Confession time: raw food is not really my thing. And I don’t mean salads or smoothies or just munching on fruit or veggie sticks or nuts. That doesn’t count and those I love. And I love different types of quick and easy breakfast ideas, like energy balls or muffins that you can just whip together.
What I mean here is taking something that you feel like should be cooked, for example a soup or maybe a stir-fry and making it raw, or as you may have learned from the recent cookbook review I wrote on “Raw Vegan”, without using temperatures above 150F.
And yet: couple of things I tried actually changed my mind on perhaps not all types of raw food recipes, but definitely on a handful of them. One of the raw foods I like is this quick and super easy and super raw take on spaghetti and marinara sauce.
Speaking of which, the no-cook sauce did need some development to make into something that does not taste like you are just chugging down some canned tomatoes. Adding canned beans (I suppose this may disqualify the recipe from being technically “raw food” but it’s as raw as this one will get) to boost the protein, flavor and creaminess, and adding nutritional yeast really made the flavors pop!
Try this sauce with other things as well, and you will not feel like you are missing anything. For this specific pasta dish, topping everything with some chopped olives (I recommend Kalamata here as they are a bit edgy) will make a great dish even better. Enjoy!
Raw Zucchini Pasta with No-Cook Tomato Marinara Sauce
What you’ll need:
4 large zucchini, spiralized
1 28 oz (800 g) can crushed tomatoes
1 15.5 oz (440 g) can white canelini beans
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon umami spice mix or 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
kalamata olives, sliced, for serving
What you’ll do:
Place all the sauce ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth, which should take about a minute.
Pour the sauce over the spiralized zucchini and toss well to combine.
Serve immediately topped with sliced olives and enjoy!!!
Few Sundays ago, I shared with you my impressions of a new cookbook on the vegan block – “Modern Raw: Healthy Raw Vegan Meals for a Balanced Life” by Rachel Carr. I’ve been wanting to cut down on cooking for some time, and especially during the summer, so this cookbook came to me in just the right moment. You can read more about my views and check out a recipe kindly provided by the publisher here.
Needless to say, inspired by the raw vegan strategy Rachel outlined, I jumped at the opportunity to start making my own raw experiments. I started with a breakfast item, and a pasta recipe, mostly because many people trying to follow plant-based eating find breakfast to be the most challenging meal, and because I couldn’t imagine that you can have pasta without cooking!
The muffins below are great – sweet without any added sugar, and ready without baking. If you told me that this is possible, I would have rejected your suggestion. Now, of course, I know better, and these muffins – although not having a texture of any muffin you ever tried before – are packed with good-for-you energy and will carry you through your morning.
They are made of carrots, apples, raisins and rolled oats – four ingredients only! And need a bit of help from cinnamon and nutmeg! You need a food processor to make them, since there’s lot of grating and I don’t recommend you undertake this process by hand. And there is also a bit of waiting for these muffins to firm up and come together, so it’s best to make them an evening ahead and them enjoy them for breakfast the next day!
Raw Energy Oatmeal Raisin Muffins, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow
Raw Energy Oatmeal Raisin Muffins
What you’ll need:
2 apples, cored (Granny Smith, MacIntosh, Pink Lady work best)
3 extra-large carrots, peeled
1 cup raisins
2 cups rolled oats, divided
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
12 walnut halves, optional
What you’ll do:
Using a fine shredding attachment on your food processor or hand-held grater, grate the apples and carrots. Transfer them into a large mixing bowl.
Change the food processor’s attachment to S-blade, then combine 1 cup of rolled oats and raisins. Pulse until finely ground.
Combine with the grated carrots and apples, add the rest of the ingredients (all except walnut halves), and mix well using your hands to help the juices release and combine. Don’t worry if the mix feels wet – oats will absorb some of the excess moisture later. Depending on the exact variety of apples you use, you may end up with a bit too wet of a dough. In that case add 1/4 – 1/2 cup more oats.
Line the muffin pan with the same baking liners you would use for your muffins or cupcakes. Scoop about 1/4 cup of the mix into each muffin holder. Pack in the dough by pressing with your fingers. Top each muffin with a walnut half, or top with rolled oats, or couple of raisin. You can also skip the topping or mix-and-match.
Leave the muffins in the fridge for couple of hours to form up. Before serving take them out and let them come to room temperature – this will take 15 minutes or so. The muffins should slide out of the wrappers with easy and hold well together. If they don’t, you may want to add a bit more ground rolled oats into your dough next time. However, if they do, you will have a delicious, no-bake muffin on your hands – a great way to start your day. Enjoy!