Sunday, July 8, 2012

Raw Sunflower Seed Pate with Sundried Tomatoes

Sunflower seeds are a new favorite, ever since I made this raw sunflower pate with sundried tomatoes. (We're going to pretend I typed it with an accent mark over the e, because I'm talking about a pa-TAY, not a bald head.)

I'm not sure why it took me this long to appreciate raw sunflower seeds. I've always liked them roasted, but raw they struck me as bland. I should have realized that their blandness is a virtue. Like tofu or avocados, they're culinary chameleons, taking on the flavor of whatever they're prepared with while adding body and nutrition.  Sunflower seeds are also much less expensive than most other calorie-dense options for raw vegans. At my local co-op they cost a little over $3/lb (organic); about a third the cost of the nuts I might otherwise reach for. They're high in Vitamin E, magnesium, selenium and phytosterols (good for lowering cholesterol). 

Soaking sunflower seeds so they begin to sprout makes them more digestible and increases their protein. So begin by soaking them for at least four hours, then rinse and drain them. I usually soak them overnight, drain, then refrigerate until I'm ready to use them.

Raw Sunflower Seed Pate with Sundried Tomatoes Recipe
1 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked and drained, reserving water.
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked 30 minutes
1/2 red pepper, coarsely chopped
1 handful cilantro (or basil if you prefer; I had cilantro I wanted to use up.)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 date, chopped (or use a smidge of honey)
1 lemon juice and zest
1 tablespoon red or sweet Vidalia onion, chopped
one teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon tamari and/or salt to taste 
black pepper to taste
soaking water from tomatoes if necessary

Put everything in the food processor and go to town, adding reserved tomato water a tablespoon at a time until it's the consistency you like. 

Sorry I didn't take photos! I was selling my soap this weekend at a big festival and was crazy busy. But I'm proud of myself for packing all raw snacks and meals for two days. I brought watermelon, gazpacho, this pate and green salad both days. 

One thing I did photograph was this sprouted garbanzo bean.

 I threw a bunch of these in my salads. Notice how the tail is only a quarter inch long? That's how you want them. Raw sprouted garbanzos remind me of jicama in taste and texture.They help turn a green salad into a satisfying meal.  

Today's Chow
smoothie with banana, Swiss chard, 1/2 avocado, cocoa powder, one date, cinnamon
fruit plate provided to the vendors!
green salad and sunflower pate
After I got home, I had two kiwis and some frozen banana "ice cream" (just frozen bananas buzzed in food processor.)

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