Gimmi RAW: Dr Aris LaTham talks journey to natural eating and virtual retreat
Food from the sun. Dr Aris LaTham is a firm believer of only consuming food naturally grown from the earth and baked in the purest oven: the warmth of daylight.
Panamanian with Jamaican roots, Dr LaTham recalls the days of spending time in the kitchen with his mother and grandmother. There, he said, is where all the action happened. After moving to the Big Apple and missing out on a track scholarship for college, due to a heart murmur, he grew determined to address the cause of this medical condition.
His piqued curiosity led him to the greatest discovery: we are what we eat. With processed foods always a bite away, he slowly but surely rid his body of those harmful toxins, returning to food from the earth that he was raised on.
Today, known as the man who doesn’t drink water, Dr LaTham has not drunk a drop of water in 42 years, confessing he is not a fan of spring or filtered water because of the preservatives and sediments involved. He explained in a recent interview, “I drink water in a traditional sense. I drink coconut water and water that comes from plants. So watermelon is melon water, orange is orange water, water crest is grown right by the water.”
He has since become the father of Gourmet Ethics Raw Food, dedicating all those years to the study of clean consumption, and spreading this vital knowledge of gaining vitality, energy and longevity from natural foods. “I have students all over the world, at least 200 of them own restaurants. Some in Kingston study with me and together, we unlock their culinary creative energy. You might see the common thread but they’ve developed their own recipes. It’s about expressing ourselves individually through food,” the founder of Sunfried Culinary Institute revealed.
His biggest takeaway from changing his lifestyle is that raw food heals. So, this weekend, he will be teaming up with Jamaican High Raw plant-based enthusiast Stacia Davidson, founder of the RAW Food Challenge JA, to explore the science behind natural food in a life-changing one-day virtual retreat called Gimmi Raw.
As a treat, you have the opportunity to try your hand at some of his tantalising and positively healing recipes for yourself. See recipes below and happy healthy eating.
Cacao Coconut Milk
1 mature coconut
¼ cup almonds
¼ cup pitted dates
5 cups young coconut water (as an alternative you may use spring water. If necessary, sweeten with additional dates* to taste)
2 ripe bananas, peeled, chopped and frozen
1 tbsp cacao powder
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions: Soak almonds for 12 hours, drain and rinse. Crack open coconut, drain water and remove coconut meat from the shell. Dice and blend the coconut meat and almonds with all coconut water at high speed for one minute. Remove from the blender and press in a juice/milk bag. Press all liquid out, discard pulp. Place coconut milk extract in the blender with remaining ingredients and blend to a smooth consistency.
2 ripe plantains, thinly sliced
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 sprigs scallion, sliced thin
8 pitted black olives, sliced
¼ cup cilantro, minced
2 tbsp Madras curry powder
2 tbsp soaked chopped wakame seaweed
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
Directions: Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Marinate for an hour before serving.
Mango Berry Paradise Pie
Ingredients for Pie Crust
1 ½ cup almonds
1 ½ cup sunflower seeds
1 cup strawberries
1 cup dates
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1. Soak almonds and sunflower seeds separately for 12 hours. Drain and rinse.
2. Grind soaked almonds and sunflower seeds in a food processor with ‘S’ blade to a fine texture.
3. Place strawberries, dates and cinnamon in a food processor with ‘S’ blade. Process to a smooth consistency.
5. Combine cup of the strawberry-date jam with ground sunflower and almond mix.
6. Form into a dough and press into a piled nine-inch glass pie dish.
7. Place the pie shell in a dehydrator at 120 degree F for six hours or baking in a lower shelf in the oven at 275 degrees for 30 minutes (check periodically to determine the intensity of the oven).
Ingredients for Pie Filling
3 large ripe firm mangoes
Remaining strawberry jam from crust formula
Ingredients for Garnish
1 dozen blueberries
1 dozen gooseberries
6 basil leaves
1 tsp coconut flakes
Directions: Peel mangoes and cut away flesh from seed into two large halves with a small paring knife. Slice thinly. Layer mango slices into pie crust and fan in a spiral motion until the entire bottom is covered evenly, spread half of the jam over this layer of mango. Layer the remaining mango on top and fan in the opposite direction. Spread remaining jam accordingly and garnish.