of recipes in an attempt to recreate the brownies, or the cheesecakes but I have found that the ingredients are either far too expensive or too difficult to source. It's much easier to just walk down the road on my lunch break and enjoy an already prepared raw dessert.
Being on the sugar free lifestyle, I'm so glad I discovered this place. I truly believe that we can still enjoy food and treats while still taking care of our body. I think we can all learn a little something from the RAWtarians on how to eat well. All their food is jam packed with necessary vitamins and minerals and of course fiber which our body needs.
What is a raw food diet?
"A raw food diet is made up of fresh, whole, unrefined, living, plant-based foods: fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds, which are consumed in their natural state, without cooking or steaming." - www.fullyraw.com
Basically, you eat uncooked fruit and vegetables. Cooking of anything is not allowed. However if you are lucky enough to have a dehydrator, you can dehydrate your food. A dehydrator removes the water content from the food without changing the genetic makeup of it. It's sort of like an oven however it doesn't heat anything above a temperature of 45 degrees Celsius. It is believed that if you heat food above this temperature you will end up cooking it and it will no longer be considered raw.
If you do go to the Unbakery, here's what you should try
Raspberry Cacao Brownie - mentioned above.
Raspberry Cacao Cheesecake - the most chocolatey cheesecake ever. It's smooth and creamy and the raspberries are the perfect sharpness to compliment the richness of the other flavours. This can get a bit rich towards the end so eat slowly, or share!
Chocolate Layer Cake - If you're a chocolate fan, this is for you. This cake is made up of different layers of chocolate. There is a mousse layer and a cake layer and shavings of chocolate on top. Hands down, this is the best chocolate cake I've ever had.
Chocolate Hazelnut Cookie - This cookie is crunchy and so flavourful. The chocolate chips in it are just the perfect little pop amongst the museli type cookie.
Hazelnut Tart - I find this to be a better alternative to their chocolate cheesecake. It the perfect amount of chocolate to satisfy the chocolate lover without it being sickly rich.
Macadamia and Berries Grawnola - I ate this for breakfast for 7 days in a row. It is the most crunchy and flavourful granola/muesli that I've had. Best part is that it keeps me full until lunch!
Cacao Raspberry Macaroons - I like most of their macaroons, but this flavour is definitely my favourite. Chocolate, coconut and raspberry; you just can't go wrong there.
I love most of what I have had from the Unbakery, except for these few things, most of which tasted good, but was just a little too sweet for me. Whilst it did not strike my fancy, your taste buds might not agree.
Apple Crumble - a little lack luster for me. This is a slice similar to the chocolate brownie, however it has a slight apple and spice flavour instead of chocolate and raspberry. It's nice, but it's a bit boring for my taste buds.
Banoffee Pie - This was far too rich for me. I could barely handle a bite of it. Banoffe pie is generally a rich dessert so I see why they have made it like this, but being a sugar free girl, I can't handle this level of sweetness.
Banana Brownie - Once again, too sweet for me. I do love the dehydrated banana on top though. The brownie has a lovely texture and there is a definite banana after taste. If you are not a fan of banana, this is not for you.
Chocolate Cheesecake - Being a chocolate lover I thought I would enjoy this. The first half was definitely enjoyable, but I find that towards the end it gets far to rich for me. The Cacao Raspberry Cheesecake is so good because it has the raspberry to cut through the richness, with this chocolate cheesecake though, it's all chocolate and richness. It's a bit too much for me.
Ginger Slice - They take ginger to a whole new level with this slice. It is very gingery, to the point where you are likely to feel a burning sensation in the back of your throat. Whilst the ginger is actually very good for me, I struggled to get through this slice because it was too strong.