Sunflower Seed “I’m Sorry” Nori Rolls

So I didn’t post for a week.

Sigh… it’s summer. Forgive me.

I was busy watching the boy get convocated, hopping town on my bike to catch as much NXNE as one borrowed press pass can allow, plus plain ol’ workin and schoolworkin’.

I used to think cookies were the best way to say “I’m sorry.”

Today, however, I think these will do just fine.

Remember last week, when I spent Saturday mauing (sp?) down on Raw Nori Rolls at the Raw Vegan Fest?

I knew they’d be perfect for a recreation in my kitch. Nut and seed pâtés are a stupidly easy way to add some protein, heartiness, and flavour to any dish, and since sunflower seeds often go otherwise overlooked, I figured this would be a great chance for them to get out of their shells (note to self: stop writing after 1 a.m.)..

You might ask why I advise soaking nuts and seeds. (You might, if you don’t just do everything I say with reckless abandon.) Well, if that’s what you’re asking, here’s the semi-scientific rationale:

Soaking releases the enzyme inhibitors in nuts and seeds that basically make them challenge your body’s digestion and absorption. Thus, if you want maximum nutrient efficiency and happy tummy times (and who doesn’t?!), always soak your nuts and seeds, then rinse them well!

Here’s a handy dandy guide to ideal soaking times:

And once you’ve done the soaking, you’re just a few minutes a way from eating these!

Sunflower Seed Pâté Raw Rolls (raw, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free)

For the pâté:

1/2 cup sunflower seeds, soaked and rinsed

1/4 cup almonds, soaked and rinsed

1 carrot, chopped roughly

2 tbsp chopped onion

2 tbsp tamari, nama shoyu, or bragg’s liquid aminos (or plain ol’ soy sauce)

handful of parsley

juice of half a lemon

sea salt, to taste

Place all ingredients in a food processor and combine to desired consistency. If you can make ahead, do—the flavours come together once they’ve sat around together for awhile. You know—camraderie.

For the rolls:

Sheets of Nori (Sushi wrappers)

Sprouts (Pea or sunflower sprouts would be nice)

Sesame seeds

Chia, optional

Spread 3 tbsp of the pâté on the non-shiny side of the nori, about 1/3 of the way up. Pile with sprouts. Roll up like sushi, using water to seal the edge of the nori. Chop into rolls (note: it helps to wet your knife!), and sprinkle sides with sesame seeds and whole black chia seeds for garnish. Serve sushi-style with pickled ginger, wasabi, and soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos.

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Crispy Carrot Crust Pizza: Part 1

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)

Ingredients:

2 cups flax seeds

3 carrots, chopped roughly

3 cloves minced garlic

1 tablespoon sea salt

Directions:

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!