Monday, August 1, 2011

Local Pair Brings Raw Food to Ever-Widening Audience

Posted By on Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 5:46 AM

Sage burgers from Raw Food Warrior
  • Sage burgers from Raw Food Warrior
It was the ghost pepper crackers that stopped me at the Raw Food Warrior tent at the West Nashville Farmers' Market.

Savory and just slightly spicy, despite the pepper's ferocious reputation, they were a pleasure to eat. So I bought more Warrior food: sage burgers, falafel, lemon coconut tart.

It's not the raw food you typically think of, like a handful of nuts, some salad and loads of fruit.

Proprietor Carrie Cooper says she was motivated by boredom — and love — to look for more in a raw food diet. "In all honesty, my diet was monotonous until [husband] Jon came around. I was eating salad three times a day. And you can make dips and pates all day, but you get tired of that too. I wanted to try making more things, so we got a dehydrator and just started trying recipes."

Jonathan and Carrie have access to a commercial kitchen twice a week where they prepare the burgers, falafel, crackers, tarts and Hearty Italian bread. Their products emphasize foods nearly in their natural state, with dehydration replacing cooking (which raw-food proponents say destroys vital nutrients). A raw food diet intrigues many for its health claims, simplicity or as a weight-loss strategy.

And a diet is so much easier to stick with when there's deeply delicious food like Warrior's flavorful sageburgers, fresh and filling falafel, and an apricot lemon tart as sweet and frosty as you could hope for.

The ghost pepper crackers, alas, are no more, because ghost peppers have become hard to find, but there are still jalapeno sun crackers, and two new crackers, cilantro lime and lime flax. They just developed Hearty Italian Bread, possibly the Moby Dick, the grail, the yeti and the Rosetta Stone of raw food, and they're really pleased.

The business is new — really new: their business license arrived in late April and they've had a business counselor at TSU since May. But they have a vision and a passion for the subject, and have thrown themselves into making and selling cuisine that's usually confined to home kitchens.

Admit it — you're curious. Find the Coopers at the East Nashville Farmers Market, 3:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, or West Nashville Farmers Market, 9 a.m.-noon on Saturdays. See their catering menu here. Or call them at 731-571-0186.

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