Clare Wilkinson is the woman behind
Goodness Gracious, a luxury guilt-free dessert company, with an extra wow element of being raw and nutritiously good for you. She chats to I Love Cooking about her journey towards raw food, and why including living foods in your daily diet can be an easy way of improving your health.
“I started Goodness Gracious because I LOVE cake! Like, I mean REALLY love it! I used to work for a homeless charity in Dublin and as a stress release I would come home a bake and create dishes in my kitchen to de-stress – nothing perks you up as quickly as a slice of cake! One day I decided to follow my foodie dreams down to Ballymaloe and immense myself in all things delicious. I went on to work with a raw chef in Amsterdam and I knew then this was something I wanted to bring back to Ireland so everyone could see that a healthier cakes can still be made to taste amazing with the same precision and skill as all those sweet patisseries we are used to.
The great thing about my cakes is they suit many different people and their lifestyles. They contain no animal products, so they are ideal if you are vegan or people with dairy intolerances. They contain no wheat so they are perfect if you are gluten-free or are on a paleo diet. Many people are also looking for something now that aren’t made with refined sugar and as they are stored frozen they can be on hand for any of those sweet tooth emergencies.
We sell six different flavours so there’s something for everyone, but its no surprise that the chocolate ones are always a winner! Especially the chocolate orange and chocolate salted caramel. I find our new customers are pleasantly surprised, if not shocked that they could be enjoying something that is free from most of the ingredients we are used to finding in cakes and still be so delicious. At the end of the day, flavour is the most important thing when it comes to food – we are spoilt with ingredients and just because something is healthier doesn’t mean it can’t taste amazing.
Including raw foods in our diet is a wonderful way of improving your health. When we cook our food we take out all those wonderful natural benefits that mother nature put in to nourish us. There are so many processed foods now that that food has become so far removed from its natural state and all the goodness is taken out. We can make some small changes to our diets to add that goodness back in. You don’t have to be all or nothing – you can enjoy elements of raw eating with whatever lifestyle you choose, its always the simple small changes that we make to our diet that are the easiest to maintain in the long run.
Every day I try to have an element of raw in it even if it is a simple fresh smoothie in the morning packed with super foods I always try and see where I can add some living foods to a meal. For example, if I have made some homemade soup I will sprinkle it with some sprouts like alfalfa sprouts, as they add texture, taste great and are jammed packed with vitamins and minerals, oh and they look pretty too! So all of a sudden you have instantly turbo boosted your simple soup into an extra nourishing goodness!
There is no need to be afraid of raw cakes. If you love cakes and chocolate then these are right up your alley! I have seen many people try them for the first time and they can’t get over how yummy they are and can’t get their head around the fact they could be good for you too, it really is win/win.
I believe Goodness Gracious can grow and grow, I would love if my cakes could be more available all around Ireland so this is something I’m currently working on. By five years time I hope to have a small café where you can pop in grab a coffee and pick up a box of yummy treats to bring home and wow your friends and family. No need to panic anymore when you invite friends over and they give you a list of things they don’t eat. Goodness Gracious cakes are suitable for so many people, so you can relax and pop the kettle on as I’ve got the rest covered for you!”
To find out more about Goodness Gracious or to order one of Clare’s amazing desserts, log onto http://www.goodnessgracious.ie/