Who doesn’t love tostadas? They’re crunchy, satisfying and hold a bunch of delicious toppings, from guacamole to salsa.
But one thing: they’re made of GMO-corn (meaning genetically modified.) GMO-corn is a leading cause of digestive issues, attributing to weight-gain, cravings, low immune system, inflammation, ADD/ADHD, depression and more. And worst of all, it’s in almost every processed food, store-bought tostadas included. Over 95% of corn is GMO, which is why I recommend avoiding it in general because you never know if it’s truly organic.
However, you can make your own tostadas without the bad stuff- the raw vegan way.
This was one of my favorite recipes I learned at Matthew Kenney Plant-Based Culinary Academy (watch my webinar about my experience here) because I am a Mexican food addict and am always seeking healthier options to make it more of a reality in my life. This did the trick, giving me a plant-based option for the tostada crunch that I’ve been missing and a lettuce leaf just can’t replace.
I learned in the program that tostadas can actually be made of any veggie from yellow squash to bell pepper. Instead of using regular gluten-filled or corn flour, Matthew Kenney recommends using almond flour to make your tostadas plant-based, while boosting up the nutritional quality and protein-profile. He then adds flaxseeds to bind it together (with the added benefit of hormonal balance) and spices for flavor (and medicinal benefits). There you have your authentic plant-based tostadas: with an extra side of wellness.
Note: A dehydrator is needed for this recipe, which you can order on Amazon for as little as $36. I highly recommend buying one, as it allows you to cook your food slowly at 115 degrees, preventing the living enzymes in the food being destroyed with heat. When we heat up food at high temperatures, we destroy the enzymes, as well as vitamin c and other nutrients, while dehydration allows us to retain those nutrients.
Alas, here is the modified version of the recipe! We actually made sunflower mole and pickled jicama to go along with this dish, which is a little complicated to make at home (but if you sign up for Level 1, you’ll learn it in the academy!)
Raw Vegan Tostadas Topped With Guacamole, Jicama Salsa and Cashew Sour Cream Cabbage Slaw
- 1 ½ cups chopped yellow squash
- ½ red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
- ½ cup almond flour
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp chili
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ cup water (or as needed
- ¼ cup ground flaxseeds
- 1 cup soaked cashews
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup jicama, small diced
- 1 cup tomatoes, small diced
- ¼ cup red onion, small diced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- Optional: Pinch of smoked paprika
- 1 cup shredded cabbage (I used purple and green)
- ¼ cup julienned carrot
- ¼ cup cilantro
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado
- 2 tbsp cilantro
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1/8 tsp salt
- You’ll have to make the tostadas ahead because they require 12 hours in the dehydrator. To make the tostadas, blend all of the ingredients except for the flax seeds until smooth. Remove from blender and stir in the flaxseeds by hand, as it absorbs liquid.
- Line your dehydrator tray in parchment paper or a dehydrator sheet and spread the tostada batter over it in a thin layer, using a spatula. Dehydrate at 12 hours at 115. Remove from dehydrator when ready.
- Next, make the sour cream, as it requires a blender as well. You’ll need 1 cup of soaked cashews (I always use soaked cashews in the fridge.) Blend with the lemon, apple cider vinegar and water. Remove from blender and keep in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- My favorite part! Jicama is a delicious root vegetable with a mild flavor, making it the perfect crunchy addition to any dish. Even if you can’t find jicama in the supermarkets, you can make the salsa without it. Simply dice the veggies and combine them in a bowl with the lime, cilantro and optional smoked paprika. Set in fridge.
- Now this is what you’re going to mix your sour cream into! Simply chop up the veggies into fine pieces or use a mandolin to shred them (or buy them pre-chopped from Trader Joes which is the easiest option.) Add the cilantro and green onion and coat with sour cream.
- Last comes the guacamole (because those darn avocados always go brown!) I think making guac is pretty explanation-less and if you’ve never seen guac made, go to a Mexican restaurant where they make it in front of your table. Simply smash all ingredients together in a large bowl (a stone one if you want to do it the authentic way.)
- The most fun part! Place your tostadas on your plate. Top one with a scoop of jicama salsa and another scoop of guacamole. Top the other with your sour-cream laden cabbage slaw. I garnished mine with purple radish, microgreens and edible flowers which is totally not necessary to do at home. The brown sauce around my plate is a sunflower molé sauce we made (a cacao-based Mexican sauce) which was quite complicated to make so I won’t get into it here, and the white sauce is just more of the cashew sour cream.