Who Doesn’t Love a Smoothie?

After dabbling as a self-schooled chef since the age of six, I finally decided to take the plunge and attend Matthew Kenney Academy’s raw culinary training program in Oklahoma City. I’ve only prepared a few raw dishes of any complexity before, such as raw bread and raw lasagna, so everyday brings much new knowledge and experiences.

Ultimately, I chose the Matthew Kenney program as it was the only classically structured culinary education available using almost entirely plant-based ingredients. The program is not completely vegan, since it employs products from bees (honey and bee pollen) in its recipes, such as the Blueberry Bee Smoothie pictured above.

Today was Day 4 of the Level 1 class, and we’ve already learned so much: Not just several incredibly delicious recipes (juices and smoothies among the simplest), but professional knife skills, plating skills, flavor combinations, and recipe substitution and development.

I’m also learning firsthand about the differences between cooking at home vs professionally: dishes must be pleasing to the eye and the palate–not just nutritious and healthy–for a restaurant to prosper.

I invite you to stop by again to join me on my culinary learning journey!

This post is also available in: Japanese

3 thoughts on “Who Doesn’t Love a Smoothie?

  1. jennifer

    I have been trying to find something on ur site re coconut oil. I have switched to a 95% raw diet (I haven’t been able to extricate myself from turkey bacon yet, but I am sooo close) and a lot of the raw sites I go to say that coconut oil is good. I bought some and used a little in a smoothie but I am wondering if it’s any better than olive oil et al. Any opinions?

  2. william Post author

    My opinion is that no processed oils are actually “good” for us, and while some oils may have more beneficial properties than others, they do more harm than good. You can trust Dr. Michael Greger’s nutritionfacts.org site which says “coconut oil is as harmful as butter when it comes to our cholesterol” Dr. Greger states that recent scientific evidence confirms what we’ve known about the HDL (“good”) cholesterol elevating effects of certain saturated fatty acids. Though coconut oil is 90% saturated fat (compared to around 50% in beef, butter, and lard), a larger percentage is what’s called lauric acid, which boosts HDL more than palmitic acid, the saturated fat found predominantly in meat and dairy products. So as saturated fats go, coconut oil is preferable, but the recommendation remains “to avoid tropical oils, including coconut oil” according to a statement put out by the American Dietetic Association earlier this year.

  3. Jim Dunlop

    Hi Will,

    Although I can’t see myself going raw vegan, there are definitely many recipes, techniques, and things to learn from those who are.

    When I was visiting home in March and April, I learned how to make the most WICKED raw vegan cheesecake! It seriously ranks as one of the most delicious cheesecakes I’ve ever had, and it is 100% raw vegan (not cooked, and no eggs or dairy of any kind).

    I hope you’ve learned some good stuff that you can share with your readers!

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