Friday, September 14, 2012

Latkes: What To Do With Potatoes

It can be a challenge to find recipes for potatoes in the raw vegan world.  It seems that most raw vegans don't eat them.  Apparently, the enzyme inhibitors are in the skin, and they contain solanine if they are green, so as long as they are peeled and not green they can be eaten raw.

We like potatoes, and we keep getting them in our weekly Bountiful Baskets order, so we've been trying to figure out how to use them.

My husband found this recipe for raw garlic and lime potato chips.  We tried the recipe and didn't like it because we found it tedious.  Each potato chip had to be sliced paper thin, then dipped in lime juice, sprinkled with garlic and laid on dehydrator screens to dry.  I found that if every chip wasn't done exactly right, it tasted like the type of dehydrated potato you might find in a box of packaged processed scalloped potatoes.

I scoured the internet and my budding collection of raw recipe books, and I found one recipe for raw potato latkes here.  The OP said she hadn't tried it, so it was risky, but it was worth it. 

Here is my version.

Spinach and Potato Latkes

2 cups Brazil nuts, soaked for 8 hours, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsps South African Smoke Seasoning Blend, (from TJs)
freshly ground chili pepper to taste (optional)
the juice of 5 small lemons, (next time I want to try limes)
1 cup filtered water, more if needed to make the blender go
1 cup pine nuts soaked 2 hours
1 10 oz bag cleaned spinach
3 leeks, cleaned with roots and green part removed, loosely chopped
one bunch garlic chive flowers, (optional)
6 medium sized Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
paprika for sprinkles

Blend Brazil nuts in a high speed blender with lemon juice, water, minced garlic and salt.  Blend until the mixture turns well in the blender with no lumps.  If it won't turn, add water a little at a time until it does.  Add the pine nuts last, processing just enough to distribute them and break them up a little.  In this mixture, plenty of the pine nuts were left whole, which was nice.

Pulse the spinach, leeks and garlic chive flowers in a food processor until chopped fine.  Place in a bowl and stir in the nut mixture.  Run the potatoes through the shredder blade in the food processor, and stir into the mixture.  Add any additional seasonings at this time, keeping in mind that they shrink as they dry and the flavor is concentrated.

Drop by spoonfuls on a Teflex sheet.  I think an ideal size is about 2 tbsp.  Flatten them slightly so that they are like pancakes.  Sprinkle each one with a bit of paprika.

Dehydrate them at 112 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 hours, or until they easily slide off the Teflex without sticking.  Place them on the dehydrator screens and continue drying for at least 4 hours or until they are crispy. 

 This one was a success, and we will definitely make it again.  Next time I might try to grate the potatoes more finely, and experiment with the flavors.

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So what do you think? Have you tried raw vegan food?