Raw vegan stuffed zucchini flowers.

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Zucchini flowers. Cilantro cashew cheese. Shiitake anchovies. Shiso. Mint oil.

 

Hi guys,

I want to share with you this delicious raw recipe – stuffed zucchini flowers. Every summer I make sure I eat zucchini flowers, they are super special, so tender, fragrant and delicate.

Did you know that zucchini flowers that we harvest and eat are male flowers? Yup. Only female flowers produce zucchini fruits. Male flowers are those that we can pick and consume. They have a single, long stamen that is covered in pollen. Female flowers have a stigma with multiple stems inside. You can find these beauties at most of farmers markets during mid summer – which is NOW 🙂

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Before I learned about raw food I use to pan fry zucchini flowers, following traditional Italian recipes. This year I decided to prepare them raw to retain that sweet fragrant essence that otherwise gets destroyed by high heat.

I was truly delighted with the results! Fragrant aromatic herbs compliment so well sweetness of the flowers. And the chewy shiitake anchovy gives it a nice salty kick to balance the flavors.

Serving: about 8-10 stuffed flowers.

Ingredients:

Mushroom marinade:

1⁄2 tablespoon tamari

1 tablespoon ume vinegar

1⁄2 teaspoon olive oil

Pinch of salt.

Cheese:

3/4 c of soaked cashews (2-3 hours min)

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp lemon zest

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp water (add more if too thick)


Chopped cilantro 2 tbsp (adjust to taste)


8-10 zucchini flowers


Mint oil:

1/2 c olive oil

1/4 c mint leaves

few large spinach leaves


8-10 shiso leaves

 

First, Shiitake anchovies. *Prepare them a day before (could be then stored for couple of weeks in air tight container in the fridge). I’ve learned this recipe when I was in Maine this June with Matthew Kenney Culinary.

Clean (using a brush, no water) and slice mushrooms. I use shiitake because their texture works best here. Mix marinade ingredients together and set mushrooms in it for 15-20 min, they should absorb all the liquid. Dehydrate at 115F overnight. Texture can vary based on your preference. I like them slightly chewy not super crispy.

 

Now flowers. Do not wash them. Rather use a vegetable brush and brush off little speck of dirt etc. Using a knife cut into the flowers (long side), shake off any bugs that might have crawled inside, then gently tear off the stamen. Process all the flowers and set them aside.

Let’s prepare Cilantro cashew cheese. This is a non-fermented cheese. We will use acid and nutritional yeast to achieve that cheesy flavor. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl, and fold in chopped cilantro. Set aside.

Next Mint oil. Blend ingredients together. Strain through a fine mesh. Transfer into a squeeze bottle and store in the fridge.

Assembly:

Gently open zucchini flower, using a small spoon stuff it with cheese and a couple slivers of shiitake anchovy. Set each flower on top of a shiso leaf. Sprinkle with herb oil. Finish with mint leaves and cilantro flowers.

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Bon appétit!

 

 

 

Raw coconut mango cheesecake

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Raw desserts are my favorite. There is so much life! I like them light, fruity and pretty. I get so much energy and satisfaction that no cooked dessert can give. This recipe is very simple to prepare. It is gluten free and you can eat it any time of a day, breakfast or late dinner. To make this cheesecake you’d only need a food processor and a pan with a removable bottom. That’s it! No special skills required 🙂 Let’s dive in!

Ingredients for a 7″ cake:

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut + 2 tbsp for decoration
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 16 dates
  • 1.5 cup raw cashews
  • 5 tbsp raw coconut sugar
  • 1 young coconut
  • 2 tbsp soft raw coconut oil
  • 2 ripe mangoes
  • juice of 1/2 lime

Soak nuts for at least 4 hours in 2 separate bowls. When nuts are soaked we can start preparing the cake.

To make the base we are going blend together (in a food processor) soaked pecans, shredded coconut, oats and dates. Once the mixture comes together spread it on the bottom of a cheesecake pan.

Next step is to make the “cheese”. Rinse your food processor and set aside. First we are going to make coconut milk by blending together coconut water from a fresh coconut with its flesh. Next in the food processor blend together cashews, coconut oil, coconut sugar and freshly made coconut milk. The consistency should be like a thick cream. Process it until cashews become very creamy. Spread the cheese layer on the top of base layer. Put the cake in the freezer for a few minutes.

Last step is to prepare mango layer by simply blending 2 mangoes and lime juice into a puree. Take out the cake from the freezer and spread the last layer on top. Sprinkle the cake with remaining shredded coconut and set in a freezer for about 4-5 hours. Let it sit for 10-15 min out of the freezer before serving. Enjoy!IMG_2881IMG_2882