Raw, vegan Cheezy Broccoli Poppers that are perfect for snacking. These will turn anyone and everyone into broccoli lovers- kids and “big kids at heart” included!
Don’t tell my boyfriend this, but I have never been a huge broccoli lover. If you asked him what his favorite food of all time is, he would probably say raw broccoli. How in the world that is even a possibility, I am not sure. Though I suppose some people would look at me strangely when I profess my love for carrots and sweet potatoes. To each their own!
I am honestly a little bit jealous of my main squeeze. I wish I looked at raw broccoli and thought, “man, that looks good!” Throw broccoli in a stir-fry, roast it up, or steam it and top it with cheese and I am 100% on board. But I just cannot get into broccoli right off of the stock.
So you can imagine my surprise when walking through Whole Foods about a month ago, and I saw Cheese Louise Broccoli Poppers from Brad’s Raw Foods and nearly did a double-take. Cheesy broccoli that isn’t messy, that I can take with me anywhere, that is raw and vegan (but doesn’t taste like it), and that is in poppable form? Um, yes please! What I was not loving, however, was the price. One single-serve bag was $4.99! Of course, I was so intrigued that I had to buy them anyways. It’s just money, right?
Now I am hooked. But since I have not won any more than $100 in the Powerball, my credit card is not having that! I can maybe justify them as a monthly splurge, but certainly not as a weekly purchase. You know that wasn’t going to stop me from indulging in vegan, raw, cheezy broccoli goodness, though. I put my beloved dehydrator to work and made my own! Do they taste exactly like the “real thing?” No. But they are a pretty darn good substitute for about a third of the cost!
*Adapted from this recipe.
Serves 4 as a snack or side
4 cups broccoli florets, washed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup unsalted cashews, soaked overnight (or at least 4 hours)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 TB fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/8 cup water
2 heaping TB nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1. Drain cashews and add to food processor or high-speed blender. Pulse for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the container with a spatula.
2. Place chopped red pepper into the container. Process for another 30 seconds. Scrape the sides of the container again.
3. Add lemon juice, water, nutritional yeast, onion powder, turmeric powder, and sea salt to the container. Process until mostly smooth, or for approximately 45 seconds.
4. Place broccoli in a large bowl. Add the cheezy cashew mixture to the bowl. Gently fold the broccoli and “cheese” together until every piece of broccoli is well-coated with the cheezy cashew mixture.
5. Place broccoli pieces onto the trays of your dehydrator, being careful to ensure that they do not touch one another.
6. Follow your dehydrator’s instructions and dehydrate at 125 degrees F for approximately 8 hours, or until crunchy.
7. Store in an air-tight container to maintain freshness.
*Note: I have only tried making these in my dehydrator, though I’m sure you could attempt to make them in the oven on very low heat. If you try this method out, let me know how it goes!