After nearly three years of wishing, yearning, longing, pining, and desperately hoping to gain immediate access to a dehydrator, I’ve finally had one of my utmost culinary wishes fulfilled after moving into the Vassar campus’ vegan/vegetarian egalitarian housing cooperative known as Ferry House. One of Ferry’s past members left her old Excalibur dehydrator in the house after moving out, and I ecstatically unearthed the dust-gathering appliance from the Ferry pantry the other day (aka, the happiest day of my life). Now armed with the necessary equipment as well as a freezer full of almond and vegetable pulp leftover from homemaking almond milk and juice, I set out to create my very own raw bread as my first authentic dehydration endeavor.
A while back, I crafted a savory green juice, loosely inspired by the bloody mary drink, of kale, tomatoes, red bell peppers, and carrots. Combining the frozen pulp of this juice with fluffy almond pulp, a couple of my favorite umami seasonings, and flaxmeal for binding yielded a deeply flavored, veggie-packed, verdant raw bread that spoke to me as the essence of hot-weather food. Inspired to create a raw variation of the finger sandwiches that one might enjoy at a white-gloved garden party, I naturally had to whip up a brightly flavored cashew cream cheese to spread on the bread. Finally, playing off of the unctuous umami flavors in the bread, I decided to marinate a couple of sliced mushrooms in the ever-famous Liquid Gold Dressing and slightly dehydrate them to achieve a chewy, meaty texture.
From the combination of these three recipes ensued one of the most flavorful, fresh, and satisfying raw sandwiches I’ve ever had the pleasure of enjoying; I plan on crafting oodles more raw sandwiches in the coming dehydrator-filled weeks. If you don’t, however, own a dehydrator, you can still enjoy this and other fabulous raw sandwiches by following my instructions for How to Dehydrate Without a Dehydrator. Also, if you don’t have a surplus of almond and veggie pulp, you can use ground almonds and a blend of shredded vegetables (such as zucchini and carrots) squeezed of excess moisture instead.
Raw Garden Vegetable Sandwiches with Scallion Cashew Cream Cheese & Marinated Mushrooms—Raw, Soy Free, Low Sodium.
Makes 3 sandwiches.
Raw Bread Ingredients:
1 cup almond pulp (thawed if frozen)
1 1/2 cups vegetable juice pulp (I used a blend of kale, red bell peppers, tomatoes, and carrots; thawed if frozen)
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp miso
2 tbsp chia seeds
2-4 tbsp water to blend
Scallion Cashew Cream Cheese Ingredients:
1/2 cup cashews, soaked overnight (or for at least 2 hours)
1/4-1/3 cup water
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp miso
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 scallions, white parts only, sliced
Marinated Mushrooms Ingredients:
6 large button mushrooms, thinly sliced
6-8 tbsp Liquid Gold Dressing
Ingredients for Assembly:
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
3 large leaves of lettuce
Raw Bread Directions:
Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, adding just enough water to facilitate blending. Spread the mixture evenly onto a Teflex-lined dehydrator sheet and score into 6 rectangles. Dehydrate at 115°F for 6 hours or until dry and crunchy, flipping once about halfway through the dehydration time. Once dry, carefully remove the bread from the dehydrator sheets and snap along the score lines to separate into six pieces.
Alternatively, if you don’t own a dehydrator, you can use your oven to dehydrate the crackers by following my instructions for How to Dehydrate Without a Dehydrator.
Scallion Cashew Cream Cheese Directions:
Combine all of the ingredients except scallions in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the sliced scallions and blend until just incorporated. Refrigerate until thickened.
Marinated Mushrooms Directions:
Place the sliced mushrooms in a medium bowl and toss to coat with the Liquid Gold Dressing. You can now do one of two things: allow the mushrooms to sit in the marinade for 2-4 hours until softened, or place the coated mushrooms on a Teflex-lined dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 120°F for about 1-2 hours or until the mushrooms’ texture becomes meaty and chewy.
Directions for Assembly:
Spread about a tablepoon of the cashew cream cheese evenly onto one slice of bread. Layer on two slices of tomato, a leaf of lettuce, and 1/3 of the marinated mushrooms, then top with another slice of bread spread with another tablespoon of cashew cream cheese. Repeat to make two more sandwiches.
Until next time, Ali.