Ana Rusu, owner of plant-based catering and delivery company, Wild Forest Kitchen
Based in Bucharest, Romania
wildforest.co | herbs-roots.weebly.com
Tips for Raw Baking
I love raw baking, especially desserts. If you are into raw desserts, I think the best thing you can do is experiment a lot, like a lot! Read about ingredients and their nutritional values. Some nuts are hard to digest and you need to pay attention to what you are mixing in there. But it’s fun, and raw desserts can be as good as the traditional ones, if not even better. I love the freshness of the ingredients, the striking aroma and pure ingredients. Raw chocolate must be the perfect example: high quality cocoa butter, raw cacao powder, sea salt and coconut sugar—four ingredients, well ground, and you get the most luxurious chocolate o
ut here, and you can make it yourself. Isn’t that beautiful?
Underused Foods in the Kitchen
I think red cabbage and dill are quite underused when we cook. There are so many new ingredients now that we often forget about traditional ingredients. In my country, everyone is crazy about avocados or coconuts, but at the farmers market, there are some incredible red cabbages from local farmers. You can mix it with a nice dressing and some other roots, and you get a nourishing and delicious salad. Same for the dill. It must be one of my favorite herbs. It reminds me of my grandmother’s soup and baked potatoes. It’s full of vitamins K and A and has such a wonderful aroma. Why miss out on these two? It makes no sense.
Latest Food Discovery
My latest discovery must be kimchi. I’ve always had a thing about fermented foods, maybe because here, in Romania, we tend to eat pickles with every meal. Pickled cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, cauliflower— we can pickle anything. But kimchi is so special. It has so much flavor and depth. I love its sourness and “punch you in the face” flavor. I find myself very well in it as well as my cooking style. You can find a few brands that make vegan kimchi, but I would strongly recommend to make your own. The process is wonderful, and you can experiment with the flavor and create your very own kimchi style.
Double Chocolate Bread Recipe
1 cup spelt flour
½ cup rapadura sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¾ cup coconut milk
¼ cup cacao powder
Mix all the dry ingredients. Blend the apples and milk. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into a loaf pan. Garnish with almonds. Bake for 1 hour at 350°F/175°C.