Remember that time I posted a picture of a raw pizza that looked kinda delicious and drool-worthy?
Yeah. That one.
Well first off—it is that good (if I do say so myself). And secondly, it’s surprisingly easy to make—just so long as you have a food processor. (I bought mine on sale at Canadian Tire for $40 in the summer and never looked back.)
Raw food is gaining popularity as people seek it out for it’s natural health benefits. Basically, raw foods are supremely good for you because they retains all of the enzymes that are destroyed when food is cooked or heated—enzymes being the active parts of food that do good work inside of you including nutrients and minerals. Raw food is never heated higher that about 104 °F (40 °C)—so no ovens, stovetops, deepfryers, and definitely no microwaves. Since the enzymes in food remain intact, most people find it easier to digest, not to mention that (most) raw foods are gluten-free and dairy-free, a bonus for easy digestion.
Raw food, however, does require quite a bit of think-ahead prep work. Soaking, sprouting, and dehydrating are commonly overnight or day-long processes. But I can assure you they’re worth it.
I like a thin-crust pizza so that’s how I made mine. You could certainly make a deep-dish version of your own, just leave some extra time to heat this puppy.
Wait, heat? Yup—while raw food can’t be cooked, it can be warmed and for that most use a dehydrator, the same thing used to make fruit leathers, beef jerky, sun-dried tomatoes, etc. Food out of the dehyrdator will be warm, but not hot, and all enzymes remain intact. Unfortunately dehydrators can be expensive and quite bulky, so they’re an investment only if you will use them a lot. I’m not there, yet, so I use a little trick of the trade—my oven has a “warm” setting which heats to 150 °F. Once it reaches that temperature, I simply turn off the oven and put in my goodies. Easy! I’ve heard of others propping the oven door open with a wooden spoon to keep it cool. If that’s too risky or you don’t want to waste all the heat, most raw recipes can simply be cooked in a normal oven, just without the benefits of the results being raw.
If you do have a food processor, this is probably the easiest thing you’ll ever make. You only need patience, young grasshopper.
Carrot-Flax Pizza Crust or Crackers (raw, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free)
(adapted from Mama in the Kitchen)
2 cups flax seeds
3 carrots, chopped roughly
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon sea salt
Soak the flax seeds overnight (or about 8 hours) in 2 cups of water. (This helps them to thicken up and make a gel-like consistency to create a binding agent for the crust—flax “gel” takes the place of eggs in many vegan recipes.)
In food processor, combine soaked flax seeds, carrots, garlic, and sea salt and blend until desired consistency.
On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, spread the mixture flat with a spatula until desired thickness (or on a dehydrator and teflex sheet, if you have them). Warm for 6 hours, peel off mixture and flip over onto a fresh sheet of parchment paper, and warm another 6 hours. If you want crackers, score the mixture into desired size with a knife after it is flipped.
Store in the fridge. Keeps for 10-14 days.
You can eat this plain, spread with hummus, make into a sandwich with avocado, sprouts, and peppers, or wait for the pizza and raw, vegan cheese recipe that will follow later this week!