Who doesn’t love fries?
But this fast food is often associated with trans fats, cholesterol, heart disease and obesity because of its method of preparation which often requires the heavy use of oil. The starchy potato strips are also high in carbohydrates which puts many in fear of weight gain. But, fortunately, they are healthier and more nutritious substitute of ingredients for preparing savoury and appetizing fries.
You could actually use a variety of vegetables to make fries or chips. Try sweet potato, taro, carrot, beetroot or even bell pepper! These vegetables are packed with another set of nutrients and fibre that might help supplement your diet.
I baked carrot fries the other day and was amazed how baked carrots tasted. The orange boost of colour in carrots made it especially more pleasing and appetizing to the eye. To bring things up to the next level, I made a small dish of raw vegan spinach ‘cheese’ sauce to go with the fries. Technically-speaking, it isn’t exactly made out ‘cheese’ because I did not use milk or any dairy products here. Instead, I use raw cashews as a main substitute for cheese. I learnt how to make this raw vegan version of cheese from other raw vegans. Like many of you who are new to this type of food, I couldn’t believe that raw cashew nuts could taste like cheese but they do! Cheese actually has a slight nutty flavour to it. That pretty much explains why raw vegans use raw cashews.
It’s also important to note that you use raw cashews (those un-roasted white cashews) instead of baked or roasted cashews as raw cashews are more creamier in terms of taste and texture. And to make the sauce taste extra ‘cheesy’, I added aromatic herbs like Chinese parsley as well as garlic. Overall, it turns how to be a really herbaceous and savoury kind of cheese sauce. It could be perfect as a salad dressing too.
Raw Vegan Spinach ‘Cheese’ Sauce Recipe
Raw cashews (3 tablespoons)
Chopped Chinese Parsley (2 tablespoons )
Chopped yellow bell pepper (4 tablespoons )
Nutritional yeast* (2 tablespoons)
Lemon juice (1 tablespoon )
Chopped garlic (1 tablespoon)
Himalayan salt (1/2 teaspoon)
Baby spinach (about 10 to 15 leaves)
(* Nutritional yeast can be bought from Rochester Market at Rochester Mall.)
Toss everything into the blender and blend well. If the mixture is too thick or dry, trying adding in some water. Continue to mix and blend until you achieve that rich and creamy consistency of cheese sauce.
Baked Carrot Fries
2 medium-sized Carrots
Olive oil (1 tablespoon)
*Coconut flour (1 tablespoon)
Wholemeal flour (1 tablespoon)
Himalayan salt (a pinch)
Black pepper (a pinch)
Cayenne pepper (1/2 teaspoon)
(*Raw Coconut flour by Coconut Secrets can be bought on iherb.com)
2. Place the carrot strips into a large mixing bowl.
3. Then add olive oil, coconut flour, wholemeal flour, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to the mixing bowl. The coconut flour and wholemeal flour will help to add some crunch and texture to the fries.
4. Mix everything well so that the carrot strips are coated evenly with the spices and condiments added. (I prefer to mix and toss it with my hands!)
5. Then lay the carrot strips on the tray and bake it for 30 – 40 minutes at 180 degree Celsius. Bake it til it’s slightly brown. Do be careful not to overcook it!
These carrot shoe-string fries may not exactly be very crunchy or firm in texture but it taste great with that nice coconut flavour from the coconut flour.