Dartmouth College Students Taste the Benefits of the Raw Vegan Lifestyle
Anna Morenz Jun 14, 2012 Travel Guides 0 comments
For many people, preparing raw vegan food can feel like an overwhelming challenge, especially when conventional recipe books are reliant on high temperatures and the restaurant staples of butter and cream.
Places like Catch a Healthy Habit, however, make this kind of eating seem more feasible.
After a frantic week of packing, organizing, and graduating, the Big Green Bus finally took off from Hanover and had its first event in Fairfield, CT. We shared a delicious potluck on the town green with community members, followed by a tour of a nearby raw vegan café called Catch a Healthy Habit. Glen, one of the co-owners, brought scrumptious samples of his raw brownies to the potluck, so we were excited to learn more at his café.
Glen’s café is small, cozy, and simply decorated, invoking a feeling of home. He welcomed us in with samples of smoothies made with almond milk, cacao powder, maple syrup, mesquite powder, rice, and banana. They were creamy and chocolatey, but not overly sweet. The smoothie course was followed by samples of delectable raw vegan desserts: a “cinnamon bun” made with smooth swirls of ground cashews and almonds, s’mores with a chocolate-covered marzipan ball served on a sweet dehydrated cracker, and a chewy caramel bar. We had no idea that desserts made without butter, eggs, milk, or an oven could be so delicious.
Glen had an interesting way of explaining the benefits of eating raw food. He asked us, “If you soaked a handful of corn chips in water and then put them in a hole in the ground, would they grow?” We shook our heads. “But if you take a handful of flax seed chips and do the same thing, will they grow? Yes!” According to Glen, the key to raw food is that it can always sprout and grow, so the life force of the food is preserved.
Glen gave us a quick tour of his dehydrators—an appliance that uses low temperatures and a fan to dry food and create raw breads and crackers. Next, Glen led us downstairs to see his stashes of ingredients, from bunches of ripe yellow bananas to allergen-free peanuts to raw cacao to Chinese medicinal herbs. He showed us his favorite source of soy-free vegan protein powder made by SunWarrior. Opening up the last fridge, it was stocked with containers of arugula and jars of a thick bright yellow liquid at the bottom shelf—pure ginger, which is good for improving circulation. We headed back upstairs to try shots of ginger, shocked by the peppery, eye-watering aftertaste left in our mouths.
We were accompanied by three loyal patrons of Catch a Healthy Habit, two of whom decided to become raw vegan after experiencing declining health in their early 40s. They now swear by the raw food diet and tout its many health benefits.
Thanks to Glen and Catch a Healthy Habit for getting our foodie tour off on such an exciting, healthy foot!
Note: The Big Green Bus is a group of 10 Dartmouth College students touring the nation to build enthusiasm for community involvement through environmental action. With several foodies on board and a growing understanding that real food is all about sustainability, the Bus is blogging about food encounters around the country. Learn more at www.thebiggreenbus.org