Vitamix

Raw Vegan Creamy Macnut Tomato Sauce

Raw Vegan Creamy Macnut Tomato SauceRaw Tomato Sauce IngredientsRaw Tomato Sauce step 1Raw Tomato Sauce

Admittedly, when I’m feeling lazy and too busy to spend an hour on food prep, one of my go-to meals is pasta. Since I try to be gluten-free, this means some form of brown rice or mung bean pasta. If I’m feeling even lazier and don’t feel like going through all the motions of chopping up lots of vegetables and cooking a warm sauce to go with my pasta, I make this super simple and uber-quick to make raw tomato sauce. The best part about it, though, is that all I have to do is throw all of the ingredients into a Vitamix and blend. And it’s super delicious, so that’s a win-win for everyone. One batch of this sauce, which makes a lot and will take you all of 5 minutes to make, can last me several days. Another major plus is that it’s not only good with pasta, but I can eat it with tons of other things– as a sauce for a raw pizza, raw zucchini noodles, a spread on top of baked or raw crackers, or as a dressing with some rice or quinoa and raw vegetables. Now that I’m letting you in on one of my lazy secrets, feel free to blame me for being lazy too. But your tastebuds won’t know the difference.

This recipe will make approximately 2.5 to 3 cups of sauce, and a little goes a long way.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole raw tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of whole sundried tomatoes (pre-soaked in water)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts (or substitute 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds)
  • Small handful of fresh parsley and basil leaves
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Water (a few tablespoons)
  • Nutritional yeast (optional)
  • A few dehydrated botija olives (optional)

Kitchen Tools:

  • Vitamix
  • Small knife
  • Spatula
  • Mason jar

Directions:

First blend the macnuts and olive oil together in the Vitamix until it makes a creamy paste. If macnuts are not available to you, you can substitute sunflower seeds in this step. Then, chop up the raw tomato into large slices. Put the raw tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, olive oil, coconut aminos, garlic, parsley and basil all together in the Vitamix and blend until it’s a creamy sauce. If the sauce seems very thick, you can add a little water (two or 3 tablespoons) to lighten it up. Add salt and pepper to taste, and then blend once more. Once you’ve gotten your desired taste and texture, you can opt to add a little nutritional yeast for a bit of a “cheesy” flavor or a few dehydrated olives if you like. Spoon it out with a spatula and mix in with your favorite cooked or raw pasta.

Vegan Macadamia Nut Milk

Vegan Macnut Milk

Cup of Macnuts

Macnut Milk Paste

On our farm, we have hundreds of macadamia nut trees (or macnuts, as we call them, for short). It’s a full-time job in itself to harvest (all by hand, mind you) and keep the trees maintained, but it’s well worth it to have a steady supply of these super nutritious nuts– rich in protein, antioxidants, fiber, Vitamin A, iron, omega 7/palmitoleic acids, and monosaturated fats (the healthy kind that actually helps you build up your metabolism and burn off bad fat). Not to mention, macnuts help lower cholesterol and boost your skin, bone, brain, and heart health. Adding just a small handful of macnuts to your daily diet will do wonders for your body. And they’re so creamy and tasty, I’ve found that even kids in Hawaii will gobble them up like candy and reach their hands out for one more before you’ve even had time to crack another.

So of course it makes sense that one of the first, and most valuable things I learned when I arrived at the farm was how to make a delicious milk out of macnuts. It’s quick and easy, compared to other nut milks, because there is no straining necessary. Macnut milk is great all on its own, but it’s also delicious in coffee, tea, cereal, and anything else that you might normally add a vegan milk to. And depending on what is available to you, you have the option to use raw macnuts right out of the shell, dehydrated, or even roasted macnuts– which all offer a different flavor sensation, from milder to richer. My personal favorite is to use the most freshly harvested nuts, when the nut meat is rich and oily almost like a coconut. I can even say that I’ve nearly converted dairy-drinking visitors to the farm, who admitted that they could give up cow milk were they to have fresh, delicious macnut milk to drink everyday. Now, if only I could keep the whole world supplied… So, if you want to see what all the fuss is about, here you go!

The recipe will make approximately 4 cups of milk.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of macnuts
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup sweetener (honey, maple syrup, coconut palm sugar, etc)
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups of water (1 cup for initial blend step, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups for secondary blend step)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (optional)

Kitchen Tools:

  • Vitamix (or a strong blender)
  • Large mason jar (4-6 cups)

Directions:

Place all the macnuts into the Vitamix with just enough water to slightly cover the nuts (approximately 3/4 cup to 1 cup water). Blend the nuts for about one minute, adding a little more water as needed in order to allow the nuts to blend into a fine paste. Another option to help blend the macnuts is to add a tablespoon of coconut oil, which will also give the milk a richer flavor. Once the macnuts are completely blended, add a teaspoon of vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, as well as your favorite sweetener to taste and re-blend. Once the paste is complete, add in the remaining water (start with 1 1/2 cup) and blend until the paste is evenly distributed into a milk. Add extra water (anywhere from 2 to 2 1/2 cups) depending on your chosen thickness. Then taste and add any extra sweetener to your liking, or you may choose to use no sweetener at all. The milk may be slightly gritty depending on how finely the nuts were blended when initially making the paste, which is why it is important to focus on blending the nuts well first before adding the extra water– but it does not need to be strained. If the grittiness bothers you at all, you can let the milk sit for a minute before pouring it out of the blender, as some of the grit will settle to the bottom. You will also notice that the milk will be very foamy at the top.

Fresh Coconut Milk

Coconut MilkCoconut candyCoconuts for milkCoconuts in VitamixDSC_0692

Let’s face it. Fresh coconut milk right from the source cannot be beat. The rich creaminess, the sweetness, and natural oils all serve to make this delicious nutrient-dense vegan milk one of the most flavorful ingredients to add to beverages and dishes and can serve as the base for so many things such as smoothies, soups, desserts, curries, dressings, and so much more– not to mention that it is a highly-enjoyable and filling drink to be enjoyed purely on its own. Once you have learned how to make this simple coconut milk and tasted what real coconut milk is like, it will put the canned version to shame.

This recipe will make approximately 6 to 7 cups, or one large half-gallon mason jar full of coconut milk.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe, hard, oily coconuts (or substitute young coconut meat)
  • Your favorite sweetener (honey, agave, coconut palm sugar, cane sugar, etc)

Kitchen Tools:

  • Vitamix
  • Wire mesh strainer
  • Large bowl
  • Glass jar(s)

Directions:

Crack open 3 very ripe coconuts* and break the meat up into smaller pieces. Clean these pieces in a bowl of fresh water to wash off any dust or particles from the shell. Place the cleaned pieces into the Vitamix and add water until the pieces are just covered slightly by water at the top. Blend together for approximately one minute until all the coconut pieces are broken up into a fine pulp. Add a bit of extra water if necessary to blend completely. Once blended well, pour the pulp into a mesh wire strainer over a large bowl and begin to strain the milk out by stirring the pulp and pressing it down with a spoon through the strainer. Once all the milk has been extracted from the pulp, place the pulp back in the Vitamix and repeat the process of adding enough water to just cover the top of the pulp. Blend again for one minute and repeat the process of straining the pulp until all the milk is extracted. Perform both of the previous steps once more. The general rule of thumb I have discovered is that you can strain the pulp as many times as is equal to the amount of coconuts used. So for this recipe in particular, you will blend and strain a total of 3 times to get the most flavorful, creamy milk possible. You may still strain the milk more times, however, it will become much more watery and have a diminished coconut flavor. 

Once you have completed these steps, you can add your favorite sweetener to taste. You will be surprised by how much natural sweetness comes out of the coconuts themselves, so you may choose to add no sweetener at all, particularly if you plan on using the milk for a savory dish. Once you have the taste to your liking, pour your finished coconut milk into a jar and there you have it– fresh milk to enjoy or to use in whatever other recipes your heart desires.

*You can also substitute young coconut meat for a thicker, creamier alternative, as the pulp will not strain out as much and make for a denser version of the milk above.