Natural eating with Muncherie

27 Oct 2016
4 min read
FOUR speaks to Natasha Stephenson, the brains behind Dubai’s latest healthy and natural food producers, Muncherie…

Where were you born and where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in Estonia

Where did you get your inspiration from for the Muncherie project?

The concept of Muncherie came about a while back with my own personal experience with food sensitivities and being unable to have desserts due to their ingredients.I started to experiment with healthy desserts first at home, which eventually got me into raw desserts free of allergens like dairy, gluten or toxic refined sugar. Great news were that raw desserts simply tastedbetter and were so easy to make. I started sharingmy creations with friends at first, I then had theurge to share thiswith more and more people like me with food sensitivities who had do deprive of sweet pleasures too.I have worked with one of the best Raw Chefs in the UK who taught me a lot about raw foods.Then it all evolved into something much bigger and now we have a wide range of retail products available across UAE. It is not just about intolerances anymore, it is also about convenience and great taste; nourishing your body on-the-go while tickling the taste buds. This is what we thrive for at Muncherie.

Why do you feel that this approach to eating is important and needs to be addressed?

We love munching and we believe that an organic plant-based diet is the way forward. Chemicals, additives, and pesticides really have no place in our food. So we had this idea to make unforgettably delicious superfood snacks from fruit, nuts, and other natural ingredients that can be affordable and available to everyone in the UAE and beyond.

Our main focus is on all natural ingredients in all our products which are 100% free from Gluten, Dairy and Refined Sugar.

Why no gluten? Gluten is a protein that is quite difficult to digest which puts a stress on your digestive as well as immune system. “Brain fog, bloating, and headaches should go away as soon as gluten is eliminated from the diet. “Many people feel remarkably better.” Some look better, too, since gluten sensitivity can trigger an inflammatory response that leads to acne, rosacea, or eczema.

Why no dairy? If you have lactose intolerance, you’re going to feel a whole lot better without it. Real fast. 90% of the people do have intolerance but just don’t know about it. Body shows it through different body signals that is hard to link to this particular sensitivity. And you may even be able to zip your jeggings. Less gas! A flatter belly! And even if you don’t deflate, your heartburn or headaches could clear up. Your skin will improve and your energy levels will dramatically increase. “Hormones in milk increase the level of androgens in your body, and that triggers the production of oils that clog pores.” Moreover, the sugar in dairy products causes the body to release insulin-like growth factor, which triggers inflammation and breaks down collagen and elastin. So ditching dairy may help stall the signs of aging for a while longer.

Why no sugar? We all know sugar is really bad for us. It can have harmful effects on metabolism and contribute to all sorts of diseases. Sugar is empty calories that’s are highly acidic, but unfortunately are added almost everywhere. We are sugar rebels and focusing on creating a great taste without it.

Is this something that had a particular gap in the market in UAE, or is it an area that is on an increase everywhere?

All natural food market is a growing market worldwide but countries as Australia, UK and other European countries already way ahead UAE. We are actually the first all natural food manufacturing company born in GCC and we expect demand growing dramatically for locally produced organic healthy retail products in the next few years.

What lasting impression do you hope people with get from the products you sell?

All treats we make really are of the highest quality. We only produce 100% organic, unprocessed, gluten free, mostly raw, vegan pleasures. We strongly rebel against the likes of refined sugars, preservatives, and all other nasties … so all our healthy creations can be consumed without the slightest trace of guilt. All that means well-nourished body, healthy digestion, great nutrient absorption, strong immune system and happy moods.

Why do you think it is important to champion healthy eating?

Everyone has guilty cravings. But rather than chomping down empty calories, we believe food and drinks need to be a delicious nutritional powerhouse. If we mess with nature’s ingredients, the enzymes that natural foods contain get destroyed or altered. That includes doing things like baking, frying, or heating food above 47 Celsius. That’s why we only ever dehydrate or cold-press our snacks and drinks, to preserve the naturally rich nutritional value. Raw foods are bursting with vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants and nutritional value and we like to keep it same way nature intended. Raw food like nuts, fruit, and vegetables can help with weight loss. Or that you get a lovely healthy glow to your skin, or that you bounce off the walls with all that extra energy. We’re not saying you should go for a 100% raw diet, but we definitely believe that lovely indulgent snacks should make you smile from the inside too.

Top FOUR Muncherie products?

Cold-pressed Creamy Choco Maca’chino. Dehydrated Cheeze & Onion Kale Chips. Hazelnut flavoured Coconut Yoghurt. Raw Vegan Paleo Nutella Tart.

Do you have any future projects lined-up you could tell us about?

Yes we are currently working on developing our Dairy Free Ice Cream Alternative which will be Cashew and Coconut Milk based, high in protein and completely refined sugar free.

In terms of top healthy food trends, what is hot on your radar at the moment?

Maca. Matcha. Turemeric. All 3 of them are energy and immune boosting superfoods. We use Maca in one of our cold-pressed mylks and planning to launch next product with other 2 of the above legendary ingredients.

Canyou give us any Muncherie product pairing suggestions that are perhaps a little unusual, or just unexpectedly spectacular?

Our Kale Chips go fantastically well when sprinkled over soup or a salad. Its crunchiness and antioxidants packed nature guarantees a perfectly combined dish.

Find out more about Muncherie and its all-natural products here |