RAW REISHI RICOTTA GARDEN PIZZA
Serving size: 4
This is absolutely not a thick-crust, doughy, melted cheesy pizza nor is it trying to be. A raw vegan pizza is entirely its own thing and it also happens to be one of my favorite things. The "crust" is typically made from a blend of buckwheat, nuts, seeds, or veggies and is then crisped up using a dehydrator, topped with a raw spread and of course, fresh toppings.
This certainly looks different than your average slice of pizza and, in contrast, is bursting with health supportive benefits with everything from the plant-packed crust to the garden-fresh toppings. On top of that, all of the nutritive value is retained since it is prepared completely raw.
RAW CRUST INGREDIENTS
• 2 large carrots carrots, chopped
• 2 large shallots, roughly chopped
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 1 2/3 cup sunflower seeds (soaked)
• 2 cups sun-dried tomatoes (soaked)
• 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
• 1/2 tablespoon salt
• 1 1/2 cups ground flaxseeds
• 2/3 cup buckwheat flour
Foods are considered "raw" as long as they don't exceed a temperature of 118 degrees, at which point their nutritional profile changes and certain things like enzymes will begin to break down. With this in mind, we will be dehydrating the crust at 115 degrees in an effort to preserve as many nutrients as possible.
RAW CRUST DIRECTIONS
After you have soaked both the sunflower seeds and sun-dried tomatoes for at least 3 hours, drain and discard the water.
Add the carrots and shallots to a food processor and blend until they have formed into a paste. Next, add only half of the olive oil, blend until smooth then transfer this mixture to a bowl.
Add the soaked sunflower seeds & sun-dried tomatoes, along with the nutritional yeast and salt to the food processor and blend until smooth. Add your remaining olive oil to the food processor and blend until well incorporated. Now, add this mixture to the bowl with the puréed carrots & shallots. Pour in the ground flaxseeds and the buckwheat flour and stir until all of the ingredients are well combined.
Spread the mixture out in a thin layer on your parchment paper lined dehydrator sheets and dehydrate at 115 degrees for 12 hours, flip the crusts over and dehydrate for another 12 hours. This goes without saying, but this is not a last minute dish and definitely requires some planning in advance. I know the long dehydrating time sounds daunting but it's really as simple as getting it started the day before and just letting it sit.
Note: If you don't have a dehydrator, you can use your oven at its lowest temperature. Some air fryers even have a "dehydrate" setting that you could also use. I own and absolutely love this dehydrator because it's compact and always produces a quality product.
• 4 3/4 cups cashews (soaked)
• 2 cups fresh water
• 1/2 cup lemon juice
• 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
• 2 teaspoons reishi powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• pepper to taste
Add your previously soaked & drained cashews to a food processor, followed by all the rest of the ricotta ingredients and blend until completely smooth. Set aside in the fridge until ready to assemble the pizzas.
• 5 cups loosely packed basil
• 1 2/3 cup spinach or kale
• 1 cup pistachios
• 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup olive oil
Add the basil, spinach, pistachios, lemon juice, and salt to a food processor and purée until smooth. Pour in the olive oil, purée until well incorporated, then set aside in the fridge until ready to assemble the pizzas.
RAW PIZZA ASSEMBLY
For the pizza crust, you can either cut the dehydrated sheets into your desired shapes, break them apart for an uneven edge (what I did here), or leave them whole exactly how they came out of the dehydrator. Simply spread a layer of the ricotta across your crust, followed by dollops or a smear of the pesto, and toppings of your choice.
For an earthy, from-the-garden look and taste, I did sliced cherry tomatoes, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula and shaved fennel. The topping combinations are truly endless — get creative and experiment with as many different fresh and colorful vegetables as you can!
Raw dishes can be some of the most delicious and satisfying creations. When I was 16 years old, I actually became a "raw vegan" meaning I only consumed completely raw foods and later transitioned into being a regular vegan. I still can't get enough of many of the foods I fell in love with over 10 years ago (especially some of the raw treats and desserts) but I do enjoy the broader scope of vegan cooking options I have now. Whatever you identify as, a raw meal can significantly up your intake of fruits, veggies, nuts, & seeds along with their untainted nutrient content.