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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Crackers, Curry, and Crackin’ Open the Books

My biggest, er, beef when it comes to raw foods?

When they try and be something they’re not.

I remember my first experience back at Live Food Bar, where the menu was full of a plethora of raw options, but most memorable were a few off-putting dishes like the raw, vegan “TV Dinner,” the Liver ‘n’ Onions, the “Neat”loaf. C’mon, raw foods, you don’t have to front with me! I like you for who you are on the inside.

My most recent trip back there was great, and while pretty much everything on the new menu did appeal to me, it was some raw crackers that I’ve seen Live sell in grocery stores before that really kicked my salivary glands into gear.

The Spicy Nori crackers have appealed to me on a few occasions, but every time I want to buy them I’m turned off by the price tag—at about a dollar a cracker, you begin to see the significance of their gold hue…

I never really thought about making them at home. Thankfully, others out there are a little more innovative than I, like Ricki of Diet, Dessert, and Dogs. She gets me. Not to mention she dedicates a great chunk of her blog to healthy, low-glycemic desserts. She really gets me.

And so she posted her take on Live’s Nori Crackers… and thus now, I shall post mine. A noble cracker, which has no desire to pretend to be anything it’s not. Enjoy!

Curry Spice Nori Crackers (Adapted from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs)

Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, raw option

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

1.5 cups pumpkin seeds

2 tbsp ground flax

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp tumeric

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander (these were the three I had on hand—if you have others, or a pre-mixed curry spice, get wild!)

1/4 cup water

1 tsp tamari or soy sauce

3 sheets of nori (the seaweed paper used for sushi)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 200 F. (For raw, use a dehydrator or set your oven to the lowest setting and prop the door open a bit with a spoon—technically, raw foods must never be heated over 104F to keep all enzymes intact)

In a food processor, pulse the onion a few times until it is finely chopped. Add in all other ingredients except the nori, and process on low until you get a chunky paste. On a parchment sheet, lay out 3 sheets of nori and gently spread the paste onto the nori sheets with a spatula. Put crackers into the oven. The heat helps caramelize the onions and turns them brown and sweet.

About 1 hour into baking and you can cut your nori sheets into cracker shapes using a pizza cutter, then bake or dehydrate them further to your liking. Some like them crispy, I like them on the softer side, so bake another 2-4 hours depending on the temperature of your oven and desired crispiness.

Spread with edamame hummus, serve with an asian-inspired salad, or pack a bag and take ’em to to the library for study snacks. That’s what I’ll be doing! Happy studies! xx

 

the “controversy” series #2: soy

just check out the ingredients on this bad boy.

Gawd, I hate to do this one. I finally acquired a taste for tofu. Not only that, but soy’s in EVERYTHING.

… But that’s it, right? Soy’s in EVERYTHING. Doesn’t that make you question how it’s a so-called ‘health food?” If it really were so awesome for you, wouldn’t it be expensive and used less liberally?

Think about it. Soy is a bumper crop subsidized in the U.S. by the government. Just like corn, it’s used when farmers need to give their fields a little break, so there’s a LOT of this stuff going around. And since there’s lots of it, it goes for cheap. So of course, food manufacturers want to use it, so they send it off to the lab to find 2974118 million or so ways to rearrange its particles, and sell it to look like something else, ’cause it’ll save them a buck or two. So now we’ve got soy milk, soy cheese, soy yogurt, soy protein isolates for your protein bars and powder, soy burgers, soy fake chicken, soy soap, soy fabric, soy plastic (?!), organic soy lecithin (a food stabilizer and emulsifer), texturized soy protein (ew!), and the list goes on. And beyond processing a soybean in weird ways, it continues to get worse.

  • Man titties: Soy is super high in phytoestrogens. Yes, like that estrogen. Independent research repeatedly says that phytoestogrens mess up your hormones, and can mean breast cancer, infertility, low libido, and more. To put in easy terms:

An infant taking the recommended amount of soy formula is consuming a hormone load equivalent of 4 birth control pills a day! Is it any wonder we’ve seen such a dramatic rise in precocious puberty with young girls starting their periods at 6 and 7?

-quote via foodrenegade.com

  • Trypsin inhibitors found in soy can mess with your digestion of protein. Now isn’t that ironic?
  • Soy foods contain aluminum and MSG, two things you do NOT want in your body.
  • Soy foods increase the body’s need for Vitamin D. And if you live in Toronto, or a basement, or have an office job? You need as much D as you can get!
  • Soy is a goitrogen, which basically means it blocks your thyroid from getting iodine and functioning properly. Ouch. Do you know what your thyroid does for you?! It regulates your mood. It regulates your weight. It helps you concentrate and remember more.. and that’s just the beginning. You can mess with the gods, you can mess with the cops, but don’t! mess! with your thyroid!
  • If this stuff doesn’t make you question dumping soy milk in your coffee every morning, check out these testimonials.

If you want to keep soy in your life, there is an alternative—make like sauerkraut and ferment that shit! The process helps keep the bad stuff (the phtytates, or mineral-blocking enzyme inhibitors) outta your system—so fermented soy products like tempeh, nori, and tamari are safe. And don’t worry about soy milk—there’s plenty of yummy alternatives, like almond, hazelnut, hemp, coconut…

Sorry about the soy. And don’t let this make you think that all health foods are scary and trendy and potentially bad! Just beware, and at least if you don’t cut it completely, use less. Try something different. Your body will thank you.