Pass the Paté , Pretty Please
Nut spreads and patés are foundational to sustaining a high raw and/or vegan lifestyle. Prounouced “pah-tay”, they are loaded with protein, good fats and have the unctuousness of something very rich and satisfying. They are also very filling — if you are trying to eat more raw and living foods, but find yourself getting hungry or feeling deprived, try having a scoop in a bell pepper, hollowed out tomatoe or wrapped in lettuce or cabbage leaf.
You can even substitute a nut paté/spread for egg, chicken and tuna salads on bread. Kids respond very well to them. If someone has a nut allergy or sensitivity, they can usually handle seeds, like sunflower or pumpkin.
Nut Paté is often mistaken for being meat! We served a sunflower seed spread over flax and pumpkin seed crackers at a wine tasting event at the Museum of Science & Industry here in Tampa and at least a dozen people told us it was “the best liver pate” they had every tasted. Maybe it was the wine, but we had a hard time convincing them that it was all vegan.
Watch the host’s reaction to my walnut paté in this video from the Daytime show:
The paté featured in the photo is a combination I put together when my goddaughter was visiting based on what I had available and what seemed to go together. This was not only delicious, but teenager approved! Eventually I made it in the local raw foods class I was teaching for 6 years and everyone loved it. Combination: Soaked almonds, kalamata olives, carrots, dried rosemary and a small amount of olive oil or tahini.
One of my go-to spreads is made with shelled raw uncooked peas, which you can find now in my grocery stores. Just follow the directions below substituting the nuts/seeds with the peas. Another thing I love to do is form the spread into silver dollar shaped patties and dehydrate them on parchment paper for a few hours. They become sensational nuggets of flavor that I add to salads for more ooomph and protein. I even take a few with me when I go to restaurants – they make great conversation starters! My Wild Mushroom Nut Burgers are essentially dehydrated paté.
How to make a nut or seed paté:
- Soak the nuts or seeds anywhere from 6-12 hours (for cashews they become soft enough in as little as 20 minutes as in these Sweet & Savory Cashew Wraps)
- Soaking the seeds or nuts not only softens them and alters their texture, it also removes anti-nutrients like phytic acid from the skins. Make sure to drain the soak water and rinse them!
- In a food processor, place the nuts or seeds (combinations are also yummy!) along with lemon juice, a little olive oil and/or tahini (sesame paste), nutritional yeast (this gives it the “meaty” flavor) and sea salt and blend until it has a spread-like consistency.
- Taste and adjust flavorings, adding any spices or herbs you like.
- Add chopped veggies and fruits, like scallions, celery, onion, olives , peas – even pomegranate kernels or cranberries – ONLY to the amount you plan to consume immediately. If you store the remainder with the chopped veggies or fruit, those will tend to get soggy and influence the flavor.
- Leftovers store very well – up to 3 days but some of them become more intense in flavoring.
Enjoy and let us know how you like them!