HAMILTON, Ont. — The green smoothie looked like wet mulched lawn grass.
We’re talking Kermit-the-Frog-green in a glass.
Barbara Maccaroni, proud owner and operator of B.Love — Hamilton’s new raw food catering business — prepared it fresh for guests as an example of a healthy wholesome beverage in a raw food diet.
Remember the snarky studio audience from TV’s Britain’s Got Talent who made assumptions about that homely-looking contestant who then belted out a tune that left jaws dropping?
This liquefied lettuce was the food equivalent of that frumpy Susan Boyle. It looked unconventional but delivered a surprising punch — tasty, smooth and sweet with a hint of berries.
Maccaroni, a 30-year-old Hamiltonian, hopes to soon add that concoction of backyard-grown romaine, local strawberries, honey and water to her menu offerings at blove.ca.
In May, Maccaroni opened B.Love, believed to be Hamilton’s first raw food catering business. B.Love caters, delivers weekly meals to clients and offers classes to teach people how to eat raw.
There’s a market for those who want good nutritious raw food meals but don’t have the time or inclination to prepare it themselves, she said.
“It’s this thinking of ‘Please, someone make me healthy foods’!” she said. “We’re accustomed to fast food, fast pace . . . This is definitely slow food . . . I get to help people make nourishing choices.”
The raw food diet, also known as the live food diet or rawism, calls on people to eat whole, uncooked, unprocessed and preferably organic foods.
Mainstay foods include fruits, vegetables, especially leafy greens, nuts, seeds, sprouts and herbs. Some eat raw meat and fish, although a vegan approach is more common.
Raw foodists believe that cooking foods above 42 C (118 F) changes the composition of the foods and kills valuable nutrients and enzymes that help you digest food.
With help from her sister, Kathryn Guerriero, they prepare all foods in the certified in-house kitchen of Maccaroni’s home.
From almond burgers and zucchini noodle lasagna as entrees to sweet candied walnuts and, yes, even macaroons and blondies as treats, the menu is varied and changes according to what’s in season. The operation is small but continues to grow every week. B.Love has a steady roster of about 20 clients who buy weekly food shares at a minimum of $45 a week.
Katie McClelland, owner of De La Sol Yoga, spends about $125 weekly on B.Love food shares.
Her favourite entree is the almond burgers, which come with cashew cheese and ground mustard, wrapped in a collard leaf.
“It’s so good. It completely replaces a full meal.”
McClelland’s boyfriend has been eating raw foods for about seven months while she would eat raw foods about half the time.