VEGAN DISCOVERY @ BLUE LOTUS
Recently, I was invited to take part in a food workshop at the Blue Lotus Learning Center at Evason Hua Hin. Needless to say, I didn’t even have to think twice before accepting. Escape, mid week, to a tropical paradise with some of my closest girlfriends for a wellness retreat, complete with a food workshop and signature spa treatments? Yes please! The minute we arrived, I could already feel the rejuvenating energy of the fresh air around me and was so ready to explore some new ways of preparing healthy and wholesome food. Now, full disclosure; I am not a vegan. I’m not even vegetarian, but I do try to eat healthy and include plenty of fresh fruits, nuts and veggies in my diet. I’m also a smoothie freak! So when Christophe Berg, our instructor for the “Pure Energy” Workshop, passed out the recipes for 5 post-workout super healthy smoothies, I was over the moon. But before, we started chopping and blending he explained to us the basics and benefits of plant-based foods.
There is a misconception among non-vegans that a raw plant-based diet is not so filling or perhaps hard to follow. But in fact, with just a little preparation and planning, it is amazing the amount and variety of extremely delicious menus you can create! Even if you aren’t vegan, there is so much benefit from incorporating more wholesome and healthy ingredients into your daily lifestyle, especially for active people and children. The idea is simple really; the more raw plant-based foods you eat, the less junk, highly-processed, unhealthy and potentially toxic food gets into your body. Raw food is “living food” and is deeply nourishing for your being.
The first thing we did was learn how to make Cashew Milk, which I always thought involved a complicated, soaking and straining process, but in fact, all you need to do it pulse raw cashews to a powder and add water! Depending on what you intend to use it for, you can add more or less water for varied consistency and then store in a sealed container in fridge for 2-3 days. We used this Cashew Milk as the base for our smoothies.
Smoothies are the easiest way to include raw plant based ingredients into your diet. They are so much fun to make, and you can be as creative and colorful as you want! But it’s best to keep them simple and distinctive. I discovered I had been overthinking my smoothies and over loading them with too many ingredients. Simplicity is key, and there are 3 general rules when it comes to Smoothie composition:
- Base : This your liquid layer. Choose just one. It can be juice, water or milk (preferably plant based, such as Almond or Cashew)
- Core : The ingredients that you want for the main taste - usually fruit. Again, better to stick to one or two at the most.
- Spices & Superfoods : These are optional. You can add spices to give and extra kick of flavor, or what I love to do, is add a superfood element to it, such as Acai or Gogi Berry or Maca Powder etc.
GREEN ISLAND SMOOTHIE Yield 350ml (12oz glass)
1 CUP fresh orange juice
1/2 CUP frozen pineapple
1/2 CUP frozen mango
1 handful of spinach
2cm fresh ginger, grated
Blend until smooth & ENJOY!
* Tips for making life easier. Buy ripe fruits, chop them up into individual portions and then freeze them in zip lock bags. Its super easy & convenient and is the best way to get creamy rich and cold smoothies without having to add ice which only dilutes the flavor.
Another great way to start to your day is to have a healthy breakfast. And it’s usually here where you can add a good source of Omega 3 such as Chia seeds, flaxseeds and walnuts into your diet.
BANANA OAT PANCAKES - YieldS 4 pancakes
60 gr of banana
60 ml of cashew milk (15 gr ground cashew + 100ml water)
60 gr of oats (50 gr ground in to flour, 10 gr whole flakes)
1 tsp of coconut syrup
1. Mash the banana. Mix in milk and coconut syrup.
2. Mix in both ground and whole oats.
3. Heat pan and drop pancake mixture onto pan. Cook on medium heat until each side is golden brown. Enjoy with fresh fruit or yoghurt.
Throughout the workshop we also made some other delicious goodies, including a tropical granola and a non-bake fruit tartlet which was to die for! Blue Lotus also runs other raw food workshops depending on your interest and time schedule. These range from local dishes in Taste of Southeast Asia, to Thai Sweets and even Gluten-free Pizza :)
Located in the Pranburi, Evason Hua Hin is a lush tropical escape from the hectic city life and offers a truly tranquil environment in which to rejuvenate and reconnect with nature. It is also family friendly with an amazing kids’ club along with tropical gardens, water features and a gigantic pool. And while the kids play, parents can sneak away to pamper themselves with a variety of signature treatments and wellness rituals at the Six Senses Spa.
For more info on Blue Lotus Learning Center or Evason Hua Hin, visit: