Raw Fusion Sunday Brunch
I hosted a brunch on Sunday with a couple of my local Natural Wellness Academy coaching candidates. Currently I am working on 4 new books: One of them is about anti-aging and how the “Blue Zone” diets, based more on the Mediterranean style of eating has been continuously shown to have the best longevity markers. For the past few months I have been experimenting with more of these styles of recipes for that particular book and it’s always a joy for me to share food and conversation with wonderful companions.
Fava beans are my favorite legume. I love the Middle Eastern breakfast “ful madammas”, which is mashed fava beans with tahini (sesame paste) and eggs, so I decided to make a fava bean hummus. You can buy canned, pre-cooked fava beans but they usually do have the skins, which need to be peeled off. I have occasionally found the dried beans without the peels – they are admittedly much faster to cook and require no laborious peeling. But the taste of these beans are so pleasant and nutty, that it’s worth the effort every once in awhile. Sometimes I make double the amount of the beans and freeze the rest.
This was a “raw fusion” brunch as some of the elements are cooked and some are raw: In addition to the fava hummus, I served a variety of crudites, including watermelon radish (something I strongly urge you to try if you can find them!) and some raw flax and hempseed crackers. I also roasted vegetables (eggplant, tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, red peppers) with Mediterranean herbs and then made a nest for some beautiful free range eggs that I buy from our local CSA, Sweetwater Organic Farms’ Sunday market. I always serve cooked gains, sauteed or roasted vegetables over a bed of leafy greens — in this case fresh baby spinach for more raw fusion goodness. All topped with a wedge of perfectly ripe avocado!
Fava Bean Hummus
3 cups cooked and shelled fava beans*
1 cup of the cooking liquid
Juice from one lemon
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
3 TB. extra virgin olive oil
Sea Salt to taste
1-2 tsp. ground sumac
Optional: Fresh garlic or garlic powder
To cook the dried beans: Soak overnight. Place in a crock pot on high with 6-8 peeled garlic cloves and enough water to cover beans by at least 2 inches. After a couple of hours reduce to low heat. You can cook these on the stove top but it will take at least 4 hours to get them soft. Retain the cooking liquid and put the beans in a colander, running cool water so that you can handle them easily. Peel the exterior shell and discard those.
Place the soft bean in a food processor with about a cup of the liquid, tahini, 1-2 TB. of the lemon juice, 2 TB. of the olive oil and salt to taste. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust with extra lemon juice, tahini and salt if needed Place on a serving plate and make a well (as pictured) adding the extra olive oil and sprinkling with sumac.
*you can use a can but this will be a smaller amount, so adjust the rest of the ingredients. Make sure to remove the peel from the beans or the texture will be unpleasant. Use garlic for this option.
**Sumac is a spice you can find in Middle Eastern or Indian markets. It has a lemony flavor that I adore and blends beautifully with hummus and as a topper on rice, quinoa or popcorn. Try it – you will love it!
Garden Variety Flax-Hempseed Crackers
2 cups golden flaxseeds
1 cup hempseeds
3-4 cups filtered water
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, cut into smaller pieces
1 large carrot
juice from one lime
2 TB. Bragg’s liquid aminos
In a large bowl place the flaxseeds and pour in 2 cups of water, stirring well and allowing the flax to absorb most of the water. Add the cut up sundried tomatoes and hempseed and add another cup or two of water, stirring well. After the water is fully absorbed add the lemon juice, and Bragg’s. Peel the outer skin of carrot and discard (or compost) and then continue peeling for thin strips to add to your batter. Use a kitchen shears to dice the scallions into the batter, blending all together. Using at least 2 non-stick sheets, spread the crackers out evenly on the dehydrator trays. Start at 145 degrees for about 45 minutes, then score the crackers in 4-9 pieces with a spatula. Lower temperature to 110 and dehydrate about 4 hours until you can easily peel them off the non-stick sheets and place the moist side up to continue drying. When you feel they are completely dry turn off the dehydrator for 2 hours to allow internal moisture to rise to surface, then dehydrate 2 more hours. These crackers can be stored in the freezer – they will not freeze or even get very cold but they can be used immediately and stay very crisp and fresh this way.