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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Raw Vegan Kalamata Olive Crostini from Ani Phyo's "Raw Food Essentials"

Kalamata Olive Crostini from Ani Phyo's "Raw Food Essentials".
With Almond Cheeze (Raw and Vegan). Ani's Crostini includes goodies like buckwheat, flax, celery and olives. 

Organic Buckwheat.
Available in Bulk at Whole Foods or Co-op.

I was craving bread so badly yesterday!  I gave up gluten and although sometimes my husband picks up the Millet Bread for me (which has a cake like texture & is super yummy!), I still try to avoid flour.  So the Millet Bread is from Millet Flour etc....I know the Ezekiel bread is the BEST because it has no flour, just sprouted grains, but it does have gluten. Yesterday I ate 1/2 a package of Poppadoms and today I figured I would make this Kalamata Olive Crostini before the entire jar of olives was eaten (by me).

I think I have nearly every single raw book ever made but there are a few that I use more than others.  And they all have "different uses".  If you want a totally stellar dessert and can pay for it (the ingredient list that is-the book itself costs less than one cheezecake), then go for the "Sweet Gratitude" book by the Engelharts.  You probably all know about Cafe Gratitude, the super hip, a little goofy, and totally delicious eatery sprinkled in different locales in the Bay Area.  I had both books before we had ever eaten there.  I have never tasted their "flour cakes", made with the Nut Flours, but my Vegan Cleopatra friend doesn't care for them too much.  Too dry she says.  However, I have made several of the cheezecakes and loved them all.  Their basic lemon cheezecake recipe rocks, and once you get the hang of how long to refrigerate it prior to cutting, you will have a very professional cheezecake on your hands.  Costly though, as the organic coconut oils, cashews (especially if you use "truly raw" and organic), and other staples will put you out a few bucks.
Yum.....think I need to revisit the cheezecakes again!
Ground Buckwheat.  I used the Vita-Mix to grind it.
You are making Raw Buckwheat Flour.  This is unheated, raw buckwheat.   You could also use a coffee grinder designated for spices.
Organic Kalamata Olives and Organic Celery.
Celery is kind of an important one to buy organic.
Luckily it is fairly common and not too pricey.

But for everyday "un-cooking", then I choose Ani Phyo's books.  She is very hip yet not pretentious.  The books basically present Raw as being fun and healthy and they aren't super preachy and don't go so far as to take cashews and mushrooms off of the menu (i.e. Gabriel Cousens, whose books I also adore).  The recipes vary in ability and kitchen equipment.  I already have all of the kitchen equipment, meaning Vita-mix, Excalibur dehydrator, and a food processor.  Her books even have symbols as to which tools you need for each recipe.  I am going to be making several dishes from her "Raw Food Essentials" book, at least while I am waiting for her new book "Ani's Raw Food Asia" that is due out in May of this year. All her recipes are gluten free, just make sure if she says Nama Shoyu that you use Wheat Free Tamari instead.  Plus Ani's books have awesome desserts also, and they are easier to make for "everyday" use.  Meaning her cheezecake probably won't set you back $30.00!

Ground Flax Seed.
Also inexpensive.  If you can, buy the seeds whole and grind as you need.
 I buy it in 25 pound bags and store in the freezer.
I leave some texture in it.
  For the Crostini you just throw all of your ingredients (except olives) in the Vita-mix with the water, then you pulse in the olives.  You can either buy flax pre-ground or the whole seeds.  Of course, if at all possible you want to buy the entire flax seed and then grind them at home.  This is to help preserve the integrity of all those amazing oils. If you are blessed enough to have a Vita-Mix then you can throw them in your Vita-Mix alone and grind them into flour.  You should be able to do this even if you don't have a separate "dry" container.  I know a raw restaurant that does all of their wet and their dry in the "regular" Vita-Mix container.

Put all the ingredients in the Vita-Mix (excluding olives).

This is your "dough".
You put the olives in at end and just "pulse", as it's nice to have a bit of
texture created by the olives.

Then you put it on one dehydrator sheet with the Teflex Sheet.  It is always helpful when the recipe tells you how many trays you will use, as sometimes it is difficult to know how thick or thin to spread it.  You want to spread it as evenly as possible.  I use a little water on the spatula and my hands, so the dough doesn't stick to me during the smoothing process.  Raw people disagree on a lot of stuff, for having so much in common :)  One of those issues, is what temperature is truly "raw".  What temperature do the enzymes really break down?  And if it is a seed, then the basis for the whole seed would be, will it grow?  Ani has us do it at 104 degrees.  Gabriel uses higher temperatures for the first couple of hours because there is so much moisture to begin with.  Plus he was going on experiments that the Excalibur People had done themselves.  I tend to use lower temperatures.  Although I am not "all about the enzymes".  There is a lot more evidence that cooking foods at high temps creates undesirable attributes to the food.  While I think fresh, raw food is the best-it may be just as much about what you avoiding from over cooked food than what you are gaining by "enzymes". In addition,  I have read that the glycemic index of foods does change also according to the food preparation.  Raw Potatoes would be different than Cooked Potatoes.  Also, a finely ground flour would most likely enter your bloodstream more rapidly than something with a courser, chunkier texture.  If you are really hung up on the "whys" of Raw Food and actual nutritional data (other than "energy" and "cosmic swirls") then I would suggest you run and buy "Becoming Raw" which is the most no B.S. book about Raw Nutrition.  It's not that I don't like all the other books about this subject as well, I find that "Becoming Raw" is the most objective and scientifically based approach.  

You smooth the dough on a Teflex sheet that is on the dehydrator tray.
I use a bit of water to help "smooth" so the dough doesn't stick to everything.

You are aiming for an even depth throughout.
This is just guesstimating.

All ready for the Excalibur.
And about 6 hours later after being on 105 degrees.

You can see it is separating from the Teflex sheet.

You don't want to remove if a lot of the bottom is still sticking.
This is just about perfect.

Top is dry and bottom is still moist.

I flip the tray onto another tray, so it is upside down.

The I peel away the Teflex sheet.

So the moist side is now on top.
Cut them in whatever shapes you desire and then put
them back in the "Raw Oven".  The Excalibur is a very simple
machine and it rocks!
After being flipped and cut.
Reload (Have been listening to SP) the Dehydrator.  You remove the smooth Teflex sheet now.
Un-Cook for another 6 hours or until desired dryness!
They shouldn't "stick".

They are meditating.
They are wondering what Cheeze and Wine will accompany them this evening.

Cheeze and Crackers.
"Badger" Red Wine, Boxed tonight.Organic and BPA free, Green Company. (And Vegan or course, No Fish Guts here!) I complained about the recycling of beer bottles, then wine bottles (we had A LOT of recycling) so we ended up with Boxed Badger (Red).  Meets Paquita's requirements.
Paquita prefers Frey, Organic, Natural Red in Bottle.....but Paquita drinks more tea than wine.

Pair with Salad. What to do with all the Grapefruits left from the Orange & Grapefruit
Gift Box? Salad!
Top it with Pepitas, Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Some Raw
Garlic to scare the Vampires away.

(Unless you're into that sort of thing)

Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils. Sin


  1. Wow wat a worthy crostini to try , fabulous..

  2. Yeah, it helped the jealousy I had that my husband had just come home with a loaf of olive bread. We received an olive oil assortment over the holidays, and he broke down and bought real bread, with real flour. Guess the Ezekiel wasn't cutting it for dipping in olive oil!! Ani also has some great gluten free rye, sunflower, and zucchini breads in her current book. Check out her videos on You Tube! There is also a clip of Andrew Zimmerman eating her hemp burgers.