Many of us like to use nuts in our raw food preparations, and restaurants and many raw food videos make heavy use of nuts, but do we actually know what nutrients those nuts add to our diet? Many folks are interested in how to follow a raw low carb diet, some want to ensure they get enough protein, others are concerned with fat content, and still others are concerned about the vitamin and mineral content of their food.
I’ve just put up a page of nutrient information for the most nutritious nuts that we can use in raw food preparation. When we look at all of the nutrients of an individual nut, and understand how it can contribute to our nutritional needs, especially in combination with other foods, we can eat more responsibly and more confidently, and be more in control of our food intake.
I have been playing around. I wanted to know about agar-agar, also known as kanten. My room-mate brought me a package of two “logs” from Japan. I had read that flakes or powder were better, so I tore up the kanten (a lot) and reduced it to small flakes/powder in my coffee grinder. Then I waited for the right recipe to appear.
Reading through my library of vegan/raw vegan books, I came across a recipe for “Swiss Cheez” in a vegan cookbook , The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook, by Joan Stepaniak. . I made the recipe as described, but I did not initially like the taste of the mix, so I added in other spices. The result I got was still not what I want, but it tastes okay on a cracker (not on its own – no way – yuck!!!) The good thing about this recipe is that it produces a slice-able cheez with a texture similar to Velveeta.
SWISS CHEEZ (adapted from a recipe in The Uncheese Cookbook by Joan Stepaniak)
1-1/2 C water
5 T kanten flakes (not raw)
1/2 C cashews
1/4 C nutritional yeast flakes (not raw)
3 T fresh lemon juice
1 T onion powder
2 t Dijon mustard
1/4 t salt
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t mustard powder
1/2 t dried dill
Bring the water and the agar flakes to a boil in a small saucepan. Lower the heat and continue to cook for 5 mins. Stir frequently. After 5 mins, turn off the heat and allow to cool for 5 mins.
Place all ingredients, including agar solution, in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour mixture into an oiled 3 C rectangular container. Cover and chill for 3 – 8 hrs.
Turn out of mold and slice.
Refrigerate in an airtight container.
When I took it out, the cheez was amazingly firm and slice-able, with a texture similar to Velveeta. When I tasted a piece of it, it tasted nasty. What can I tell you.
I left it in the refrigerator (heck! The ingredients cost me a pretty penny)
This evening, I went back to the concoction and put it on the new sunflower/flax seed crackers I made on Friday night. That was much better. Yea! I do not have to throw the whole thing out. I just need to figure out how to spice the next one. The basic part of this recipe is still valuable. I should add that my room-mate likes it as is.