Good morning all! I can’t believe how many positive responses I got on my last post! I’m so excited that you were all intrigued by the photos I shared and I got a few requests! The recipe that got the most attention was my raw strawberry cream cake. And while it is killing me not to share it with you all, I have it saved for a special little blog event coming up soon so you’ll all have to wait just a little longer for that one. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right? ;)
While I eat a lot of vegetables and savoury foods in my daily life, I tend to get really excited about dessert, snack and breakfast recipes. AKA recipes that are sweet! I just have way more fun creating them in my head, cranking them out, photographing and sharing them with you all. Maybe it’s something about creating a healthy option for meals that can be traditionally very unhealthy. But that’s just how I am!
However there is a small problem with this- this blog is called the veggie nook! Veggies! (Maybe I should think about changing the name of this blog?)
So, today I’m going to take a break from the sweets (but don’t worry there’s lots of sweet to come!) and show some delicious ways to prepare raw vegetables so it feels like you are eating them cooked! Both of these gave me the feeling sweet recipes usually do because they are super delicious and very nutritionally sound. One yields immediate results, while the other requires a little advance planning.
I have to admit, I have never been the biggest fan of raw vegetables (I know, I’m a terrible veg*n!). When the vegetable and dip platter was presented at parties and get-togethers I would always eat the same two vegetables (tomatoes and carrots) and leave the rest alone. Raw broccoli and cauliflower- BLEH! While I have overcome my fear of raw vegetables to a certain extent, raw bell peppers are now my favourite, there are still some I greatly dislike raw (including the above mentioned) and I know many other people do as well.
This is a shame because raw vegetables are very healthy for you! Since you are not exposing them to any heat, the nutrients remain intact, as do the naturally occurring enzymes in the food. This means that the nutrients in the vegetables are more easily assimilated into your body! You get more nutrition from the same quantity of vegetables. I love this idea because since I choose high quality, organic vegetables, I want to make sure I am getting the biggest bang for my buck!
The first recipe I’ll share is one for a massaged kale salad. If you have never massaged your kale before, I urge you to try! Yes it sounds a little ridiculous and I felt silly the first time I set out to do it, but it really transforms the kale from it’s bitter, tough self into a flavourful, tender green! It’s also really easy too, and as long as you don’t mind getting a little messy, it can be done in a few minutes.
Massaged Kale with Avocado and Nutritional Yeast Dressing (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free and Raw)
This uses about 2/3 bunch of kale, or enough for 2 people!
- 2/3 bunch of kale, leaves removed from stalks and torn into small pieces
- 1 avocado, mashed
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp oil (I used hemp but could use olive, etc.)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce, nama shoyu, Bragg’s, etc.)- I used coconut aminos since I’m avoiding soy at the moment
- fresh ground pepper
- fresh vegetables of your choosing
- olives, capers or sundried tomatoes
Put your kale in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the pepper) and get massaging! Don’t worry about mixing the dressing ingredients beforehand- you’ll be working the kale for a little bit so everything will get incorporated then. You’ll want to massage it for a few minutes. I tend to give any especially tough areas I come across a little extra attention. You will start to notice results immediately- the kale will become brighter in colour and will decrease in volume. While results start right away, I urge you to massage it for at least 5 minutes. This was a mistake I made the first time I tried a massaged kale salad and I wasn’t very enthused with the results.
Finish with fresh ground pepper and add salt if desired (although with the coconut aminos and nutritional yeast I found there to be enough saltiness). This salad is great when you top it with other fresh vegetables like tomatoes as well as some savoury additions like capers, olives or sundried tomatoes. Definitely include one of these as they really compliment the “cheesy”and creamy components of the salad.
The second recipe is one for raw broccoli, that was inspired by this post at Addicted to Veggies where she did this with cauliflower. I prefer broccoli so I used that and it worked like a charm! It gives the broccoli the taste and texture of being blanched of lightly steamed, without actually cooking it! I played with the proportions a little and found this was the most palatable to me. Make sure you use a nutritionally beneficial oil such as olive, avocado, hemp, almond, etc. While it would work with canola, since there is a little more oil involved that I would normally include in a vegetable side dish, you want to make sure you are getting something from it! This recipe requires a little advanced planning since you have to marinate overnight, but it’s well worth it, and super easy.
Raw “Blanched” Broccoli (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Raw)
- 1 head of broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces. Use the stalks as well! No waste here people.
- 2 tbsp oil (I used olive oil)
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag. Massage it and shake it around so all broccoli pieces are coated. Seal the bag, ensuring you get as much air out of the bag as possible and place in the fridge to marinate overnight.
Now, you can eat it right away after it’s done marinating and it’s delicious. However, if you want your broccoli warm, you can place it in a dehydrator at 115°F for an hour (or in an oven set to it’s lowest temperature with the door propped open). This is definitely a good option for cooler nights!
Now go get some veggies in you!