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Get to Know a Raw Food Chef

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Afke Zonderland is the enthusiastic chef behind Foods Alive. She has a passion for gourmet vegetarian food and lives an abundant and healthy lifestyle in Okanagan, British Columbia. When she's not busy in the kitchen, you can find her biking the Rocky Mountain trails in the summer or skiing the same snow-covered trails in the winter. Foods Alive products are hand-made in a second kitchen in Afke's home on a small acreage in the North Okanagan.

What inspired you to start Foods Alive?

Five years ago I opened our home to share my love for great-tasting, functional, seasonal foods. It was very much a show and tell and delicious taste experience. Manufacturing Krumbleez (made up of sprouted nuts, fruit and seeds that are gluten and dairy free) and Crisps (think Apple-Sesame Flax Crisps or Chia Hemp Carrot Crisps) was a by-product of my workshops.

Dehydration is ancient knowledge and our Krumbleez and Crisps are nothing more than the pick of the crop enhanced by sprouting and soaking and then removing the water content. We know that our snacks are simple and a gift to your digestion.

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What are some of the health benefits of eating raw?

Raw food is the fountain of youth. Bite by bite, guzzle by guzzle, uncooked, organic, fresh food has the highest enzyme activity. Raw food is pH balanced and oxygen-rich and the vitamins and oils are not damaged by heat. Unprocessed plant based oils are pure nectar to your brain and heart and all the great and small pipes leading up to them. Your body will regenerate and heal with perfection and you'll have tons of energy for work and play.

How do you see the future of local produce evolving?

I am excited about the change in people's thinking. Awareness teams up with desire and desire is followed by action. At some point you decide to be the change you wish to see in the world. You switch to organic produce, you get to know the farmers at the local market and really understand the logo: No farm, No food. Our products are now on the shelves of two large grocery chains under the banner "Local Food." That's exciting!

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What other projects are you working on for the next year?

We hope to expand across Canada with the help of FoodiePages! I dream about developing fabulous raw, vegan, cheese-less cakes to sell in stores.

If you had to pick one food item to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Apples! The crunch is perfect, the juice is sweet and they dry beautifully!

Rapid Fire Questions:

Your favourite Foods Alive product?

Carrot Crisps topped with a slice of avocado, cashew dill spread and tomato or cucumber.

Must-have guilty pleasure?

Organic Fair Trade chocolate. No guilt...

Greatest meal you ever ate?

Last week in our own dining room! I was hungry from a long bike ride and found perfectly sized pattypan zucchinis in the garden. I hollowed them out and filled them with a mix of finely chopped hot, garlicky salsa ingredients. Then I added goat feta and another slice of tomato. A slow roast et voila! A feast for the eye and so delicious. So you see, I do eat cooked food and I have a soft spot for goat cheese.