Friday, April 11, 2014

Raw Vegan Onion Rings

Raw Vegan Onion Rings

Ahhhhh... the smell of onion rings.  Due to food allergies, I haven't had onion rings or the likes in over 14 years.  I can honestly say that one of the traditional snack foods I miss is onion rings.  Now hear me out.  I don't mean the greasy, high calorie junk food onion rings themselves.  Well that's what they were, but I miss the taste.  Yes I know that doesn't make sense... welcome to my world ;)

I am beyond happy with my raw vegan lifestyle and would never change it - I thrive for raw food, but I'm human and sometimes have cravings.  When that happens, I turn traditional food raw and healthy. 

Back to front: coconut flour, coconut milk and flax meal & coconut shreds blend

I wanted to keep this batch nut-free.  I'm not allergic to nuts and do use them as they provide nutritional value, but I don't use them daily as I like to keep our meals low fat.  I also wanted a different flavor than traditional onion rings.  Coconuts were my inspiration - along with lack of sleep.  For some reason my mind likes to create at the most odd times.  I didn't object this time :)

My house smells like I can eat it!

I had no idea how long it would take for them to dehydrate.  I live in the southwest and yes it's dry with very little humidity here, but we do experience changes in weather from frost to our fair share of humidity, along with heat.  Yesterday was 98 degrees and we were heading for a record spring day high, so it probably wasn't the best day to test these out.  Well, to sum this part up it only took 7 hours, but there are many variables to this which will be in the recipe below.

Guilt-free onion rings

I was pleasantly surprised how this batch came out!  They had the crunch factor I wanted and the tropical like coconut flavor was perfect.  I'm going to make a couple of adjustments, like make them thicker (I love thick chunky onion rings!) and am already working up another onion ring recipe with a different overall flavor.

Oh and don't expect traditional fried onion rings, this is a healthy raw version which scored me two thumbs up from my official taste tester.  Mark mumbled: "MMMMMMM" along with something else but I couldn't quite make it out while he was taking bite after bite after...

One final note then onto the recipes.  I wanted a dipping sauce that would compliment the coconut onion rings.  So I basically threw something together and will include that below.

Raw Vegan Onion Rings

2 large sweet onions (or onions of choice) sliced and rings separated
I used the 3/8" on my mandolin, but would have preferred a thicker ring.  Just note that the thicker the slices the longer in the dehydrator

Bowl #1
1 cup coconut flour

Bowl #2
1 cup coconut milk (if you use canned, thin it out to milk consistency or use almond milk)

Bowl #3 (dry)
1 cup flax meal
1 cup dried coconut shreds (I used unsweetened)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

This is the messy part and will take a little while, but it's super easy so put on some good music and have fun. 

In bowl # order dredge/coat each onion ring into the mixture and put onto dehydrator sheet.  I used the back of a large spoon handle, with made it easier and less messy.  Here's the breakdown:

- Coconut flour (#1) this is a dusting only to prepare the ring for the next bowl, so do not worry if it looks like nothing is sticking - it will simply look like dust
- Coconut milk (#2) dip the dusted ring into the milk to coat
- Dry mix (#3) place the ring into the dry mixture and coat well.  Before placing on dehydrator sheet, give the ring a little shake into the dry bowl to let any loose ingredients fall off.

Note: due to veggie size varies, you may need to add more to the bowls if you run low.

Dehydrate at 115° F approximately 7-12 hours or until desired doneness.  Please note that time varies due to numerous factors, such as type of dehydrator, humidity, weather, thickness of onion rings, etc., so please take this into account.  As mentioned earlier, I live in the desert and it was a hot day yesterday so this batch took around 7 hours (I have a 5 tray Excalliber). 

Storage: we ate most of these with our salad last night and there was about a couple handfuls left so I stored them in a zip bag in the fridge.  This morning I tested them (I had to, it's my job) and they were still crunchy with a moister onion - total yum factor!

Sweet n Spicy Dip/Sauce/Dressing

1 yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup hemp heart seeds
1 small Serrano pepper (seeded)
1 Tbs agave
1 Tbs raw gluten-free apple cider vinegar

Blend until smooth and creamy.  This was super yummy with the onion rings, as well as on our salads.

Hope you enjoy these recipes.  Once I create the other onion ring batch I'll post it.


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