Honest Staff Takes a Raw Foods Workshop at the Matthew Kenney Academy

Honest Staff Takes a Raw Foods Workshop at the Matthew Kenney Academy

A group of Honest staff members attended an eye-opening (and delicious) raw foods workshop at The Matthew Kenney Academy, located in the heart of Santa Monica. The academy is the nation’s first and only classically structured raw and living foods educational center in the world. They had the privilege of learning about raw cooking from three amazing instructors, one of whom being Meredith Baird, creative director for the Matthew Kenney Lifestyle Brand. Meredith writes cookbooks, opens restaurants, and guest blogs on PureMamas (and our blog!) in addition to teaching at the academy. The other instructors Sean Murray and Jasie Costigan had endless patience with newbie cooks in the Honest group and were kind and helpful throughout the weekend-long course.

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One of the great things about raw food is that you don’t have to worry about your food not being healthy or feel guilty about it later. It may seem labor intensive, but raw "cooking" is a lot easier than it looks if you stick with a few simple raw recipes. For more details, and even more recipes, you can buy Matthew and Meredith's book Everyday Raw Detox. Below are some of the favorite tips, tricks, and recipes from the weekend intensive.

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Chia Pudding

Why this is a great meal: Adding chia seeds to your diet is an easy way for you to get a healthy amount of  fiber, which is important for digestive health. You can load-up on omega-3's and it is easier to digest than flax seeds. It is great for helping you feel full for longer periods of time, helps maintain healthy bones and teeth, and is just plain delicious.

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  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup nut milk of choice (we used Brazil nut milk)
  • 1 soft date, pitted (for sweetener)
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


Blend together nut milk, sweetener, banana, vanilla, and salt. It starts out as a pure liquid, and then pour chia seeds in an even top coat over liquid. Stir thoroughly, and soak for 30 mins to 1 hour in the refrigerator, allowing the chia to set up and give it a pudding-like texture. Portion 3/4 cup into a parfait glass or small bowl and top with fruit. Some of the Honest students topped theirs with goji berries and bee pollen for extra nutrients.

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Pear-licious Smoothie

Why this is a great meal: This delicious and filling smoothie is a great way to start the day! It would also be delightful as a mid-afternoon snack. It is extremely cleansing and rich in beneficial healthy fats. Pears are great because they contain less sugar than richer tropical fruits.


  • 1 pear, peeled, seeded, and cubed (you don't necessarily need to peel, we didn't and it was perfect, just depends on the texture you want because removing the peel makes for a smoother drink)
  • 1 avocado, peeled and pitted (we used half an avocado and it was just right, but if you like a thicker drink, use the whole avocado)
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter
  • 1-1/2 cups of coconut water or nut milk of choice
  • 1 tablespoon Green powder (optional - in class we used green powder from a local company called Quantum Nutrition Labs)
  • Pinch of sea salt

Blend ingredients together and enjoy!

pear smoothie


Kale Walnut Salad

Why this is a great meal: It is a wonderful light lunch or dinner dish. This salad is packed full of nutrients and contains additional flavors with apples and walnuts. Also, massaging the kale makes all the difference!


  • 1/2 large head kale, stalks removed and thinly sliced or torn (Tip: Make sure to massage the kale. This makes it easier to eat and digest.)
  • 2-3 leaves Swiss chard, stalks removed and thinly sliced or torn
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil or walnut oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 apple (preferably Gala)
  • 1/2 cup inca berries or mulberries, chopped


It is important to make the walnut medley separate, then add to salad for optimal taste.

  • 1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, oregano, dill or favorite herb of choice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil or walnut oil
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


Massage kale and Swiss chard with olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and salt to break down the fibers, making it more pleasant to eat, and easier to digest. Once the greens are wilted, add in apple and berries. Prepare the walnuts by tossing them in a separate bowl with the thyme, oil, salt and pepper, then add to salad (making the walnut medley separately helps to achieve best results). Add salt to taste.

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Milk Chocolate Custard

Why this meal is great: It is a nutrient-packed dessert that the kiddos will love (and you will too)!

Date Paste Ingredients

  • 1 cup dates, pitted
  • Enough water to blend (1/2 cup water worked for the Honest cooks)


Blend these ingredients together until they reach an applesauce-like consistency. This should yield about 1/2 cup of paste that can be used directly with other ingredients. Making the paste first means you can just throw the other ingredients in on top of it in the next step!

Custard Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup nut/seed milk (Tip: It can be adjusted to be coconut and nut free.)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup date paste
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • Pinch salt


Add cacao powder last, blend until smooth. Serve in chilled glasses or bowls. Try adding sea salt on top for a great balance of flavors. This dessert is also great to freeze and make as fudgesicles.

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These are just a few recipes from Matthew and Meredith's book, Everyday Raw Detox. Be sure to check out the book for these recipes and more!

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We want to thank the Matthew Kenney Academy for hosting us and teaching us so much about what food can do for your body and health. You don’t have to adopt a completely raw diet to reap the benefits. Making small changes is all it takes. If you are interested in

attending the course you can sign up by clicking here.

Do you incorporate raw recipes into your diet? Share some of your faves in the comments!

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.