Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Before going raw, I always found a lot of joy in bread. I love picking out an artisanal loaf, or baking a special recipe myself. Most of all, I loved the simple pleasure of a sandwich, slathered with mustard and stuffed with salad.
Good new for raw foodies - bread is back! I guess it was never really gone, but my dehydrator was out of commission for a while, so I've been sadly sandwichless. Now that my dehydrator is sitting happily on my kitchen bench, plugged in and humming softly (a constant background noise that I've grown to love), I'm unbaking up a storm.
The first recipe I tried was the Sweet Onion & Thyme Bread from the RawforLife Blog. Wow, was this delicious, and easy to boot! I didn't have thyme on hand so I simply left it out. As soon as it was done, I made a little open-faced sandwich for lunch (see the photo at the top of the page). It was so satisfying that I'll admit I went back for seconds.
With my first unbaking success under my belt, I decided it was time to get a little more creative. I borrowed Debbie's base concept - sunflower seeds, flax seeds, olive oil, and water - and experimented with some other flavors. Recalling the lovely marriage of flavors that was 101Cookbook's Roasted Pumpkin and Onion Salad, which I made for my Vegan Thanksgiving feast, I opted to combine similar ingredients into a bread. Pumpkin, red onion, and coriander all manage to balance sweet and savory elements so perfectly. This bread took a lot longer in the dehydrator, as the pumpkin was quite moist, but the result was a really soft-textured bread that was amazing spread with some ripe avocado and topped with a few sprouts. Or divine j ust on its own.
And what fun would baking be without a little sweet treat thrown in there? Since I had the dehydrator going anyway, I whipped up some oatmeal cookies with ingredients that I had on hand and popped them in. A couple of these make a lovely, satisfying afternoon snack, jam-packed with energy.
All of these goodies, and not a drop of flour on my clothing! I think this is just the beginning of my adventures in unbaking.
Sweet & Savory Pumpkin, Onion and Coriander Bread
1 1/2 cups pumpkin, chopped
1/2 cup flaxseed, ground in coffee/spice grinder
1/2 cups sunflower seeds, ground in coffee/spice grinder
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup fresh coriander
1 small red onion
juice of 1/2 large lemon
1 1/4 tsp salt
Whir pumpkin in food processor until it is very finely chopped (2-3 minutes). Add ground flaxseed, sunflower seeds, olive oil, water, lemon juice and salt, and blend until smooth and uniform. Add coriander and blend for another 20-30 seconds until well mixed. Remove to a large bowl.
Cut the onion in half. Leaving the stem-end in tact, cut it in half again (so quarters, but still connected at the stem end for easy chopping). Slice the onion as thinly as you possibly can. Mix the onion into the pumpkin mixture by hand. You will have a very wet dough.
Spread your aromatic dough thickly over one dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate at 41-45 degrees C for about 12 hours. Invert your bread onto another tray and, if possible, peel off the sheet (I found that I had to leave the sheet on for another few hours). Dehydrate on the other side another 12 hours. If still too soft, flip and dehydrate a few more hours. At 41 degrees, the whole process took about 25 hours for me, and the bread was still quite soft but held together fine.
Enjoy plain or topped with some ripe avocado, tomato, and sprouts.
Jess's Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup dates, soaked in water for 1/2 hour and drained
1/2 cup almonds, soaked overnight if you like*
1/2 cup walnuts, soaked overnight if you like*
1/4 cup flaxseed, ground in coffee/spice grinder to powder
2 Tbsp raw honey
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup raw rolled oats
3/4 cup water
In food processor, combine dates, almonds, walnuts, flaxseed meal, honey, cinnamon and vanilla, adding water as necessary. Remove to a bowl and stir in oats.
With wet hands so the dough doesn't stick, form dough into cookie shape (I use a soup spoon to get a uniform size). Place on lined dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 41 degrees C for 8 hours, or until the cookies are relatively firm (but still yield slightly to the touch). Eat them warm from the dehydrator, or store in a sealed container at room temperature.
*I don't always soak my nuts becomes sometimes I forget to do it in advance, but if you have time it is best to do this because soaking deactivates the enzyme inhibitors in nuts and makes their nutrients more readily available. Soaked nuts = greater nutrition.