raw challenge - day 32 - raw pizza

Raw Flatbread Pizza

Raw Pizza with Mushrooms, Cheez Crumble, Tomatoes and Arugula (and Hummus)

Who among us does not love a good slice of pizza? If you are like me, you probably assumed that this hugely popular food item originated in Italy. Not so. The history of pizza is cloudy at best, with a variety of theories and speculation. But regardless of where it came from, it is a favoured menu item for so many walks of life, having enjoyed enormous popularity on our side of the pond since post World War 2 when American soldiers returned home from Italy, eager to replicate their memorable experiences of this tasty dish. Another huge contributor to the dish’s gaining popularity was the influx of Italian immigrants who had brought with them their rich and delicious food culture.

The ‘Margherita’ (a classic pizza garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil, to represent the colors of the Italian flag) was created in June of 1889 by chef Raffaele Esposito to honour the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita Savoy. But long before this Naples based creation was first introduced, Babylonians, Israelites, Egyptians and other ancient Middle Eastern people used to eat a flat, un-leaven bread, which was cooked in mud ovens and had an appearance somewhat similar to the pizzas we eat today.

So how the heck do you make a raw pizza? With an open mind and a little creativity, there are countless versions to explore. You are limited only by your imagination. I’ve made quite a few versions in the last 4 weeks, finding them to be a great lunch time item. Teamed up with a green salad and a ‘Rum Ball’ for dessert- I’m sated and fueled up until dinner time. Dehydrated flax crackers are the foundation for this recipe. Don’t be daunted by the labour involved to make them. Once you have made up a batch, they will store well for up to one week. The ‘Sun Dried Tomato Hummus’ for this version requires 4 days of sprouting but, again, once a batch has been made, it’s a very diverse, high energy snack item that will last in the fridge for up to one week. The ‘Marinated Crimmini Mushrooms’ and ‘Cheez Crumble’ toppings are dead easy to make and any leftovers are really yummy thrown into a salad or made into another pizza the next day.

The point of using a dehydrator in raw food preparation is to remove the moisture from food items at a temperature below 115*, as a higher temperature will begin to kill the food’s natural enzymes. Though I was at first resistant to purchasing yet another bulky appliance, I must say that I am now glad to have it. In addition to crisping up my weekly crackers, it is also a great tool for making veggie meatballs, tortilla chips and other pizza toppings such as ‘caramelized’ peppers and onions. And I am well aware that I have yet to come anywhere near to utilizing this appliance's potential, not even having touched upon the world of desserts yet.....

Flax Seed Crackers

1 c. flax seed (soaked in 2 c of water for 2 hours)
½ c sunflower seeds
1/2 c ground flax
3/4 t salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 T poppy seeds
2 T nutritional yeast
2 T sesame seeds
1 T apple cider vinegar

Mix all ingredients together in a food processor. Roll dough out between 2 layers of parchment paper or teflex sheets, peeling away the top layer when the dough is fully rolled out. Dehydrate at 114 degrees for 3 hours. Turn crackers over onto regular mesh screen, peeling away the 1 layer of parchment or teflex. Continue to dehydrate another 3 hours. Remove crackers from dehydrator and cut into ‘cracker sized shapes. Allow to dry on a cooling rack for 1 hour. Store in a tightly sealed container (at room temperature) for up to 1 week.

Sprouted Sun Dried Tomato Hummus

1 cup sprouted garbanzo beans (soaked in cold water for 4 days, changing water 2 x day)
1/3 c tahini
1 garlic clove, minced
4 sun dried tomatoes, soaked for 4 hours
½ t salt
1 T Tamari
¼ t chipotle spice
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 c water, plus more if needed

Marinated Crimmini Mushrooms

1 T Tamari
1 T water
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 ½ cup crimmini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients. Add the mushrooms and lightly toss. Allow to stand for 2 hours. Remove mushrooms from marinade and serve as desired. For pizza, roughly chop.

Cheez Crumble

½ cup raw cashew nuts
4 t sea salt
3 T nutritional yeast

Whirl up all 3 ingredients in food processor. Store in the fridge, in a tightly sealed container. Will last for at least 1 week. The nutritional yeast actually makes it taste like parmesan cheese.

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