Saturday, July 12, 2014

Orange Cream Collard Wraps

The first time I ever had the pleasure of biting into a fully raw collard green was about five years ago at the West Hollywood Real Food Daily.  It had beets and peanut dressing, which are always a good combo, so I thought they could make even a raw collard green taste great!  Well, they did!  Little did I know at the time but collard greens are delicious raw!  They have a very sublte "green" taste and instead are slightly sweet and crisp.  There is no greater feeling of health and nourishment then when I am eating raw collard wraps daily.  The only trouble is, collard wraps hold lots of great veggies but you need a good sauce that won't run all over the place while still adding flavor with each bite.  My creamy Orange Cashew Sauce does just that!  The bright flavor of the orange sets your palate for smooth salivary sailing with each bite of this delicious, colorful, and healthful wrap!
One change that has completely altered my food cravings since having gone vegan and 80% raw are my recalibrated taste buds!  When we eat heavily processed foods, their nautral flavors have been removed along with the nutriotiion.  To add flavor back in, we see sugar, salt, and toxic chemicals such as MSG being added in to recreate artificial flavor and extended shelf life.  Well, I believe that if it's not broke, don't fix it!  Food tastes great in it's original, whole, and unproceed state.  The trick is actually making the switch from high to low levels of processed foods.  During and after this switch takes place, your tastes begin to change.  Foods that tasted incredible before will begin to taste too sugary, too salty, and just too toxic.  Your taste will instead begin to flourish when eating foods like fruit and vegetables.  Flavors that were bland before will begin to pop and grab your attention like never before!  Now, raw collard greens taste sweet and earthy all at the same time.  I promise it is a ride that will forever change your life! 
If you are new to collard wraps, then don't fear!  These wraps are full of flavor that everyone can enjoy.  Additionally, I've created a quick how- to for prepping and wrapping a collard leaf.  Let's get started!
Orange Cream Ingredients:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked 1-4 hours, rinsed, drained
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 to 2 Tbsp. coconut aminos or tamari
Collard Wrap Ingredients:
1 large or two medium-sized collard green leaves
1/2 cup romaine lettuce, ribboned OR 1/2 cup green cabbage, shredded
1/2 cup sprouts
2 carrots, shredded
1 additional vegetable - I've used cucumber cut into matchsticks but you can shred a beet, or ribbon a zucchini.  Use whatever you like and have on hand.  I love the fresh, crisp texture of cucumber in wraps so I always add them in. 
Sesame seeds, optional 
Method for the Cashew Spread:
To a food processor fitted with the S-type blade or to a high speed blender, add all ingredients.  Process until the spread is smooth and creamy.  We are aiming for a hummus like texture here.
Method for Collard Wrap (Take a look at my How-to here):
Take your collard green(s) and lay them on a flat surface shiny side down.  De-rib the leaf by shaving the stem with a knife so that it is flush with the leaf.  Take some of the cashew spread and layer it on the leaf in the middle.  Then add your filling.
Now, roll it up and wrap it in a wet paper towel. Refrigerate for about a half hour to really seal the wrap form.  This is an optional stap.  You can eat it right away if you prefer!  Enjoy!

Thank you for visiting the Venturing Vegan blog!  Feel free to share any and all recipes with family and friends! Wishing you all a healthy and fun summer!

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