This week on Focus Friday we chat to the lovely Sarah Holm the creator of Raw Bite. Sarah, who is a qualified chef, produces some delicious ‘raw’ treats that are available in Avoca around the country. Eating ‘raw’ is becoming more and more popular so we wanted to find out more.
Can you tell us a bit about your products?
Everything I make is made up of natural products like nuts, dates, almond butter, tahini, coconut oil and cacao. I purposely went through all the recipes I had and jam packed them full of superfoods to make them even better. All the products are free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar and they’re all RAW! At the moment I make Caramel Slices, Brownies, Carrot Cake and a Superfood Bar. I’ve just started producing Raw Raspberry Cheesecakes and Raw Chocolate Tarts that have been in Avoca for the past week or so and they’re selling really well. From this week I will be making Vanilla Granola and Cacao and Hazelnut Granola for sale in Avoca and in the coming weeks there will be a raw and very clean version of Nutella avaliable. And then who knows!
What inspired you to create your products?
I have the biggest sweet tooth and wanted to come up with desserts and treats that weren’t so packed full of bad fats, sugar and gluten so I spent weeks looking online and reading blogs about the benefits of raw foods. Then I spent months playing around in the kitchen making up recipes and getting friends and family to taste them. Two or three years ago there was such a big gap in the Irish market for clean raw foods, I knew I could create something that tasted amazing, was completely natural and raw and had benefits to the body buy using superfoods, coconut oil and activated nuts and seeds.
Where can you buy your product?
At the moment everything can be brought in all the Avoca shops (even in Belfast) but I’ll be working on getting them in more local cafes around Dublin this summer.
What are the benefits of eating raw?
Personally I found that the more raw foods I eat the more energy I have, the clearer my skin is and the less I crave fatty, sugary junk foods. I’m in my early 30’s now and feel and look better than I did when I was in my mid 20’s. I think my mood is also better with more raw foods in my diet. Raw foods have also been linked to longer life and less chances of developing heart and cardiovascular dieseases and cancers.
What tips would you give to someone trying to eat more healthily?
Try to aim for 80% clean eating and 20% more relaxed eating (takeaway or cheat meals).. I don’t know anyone personally who eats like a saint all the time and 100% clean eating every day of the year isn’t realistic. Try adding as much raw fruits and veggies into every meal of the day. I carry small packets of nuts around in my bag if I’m out during the day to curb any hunger pangs. Drink water and lots of it, alot of the times when I think I’m hungry I’m just a little dehydrated. Stay away from Food Guilt, if you have a bad day and overindulge a little more than you should have don’t stress over it, just move on and eat cleaner at the next meal. Try to eat smaller meals every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism up and activated.
What does the future hold for your business?
I’m really enjoying working for Avoca at the moment, I’ve learnt so much from working with them for the past few months, I’m grateful for the faith they have in me to allow me to expand the raw range for them. I am planning on getting my products into more local cafes and shops around Dublin this summer. My website is currently being redesigned and I’ll relaunch that this month with a recipe and blog section. I plan to start making raw cakes for birthdays or celebrations, I’ll have a page on my new website where customers can contact me (www.rawbite.ie)
Finally can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background as a chef?
I was born in Ireland and raised in Zimbabwe, I came back to Ireland when I was 16 to do an apprenticeship in Maryborough Hotel in Douglas, Cork. I loved being in a kitchen and knew from a young age that I wanted to be a chef. I moved back to Zimbabwe for a few years after I qualified as a chef. I’ve also lived and worked in Australia (who hasn’t!). I’ve been living in Dublin for the past 4 years and am really loving it! I’ve always been interested in healthy eating and right nutrition, the older I get the more I’m concerned with what I put into my body to boost my energy and keep my skin looking as good for as long as I can!