This recipe is to supplement a recent blog post, My Thanksgiving Menu.
Different individuals can have different interpretations of the word “raw”.
For some people, being raw means nothing consumed has been “cooked” over the temperature of 104-120° F (40–49° C). Other raw foodists go so far as to not consume any sort of processed food, meaning their diet is limited to fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
I was looser with my definition of raw than most.
To me, raw was simply not cooking food. I wasn’t very conscious if foods had been pre-cooked or not as long as I didn’t have to cook them.
One example of my lenience were the dates I bought. I didn’t personally cook the dates, but in order to pit the dates to sell, the manufacturer most likely steamed the dates.
Another example of this is the oatmeal I consumed from time to time. The oats I ate approximately once a week were quick oats. I wasn’t aware that “quick oats” meant the oats had been pre-cooked.
In order to stick to my “raw” lifestyle, instead of mixing oatmeal with hot water , I used cold water and allowed the oats to soak for an extended period of time instead. I used a variety of other non-raw foods too, such as standard olive oil.
Looking back, I wouldn’t have called my diet a raw diet. Rather, I ate an uncooked diet.
I still keep my raw recipes around for I enjoy drawing inspiration from them now and then.
Sometimes I revamp a recipe to make it fully cooked. Other times I cook a few of the ingredients and keep other ones uncooked.
Why love raw
I miss eating raw for a few reasons.
- Zucchini pasta
- Simply complicated
One reason I miss eating raw is simply because I love zucchini pasta. Even if you are not interested in raw-food, everybody should taste zucchini pasta at least once.
Zucchini pasta is a wonderful new experience. The noodles appear similar to normal pasta noodles. However, the noodles have a lighter texture than cooked grain noodles. The noodles also provide an unusually satisfying crunch for pasta.
The second reason I miss raw food is because it can be both simple and complicated at the same time.
One meal can be a two-minute banana smoothie and another can be a sophisticated Beetroot Ravioli.
Additionally, raw food is also more interactive.
Raw food doesn’t necessarily increase the amount of time to prepare a meal. The time normally spent waiting for a recipe to cook is instead used for assembly when eating raw food.
I first discovered this recipe when I was a wannabe raw vegan.
I say wannabe as I never went a week or two without consuming cooked food. I wasn’t a very good raw vegan. I craved raw food frequently— this is likely because wasn’t getting the carbohydrates I needed, the calories I needed or the micronutrients I needed.
But I continued with my attempt to be a raw vegan nonetheless until December 2013. While I am past my raw vegan stage, I remember enjoying this mushroom stuffing recipe immensely. Even though I no longer (try) to be a strict raw vegan, I still enjoy raw recipes, including this one.
This recipe is a brilliant, festive and surprising way to start your Thanksgiving meal. You will be commended on your creativity when your family and friends see your non-traditional take on the traditional holiday stuffing.
Vegan and free of added salt, sugar, oil, gluten, soy and nuts.
Reasons to love this recipe: healthy, low maintenance, raw option, low calorie, festive
- 12 oz (1/3 kg) brown button mushrooms (shiitake works well too)
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 sweet apples
- 1 cup frozen cranberries (frozen berries release more juice)
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds; raw, unsalted and soaked for 12 hours then drained
- 1/3 cup lemon juice OR juice of 1 lemon and zest
- 1/2 brown onion, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, roughly minced
- 2 tbsp poultry seasoning OR mix of sage, oregano, rosemary, thyme and parsley
Preheat dehydrator to 110° F (45° C) if you are dehydrating this recipe. If you are baking the stuffing in the oven, preheat your oven to 200° F (95° C) or the lowest temperature it will allow.
Chop the mushrooms, celery and apples in to bite-sized pieces.
Then mix the celery, apples, cranberries, carrot and sunflower seeds together in a large bowl.
In a food processor or blender, blend the lemon juice, onion and garlic cloves to create a smooth sauce.
Add the sauce to the large bowl that contains the produce and seeds. If you are using a fresh lemon, now is the time to zest the lemon over the stuffing mixture.
Next add the herbs or herb blend of your choice. Mix the stuffing and let the mixture marinate for 10 minutes.
Spread the stuffing into a single layer on a dehydrator sheet or on a nonstick pan, depending upon which warming method you choose.
Dehydrate/bake the Mushroom Stuffing to desired dryness. From my experience, dehydrating will require 3 hours. Baking the stuffing will take significantly less time. If baking, check the mixture frequently after the first hour of baking to ensure the recipe doesn’t burn.
Enjoy warm or at room temperature.