Like many others, I am a big fan of sushi: maki, nigiri, California rolls, temaki … you name it, I love it! However, there is one thing about sushi and the sushi hype that is very disappointing to me, making going out with friends at a nice sushi place get a nasty aftertaste.
The reason for this is the origin of sushi and the fishing industry that is making great sales due to the sushi hype. For instance: did you know that there is an appalling amount of “bycatch” that results from commercial fishing? That way, you not only eat the fish that is on your plate, but also all of the animals that were killed for your serving of sushi. Besides, dolphins are slaughtered for sashimi and sushi containing tuna: dolphins get caught in the nets of fishermen, but are also slaughtered in advance, because they hunt for tuna and interfere with the tuna catch.
How bad do you still like sushi? Personally, I find eating sushi a lot less appealing with this knowledge! Therefore, I started experimenting with vegan sushi a bit. In this post I share my first experiment with vegan sushi maki, which is also raw and, as you are used to from me, is super healthy. It’s just a small, easy and quick made bite, but I figured it’s a good starting point. I hope you’ll enjoy it. If so, please let me know and I will continue experimenting with more (raw) vegan sushi’s.
I actually wasn’t planning to use this recipe for my blog and so I didn’t make any ‘how to’ snaps or use a decent camera to capture my maki’s. I just took some Instagram’s of my sushi rolls, which I than posted on my IG-account and Facebook page. Surprisingly, it got many likes and requests for the recipe, so here I am, typing a vegan sushi maki recipe post for those requests and you guys!
Sushi maki different from how you know it
As you can see on the picture below, I didn’t use nori to roll. Instead, I used thin, long slices of zucchini. Why? Well, actually not for a special reason. The zucchini was just there on my kitchen counter and I was thinking about how I could use it, other than using it to make zucchini pasta or a stir fry.
Vegan, raw sushi maki rolls. I made them with slices of zucchini instead of nori sheets.
I also had an avocado that I had to finish, because it was already getting quite soft. I quickly figured that I was going to make mashed, flavored avocado with pine nuts (which also were just there in my kitchen, so no special reason for that), rolled in zucchini slices.
The experiment workout out pretty well! The maki was mouthwatering; immediately after I finished it, I made another portion. I didn’t share 🙂
Raw vegan sushi maki’s are beautifying and beneficial to your health!
Let’s see what it is about this raw vegan sushi maki that makes it so healthy:
Raw food. In my post about why raw food is good I described the benefits of eating most of your foods raw instead of processed. In a nutshell, for many foods applies that cooking them above 120°F/49°C for three minutes or longer kills important vitamins and minerals and denatures enzymes that aid in digestion. Eating raw foods is therefore way more nutritional than eating thermal processed foods. Table 1 gives an overview of the nutrient loss of processed foods by nutrient (Source: USDA Table of Nutrient Retention Factors, 2003). Furthermore, cooking, frying and grilling your food can leave accumulating toxins behind, which are burdensome to your body and are even linked to certain types of cancer (Hogervorst, Schouten, Konings, Goldbohm, & van den Brandt, 2007; Ling, & Hänninen, 1992).
Table 1: Nutrient losses due to processing
|Typical Maximum Nutrient Losses (as compared to raw food)|
|Retinol Activity Equivalent||5%||50%||25%||35%||10%|
Indication of nutrient loss in percentage (actual losses depend on factors like cooking time, cooking temperature, type of food etc.).
Zucchini. Next, let’s take a closer look at zucchini. I eat a lot of zucchini, because it is such a versatile vegetable. I use it in my gluten-free zucchini bread and as I said before, to make gluten-free, low carb zucchini pasta. Zucchini is beneficial to your health because it’s a fiber rich vegetable, which aids in digestion and gives you the feeling of fullness. Zucchini is furthermore low in carbohydrates, keeping your blood sugar level under control. Also, you can go nuts on zucchini, because it is a very low caloric food (only 36 cal’s per cup). Last but not least, zucchini is high in manganese, which metabolises protein and carbohydrates.
Avocado. Love it, and not only for it’s smoothiness, taste and applicability in paleo brownies! No, no, no, avocado’s have much more to them: they are linked with decreasing the chances of developing breast cancer, they lower blood pressure, help control heart rate, relieve hypertension, treat anxiety and stress, promote healthy brain function, inflict allergies, relieve headache, lower bad cholesterol, increase muscular strength and metabolism and control water balance. That’s a mouth full! But wait, there’s more: avocados are great for your skin, providing you with a radiant skin glow, treating flaky skin and acne and prevent premature skin aging. If you are having skin problems, it is wise to add avocados to your diet.
Pine nuts. Pine nuts are also beneficial to your skin: due to their vitamin A and C, they are a great anti-ager. Vitamin D found in pine nuts are also beneficial for women in and after their menopause, because vitamin D builds stronger bones. Furthermore, pinoleic acid in pine nuts makes you feel fuller faster, so if you’re the girl that is ALWAYS hungry, pop some pine nuts in between your meals. Their protein and magnesium content will provide you with energy.
Raw vegan sushi maki’s filled with avocado and pine nuts: a waistline friendly starter or snack!
Ready for the recipe? Here we go!
- 1 organic zucchini, washed, peeled if desired
- 1 soft Hass avocado, mashed
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts (or more if desired)
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Fine pink Himalayan seasalt
- Place a peeler on the side of the zucchini and start making beautiful thin, long slices. Don't make them too thick; this will make it harder to roll them. Don't make them too thin, since this will make them break more easy.
- If unpeeled, keep the first unpeeled slice aside. You won't be using it in this recipe.
- Mix all of the remaining ingredients together. Add more pine nuts, salt or pepper if desired.
- Lay your first zucchini slice flat in front of you on a cutting board. Place a small amount of the avocado-pine nut mixture at the very end of the zucchini slice and roll up your slice. Don't press too hard to prevent the mixture from popping out.
- Voilà, ボナペティ !
- You might need to practise this a little bit, but if you're doing it the right way, you will be able to set your roll up straight and the zucchini slice won't roll back. If it does, you might want to make your next zucchini slice a bit thinner.