Five Minutes with Lauren Glucina

11 November 2017

Founder of Ascension Kitchen and New Zealand based Naturopath, Medical Herbalist and Nutritionist, Lauren Glucina believes food is the best medicine for bettering health and well-being, particularly plant foods. Here she shares how changing her food choices helped reset her life compass.

Join Lauren in the Electrolux Taste Theatre for “Good Taste” – Friday evening session (7.30 – 8.00pm).


What made you choose the path of leading a healthy life and was there a particular turning point?

Lauren Glucina: I left a career in advertising after working in the industry for ten years – it was a high stress environment and took a significant toll on my health. After some time off, I realised I needed to re-set the compass and pursue a new path in order to heal. I went back to study natural medicine and embraced a whole foods, plant-based diet, which, combined with greater work-life balance (I’m a recovering Type A!), finally let me reclaim my health.


What is something you can’t live without?

LG: Leafy greens – but particularly the bitter greens as they are so beneficial for digestion – watercress, rocket and radicchio. I love being able to pick them fresh from the garden to add to salads.


Starting the day on the right foot is so important – what do you have for breakfast on an average day?

LG: I like to eat according to the seasons and weather. Oats are an absolute staple in winter, and at the moment I’m enjoying smoothies again. I always add a decent amount of fresh berries for their antioxidants, turmeric powder for its wonderful anti-inflammatory compounds, a handful of fresh greens and a little protein powder to balance it out.


This is your first time demoing in the Electrolux Taste Theatre. Why are you excited to be a part of this year’s incredible line-up?

LG: I’m on a personal crusade to get more people cooking from scratch at home and incorporating more plant foods into their diets, so I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to inspire and educate (and maybe nerd out a little on nutrition!) at “Good Taste” – can’t wait.


Lauren shares one of her favourite recipes “Raw Chocolate Raspberry Tart” (gluten-free, vegan) with us.

To fill a loose bottom rectangle tart tin, 12cm width x 36cm length x 3cm height.


2 cups nuts (cashews, walnuts or almonds)

1 cup coconut flakes

1/2 cup dates, pitted (about 115g)

2 tablespoons cacao powder

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 teaspoons ginger powder

2 pinches coarse sea salt



1 cup cashews, soaked in water for 2-8 hours

1/4 cup nut milk

3/4 cup fresh raspberries

1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cacao powder

1/4 cup cacao butter

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 teaspoons ginger powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 pinches coarse sea salt



Place nuts in food processor and blend till they become a fine meal.

Add coconut flakes and blend till fine.

Add cacao, ginger, salt and coconut oil, blend to combine.

Add dates last one by one as motor runs, blend till well combined.

Line a rectangle tin with plastic wrap, then transfer base mixture and press into tine. Use your fingers to press the mixture right into the grooves, take time to get into the scalloped edges for the best end result. Set in freezer.



Drain the soaked cashews and add them to a blender with the maple syrup and raspberries. Blend till smooth.

Add all other ingredients and blend till combined.

Pour mixture over the base and set in the freezer.

Decorate with flowers and fresh raspberries to serve, keep in the fridge or freeze.



Taste of Auckland in partnership with Electrolux
Thursday 16th November – Sunday 19th November 2017
Western Springs, Auckland




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