Matthew Knoefler doesn’t own a stove or an oven, and he uses his microwave to store spices. Although he technically doesn’t “cook” much of his food, he is the focus of this month’s “Real Cooks” because his culinary creativity sets him apart from other residents of Milton-Freewater.

Matthew invented the “Fresh Foods Diet,” meaning, he eats a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and nuts and seeds, very few of which are heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit. As a self-taught cook, he is passionate when it comes to sharing his food philosophy with other people.

After touring his extensive garden, I watched as he washed, sliced and blended three courses of Fresh Foods. What was most surprising about the pears with blueberry cream, the green smoothie and the salad with Matthew’s signature hot dressing, was how delicious and filling they turned out to be. After tasting his food and listening to his story, I was a believer in Fresh Foods. 

LIFESTYLES: When did you start

this diet?

MATTHEW: I’ve been doing this for about eight years. I had asthma. I had been in an auto accident, and I was on painkillers. And it just wasn’t working for me anymore. The painkillers ended up making me sick because I was so toxic. People have healed themselves from diseases with clean diets.

LIFESTYLES: So your diet is mainly raw?

MATTHEW: For a while I was 100 percent raw. It made feel the best, but I found that I can cook some foods and feel fine. It fits the bill for the people who don’t want to eat everything cold all the time.

LIFESTYLES: What is the most

rewarding part?

MATTHEW: I think, the flavor. A lot of the time, when we cook things what we smell is the flavor that we are losing, and then we have to add things. Also, I feel light after I eat. I notice that I feel good. I don’t feel like I need a nap.

LIFESTYLES: Earlier in the meal you said a special grace. Does religion play a part in your diet? 

MATTHEW: Before I was eating fresh foods, I wasn’t really into religion. That changed for me. My mind sort of cleaned up from doing the fresh foods, fasting and cleansing. Our bodies are the temples of God. The Bible says that we are supposed to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. It’s not that much of a sacrifice if we’re giving our bodies and they’re diseased and sick.

LIFESTYLES: What about “local”

and “organic”?

MATTHEW: It’s so important for everybody to grow everything they can because you know what’s gone into that. You know where the seeds came from. And our food just tastes better when it’s fresh. “Fresh,” like “out of our garden” fresh.

LIFESTYLES: Great! How do you

get started?

MATTHEW: I would say, eat an apple. That’s God’s fast food. People overlook what’s in front of them. It’s simple.

PEACHES AND BLUEBERRY CREAM

Servings: 4

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 tablespoon hemp seeds

1 tablespoon coconut oil or coconut cream

1 tablespoon honey

Tiny pinch Celtic sea salt

2 scoops (84 mg) KAL Pure Stevia Extract or to taste

4 to 6 ounces water

1/2 quart organic blueberries (frozen)

4 fresh, ripe organic peaches, peeled and cubed

In a high-speed blender, put all the ingredients, except the blueberries and the peaches, and blend until smooth, cleaning the sides of the blender as you go. (This needs to be almost extremely sweet to taste.) Add frozen blueberries, and blend again till smooth. Pour blueberry cream over peaches. Serve immediately.

Notes: For extra thickness, add one extra tablespoon of chia seeds. If you don’t have Stevia, add extra honey for sweetness. This wonderful blueberry cream can easily be poured over many other fruits, when in season.

Celtic sea salt and KAL Stevia Extract can be found at Andy’s Market and at Super 1 Foods.

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