I have a love/hate relationship with raw wraps. I love them because they’re versatile, easy to prepare, and way more fun than sandwiches. I hate them because I have yet to make a homemade raw wrap that was really excellent. They’ve all been too thin, too dry, to thick, or too dense. When I went to Gingersnap’s Organic in NYC, and tasted the stellar reuben wrap, I thought to myself, “what the heck am I doing wrong”?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about raw wrap-making, it’s that the dehydrating time matters every bit as much as the recipe itself; if you over- or under-dehydrate your wrap, you’ll end up either with mush or a giant, brittle cracker. This means that you have to treat the dehydration process (which is usually gloriously hands-off) more like baking: you have to check in on the wraps, test the texture, and make sure you’re not letting things get too dry. This week, for the first time in CR history, I made raw wraps that were of Gena-approved quality; pliable, yet sturdy. And I made them with one of my favorite flavor combinations: carrot and cumin.
It is my duty to tell you that this recipe will be easiest with a Vitamix or another high-quality blender. You can certainly give it a shot in the food processor (if you do, let me know if it works), but the trick to this recipe was getting a smooth, pancake-batter-like texture out of my wrap “dough,” and I used the Vitamix to do that.
The recipe is extremely simple, as per my own taste, so feel free to embellish and flavor it as you wish. Garlic and cilantro would be nice to through in the “dough”; so would lemon, cinnamon, coriander, or dates. Or, you can follow my lead, and make this one of those delightful, economical, 5-ingredients-or-less recipes. When time is short, such recipes are your best friend.
Gena’s Raw, Vegan Carrot and Cumin Wraps (vegan, gluten free, soy free if you sub sea salt for the tamari)
Makes 6 wraps
2 cups carrot pulp OR grated carrot (if you use the latter, give it a quick squeeze with paper towel to remove a little excess moisture)
1 cup flax meal
2 cups water (+ extra as needed)
1 tbsp cumin
1-2 tbsp tamari
1) Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender till very smooth. Add more water as needed; you want a pancake batter consistency. The moisture will vary depending on your pulp and how dry it is, so you may need to add a lot or only a little more. Use your kitchen intuition!
2) Spread wrap batter evenly onto two Teflex-lined dehydrator sheets. Dehydrate at 115 degrees for about 3 1/2 hours, or until the tops are firm and you can peel the wraps away from the nonstick sheets (if they’re a mess when you try to peel them off, keep dehydrating).
3) Flip your Teflex sheet (with the wrap on it) upside down onto the mesh sheet beneath, and carefully peel back the Teflex till the wrap has been flipped onto its other side. Continue dehydrating another 1 1/2 hours or so, checking in on the wraps every so often. You want them to ultimately be firm and sturdy, but still flexible, and you don’t want the edges to start cracking too much when you bend them (they’ll definitely crack a little no matter what you do).
4) When the wraps have finished dehydrating, you can use a pizza wheel or knife to cut them into 6 rectangles. You can also cut away some of the edges, if they’ve gotten very hard.
5) This is important: store these overnight in a plastic bag or airtight container. This will get rid of some of the brittleness that the wraps may have taken on in the dehydrating process. When you’re ready to use them, simply stuff them with fillings of choice, and get eating!
I chose sweet potato, avocado, red cabbage, greens, and a bit of my red pepper, chickpea, and tahini dressing. The same ingredients, give or take, went into my accompanying salad:
What a great lunch. I have never once been able to devour a raw wrap and give myself a pat on the back for authenticity: this time, I could.
Though I do still often seek out whole grain wraps for their own sake—my personal favorites are the Food for Life wraps—it’s fantastic to have the option of a wrap that is rich in Omega-3 EFAs, as well as full of vegetable power. If you wanted to make these wraps without the dehydrator, you could definitely try various oven settings, or you could try adding some flour of your choice and making them like crepes, in a skillet. Let me know how it goes if you try either method!
Today, I’m giddy because a) I got out of my lab a little early and b) as of next week, I’ll have “graduated” in my volunteer position in pediatric oncology and hematology at Georgetown University Teaching Hospital, to the status of “cuddler and snuggler.” This means I’ll be able to cradle and hold infants and babies who need care. It also means I’ll occasionally get to visit the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and hold babies there. What a gift!