One of my very favorite raw vegan snacks of all time? That's right, pesto on toast!! You won't believe how good this is, or how lightly crispy and "toasty" this is!
Here's what you'll need (ingredient amounts are estimates--it's not an exact science here):
1. Dehydrator (or oven on low setting)
2. Food Processor with "S" blade or Blender
Aaand... here we go!
- 1 eggplant
- 1/3 cup or so Bragg's Liquid Aminos (can be found near the soy sauce in natural foods sections)
- 1/4 cup or more nutritional yeast (good source of B12 if fortified--I use Braggs as it's gluten-free, but if that's not your issue, buy in bulk at natural foods store--much cheaper)
- a generous shake or two of various spices--I currently like poultry seasoning (but not on poultry!) and curry, but feel free to add whatever sounds good to you
- 3 cups or so fresh basil (yummmm...)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast--tastes very cheesy
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4-1/3 cup or so pine nuts (actually I almost always use something else as pine nuts are like $800 a pound--pecans or walnuts are yum, and on a limited budget, I use sunflower seeds--also good)
- pepper if you'd like
(if you've got your own favorite pesto recipe, by all means use it--but this one is simple and raw and vegan and oh-so-good)
To make "toast":
- Peel eggplant and cut it into about 1/2 inch or so slices, round-wise. You can experiment with thickness but don't cut too thin or you'll get chips instead of toast--although these are excellent as well. It's really a no-lose situation you've got going here, as you can see.
- Place nutritional yeast and spices in a round bowl and mix.
- Coat eggplant slices in Bragg's (this is not an exact science either--I just use my fingers and dampen the entire piece).
- Roll the slices around the nutritional yeast/spice bowl, making sure to coat both sides as well as the edges.
- Place in dehydrator for several hours (dehydrate to taste--I like mine crispy outside and a little on the soft side inside, rather than crunchy all the way thru), or use your oven on a very low setting--just watch those slices to make sure they don't burn!
- Be amazed at how much this feels and tastes like yummy crispy toast, but better!!
To make pesto:
- Place all ingredients in food processor and blend. Bam. Done.
- Spread pesto on toast when it's ready and eat immediately out of the dehydrator (or oven)! SO GOOD YOU WON'T BELIEVE YOUR TASTE BUDS!!
For the faint of heart: If you think you don't like eggplant, throw all your preconceived notions out the window and be prepared to have your socks knocked off--I'm not kidding (nor am I buying you new socks! Consider yourself warned!)
TIP: store the pesto in the fridge in a separate container (do not spread on toast until ready to eat, otherwise it will get soggy--yuck). If you didn't eat all the toast and pesto the first run (you probably will), keep the toast in the fridge but throw it in the dehydrator for half an hour or so before you eat it again (or for a few minutes in the oven on lowlowlow heat)--it will crisp up again nicely.
That's all folks! I hope you enjoy it! Let me know if you try and and what you think!
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