Baba Ghanoush, The Raw Food Way!

by Susan on September 9, 2009

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This is a great time of year for food lovers. The farmer’s markets are brimming with fruit and vegetables, fresh and in season, waiting for us to enjoy. Eggplant, the glossy, deep purple member of the nightshade family is showing up in all of it’s various forms. I have always loved eggplant, especially in Baba Ghanoush (eggplant and garlic dip). I wanted a raw food recipe. Raw eggplant can be bitter and have an unpleasing texture. But if you dice and freeze it, once you thaw it, you can achieve the texture you need and also eliminates some of the bitterness associated with raw eggplant.

Nutritionally, eggplant contains chlorogenic acid which is one of the most potent free radical scavengers found in plants. Benefits attributed to chlorogenic acid include antimutagenic (anti-cancer), antimicrobial, anti-LDL (bad cholesterol) and antiviral activities. It is also very high in fiber.

This recipe is full of raw garlic, which I love and feel is the best thing about it! However, you might want to add it slowly to suit your taste.

Baba Ghanoush

2-3 Cloves of garlic
1/2 C Cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
1 Large Eggplant, diced frozen and thawed
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 T Olive Oil
Pinch of Salt

Advanced preparation: Peel, dice and freeze the eggplant. Thaw before you prepare the eggplant. Soak cashews.

Start food processor and drop garlic, clove by clove into the spinning blade. It will fine dice it and throw it on the wall of the processor. Add the cashews and process until smooth. Add diced eggplant, lemon juice, olive oil and pinch of salt. Process until smooth. Enjoy with your choice of flat breads.

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

VeggieGirl September 9, 2009 at 9:35 am

BRILLIANT!!!

Eco Mama September 9, 2009 at 12:46 pm

Oh Yum! That looks great!

Lori- pure2raw September 9, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Wow, looks great! I have heard that you have to be careful when eating raw eggplant? When I first went raw – I came across articles saying that eggplant has to be cooked because of some bacteria or something that can be harmful. So, I have not tried it raw yet. But this idea intrigues me! Thanks.

Susan September 9, 2009 at 9:40 pm

I have done quite a bit of research on this and I haven’t found any thing yet that suggests that you shouldn’t eat it raw. As in everything, moderation is the key.

Mandy September 10, 2009 at 8:00 am

I am so HAPPY that you just posted this recipe. Was just thinking of a little Baba the other day…However, SAD because, I just composted 1/2 eggplant that was getting a little dark, b/c I couldn’t think of anything to do with it! Arg!

The Cooking Lady September 16, 2009 at 6:08 am

My eggplant is in the freezer as we speak, but I do have a question, and pardon my lack of knowledge in this arena. Why not use tahini? Are the sesame seeds processed as in cooked at any stage and or pasturized? I use tahini all the time in my homemade hummus. I am not fully raw but starting to incorperate new dishes all the time. Thanks for any advice.

Susan September 16, 2009 at 6:19 am

I use tahini in my raw humus. In this I just wanted the eggplant and garlic. I like it that way but you are welcome to put it in.

Susan

Roger Hamre September 18, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Very profrssional. We’re proud of you Sue.

JodyLynn September 19, 2009 at 9:15 am

I just made this and can I just say ….without drooling, that is….this is SOOOOOO good! I used it as a dip, then used it as part of a filling to my lettuce wrap and then just ate it out of the bowl! All gone! Thanks for the tasty recipe! :-)

Susan September 19, 2009 at 9:19 am

Glad you like it! It is a favorite!

The Cooking Lady September 20, 2009 at 5:36 am

I love traditional Baba Ganoush, but this caught my eye. I did make it last night. It is delicious. I have to admit, I miss the taste of the tahini, but I see no problem with bouncing back and forth between this new recipe and my own.

I am on a journey to add more raw food to our diet, this is just another dish to help us get there!

Lindy October 25, 2009 at 12:22 pm

I am also not very familiar with raw food, so forgive me for sounding ignorant, but what is the purpose for freezing the eggplant. I had experimented with another raw eggplant recipe, which called for marinating the eggplant in lemon juice and oil. The recipe noted that the marinating process removes the toughness of the fruit. When I cooked eggplant, I always sprinkled with salt and drained the excess liquid to remove bitterness. Any thoughts on these methods?

Susan October 25, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Yes…the whole reason to freeze is to change the texture. And for some reason, it is less bitter. You can marinate, but in this recipe, I didn’t want a marinade flavor introduced. Hence, the freezing. And as you probably know, in raw..we don’t cook.

koyra February 7, 2010 at 1:50 pm

just amazing!! we tried and we were speachless!
go on susan!!!

Sarah February 12, 2010 at 10:46 am

Thanks for the tip on the freezing… I can’t wait to try this!

Lesli August 31, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Susan, you rock. I am leaving for vacation soon and “forgot” that I have a beautiful, fresh eggplant from the farmers’ market from last week; also, it’s pretty warm out and was looking for a raw vegan eggplant recipe. I will peel, dice and freeze it, and when I get back I’ll look forward to making this. Thanks a lot! :)

Maya September 6, 2010 at 10:45 am

How uncommon would it be if someone were to ask you what you had for breakfast this morning and you respond with: 1 whole uncooked eggplant and 1 whole uncooked sweet potato… hehehe.

I just had it for breakfast this morning! So quick and easy to make! I used raw tahini instead of cashews and it turned out deeeelish! I dehydrated sweet potato chips overnight and used the batch to dip :)

I’m Mediterranean so I grew up on this stuff, but cooked. I’d like my mom to give this a try and see what she thinks ;)

Thanks for the recipe!!

Kadie October 10, 2010 at 5:46 pm

What is your experience with Freezing foods and maintaining enzymes? I have heard many different opinons on the subject, and wanted to ask what your thoughts were?

Susan October 10, 2010 at 5:54 pm

All of my research indicates that freezing does not kill the enzymes. Actually, food that is frozen can retain higher levels of nutrients than food that has aged.

zenobia December 1, 2010 at 4:27 am

Mine isnt all brownish in color like the other recipe’s I’ve seen on the net. Guess I added way more tahini and cashews than the eggplant. But still tastes good – Thanks a lot.

Susan December 1, 2010 at 9:36 am

It is important to realize that if you change the ingredients in a recipe, or the way a recipe is made, the final outcome will change. Did you freeze your eggplant?

Dulce April 6, 2011 at 1:03 am

Hi Susan! Will try this out tonight! Already froze my eggplant but I wasn’t able to peel it. Is it alright if it’s not peeled? Also, when you say dice, does it mean small cubes?

Thanks so much!

Susan April 9, 2011 at 11:12 am

You need to remove the skin for this recipe. If you have a question about your order, you can reach me at Susan@Rawmazing.com. Thanks!

Dana May 19, 2011 at 3:28 am

Ugh, i really want to go raw, but I find it really expensive :( … the nuts in my country are extremely pricey… also, I’m kinda scared of all the calories from the recipes, and I’ve also taken out honey or any kind of sugar (except for fruits, mostly berries) from my diet, and I noticed you use agave and maple syrup in most of your recipes… Anyway, you have an amazing website and you are extremely talented :) maybe I won’t go raw vegan right now, but I will for sure incorporate some of your gorgeous recipes in my diet :) Thank you!!!

Oz June 5, 2011 at 10:55 am

to Dana –
If you are from Israel, I can assure you that it is possible to “get away” with eating raw and not taking a loan to do so. If you compare the money you’d spent on dairy and meat products, you’ll find (as I have) that nuts are a reasonable price to pay. Also, we don’t need big amounts of them, just a handful a day is enough. Anyway – they best way to find out if this is possible for you is to try it! :-)

Dana June 14, 2011 at 5:31 am

@oz
I am from Romania :) I usually don’t buy meat and dairy products because my parents live at the countryside and they raise chickens, turkey, pigs and pretty much everything :) Of course, the animals are grass fed and no chemicals are used for plants and trees :) That is why 95% of my food is organic and I’m trying to keep it that way. So i try to buy organic avocados, coconuts ( which are soooo expensive ) and pretty much everything I can’t get from my parents, but I just can’t afford to buy so much organic nuts (I mainly buy almonds because I love love love my coffee with almond milk and coconut milk, so I have to make it).
My point is that a good part of my food comes for free, and if I take that part out I will have to buy organic food appropriate to a raw vegan diet to replace it :) and organic food in my country(especially the exotic stuff) is very very expensive.

Sacha September 12, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Susan: WOW! I was a little skeptical when I saw this recipe because I didn’t think a raw eggplant dish could work. Being a newbie to raw food and an eggplant addict, I had to try it… and boy was I wrong! IT WAS DELICIOUS!
well done! :)

Marian @ marianwrites September 21, 2011 at 7:27 pm

This was delicious! I added some raw spinach for a fun color and I really enjoyed it! Thanks for the great recipe.

Valerie October 6, 2011 at 9:27 pm

I LOVE eggplant, and this recipe! I can share with you that it is part of the deadly nightshade family. I personally can only eat this 2-3 times a year as the inflammatory response my body gets from it is quite uncomfortable. It really stinks, but what is one-two days of discomfort in exchange for deliciousness?

Mary February 7, 2012 at 1:37 pm

I tried this with the Tahini and I found I could still taste a really bitter eggplant flavour. I froze the eggplant overnight and let it completely thaw, but I think this batch is destined for the compost :( I generally love Baba Ghanoush, but other than that am not generally fond of eggplant, so it is probably just me and not the recipe which seems to have rave reviews from many others. If anyone has any other suggestions on how to remove that bitter eggplant taste without cooking, I’d certainly try the recipe again.

Susan February 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm

It needs more time in the freezer before you make it. Overnight isn’t enough.

Emanuella June 13, 2012 at 12:37 pm

If You add “tahine” You obtain the real arab (Syrian and Lebanon especially) babagannuj….I simply love it!!!

Natalie July 5, 2012 at 10:12 am

I froze the eggplant for 2.5 days and there was no trace of bitterness. Deliciouse recipe! Thank you for posting so many wonderful and easy to execute ideas.

Lynnsey October 15, 2012 at 12:48 pm

NEED A FASTER WAY?

Super excited about this receipe!!! I love baba and didn’t even know this was an option. I’m about 40-50% raw now and attempting to incorporate more recipes into my diet.

As my schedule is demanding, I adjusted it to be fast. *Soaked eggplant in salted, warm water and massaged them to encourage bitter juices to flow out. *Heated cashews in microwave with water for 2 minute (not true raw but I’m a little worried about the yeast in raw cashews anyway.) *Added fresh ground pepper.

This was INCREDIBLE! It tasted better than the baba I pick up from my local Mediterrean restaurant! Phenomenal recipe!! Thank you again!

Susan October 15, 2012 at 1:22 pm

It probably is faster but I am concerned about the use of the microwave. :-)

Michelle October 21, 2012 at 8:36 pm

I wish I had the same happy results! Mine came out quite bitter. I added more garlic, more salt, more cashews and more lemon juice.. I even added a tablespoon of tahini, just to try to get rid of the bitter taste. I think maybe my eggplant was just larger then the average? I soaked it for several days, but in 1 inch chunks.. maybe they were too large? I am not really sure but I am sad because I LOVE eggplant. I am still going to eat it, spread on crackers with tomato and cucumber slices.

Susan October 21, 2012 at 10:54 pm

The actual recipe does not call for soaking the eggplant. It is critical to freeze it for this recipe. I can’t speak for what others have done. You might want to try the recipe? Cheers!

Maria December 28, 2012 at 12:37 am

Thanks for the great recipe idea–can’t wait to try it!

Re whether or not raw eggplant is poisonous, I found this interesting piece. Watch the related video and learn how to choose less bitter eggplant (buy male eggplant–who knew!).
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/14/is-raw-eggplant-poisonous_n_962932.html

Alyson June 13, 2013 at 9:57 am

I tried this the other night and it was the most amazing recipe I have ever tried! Even my husband who doesn’t eat as much raw as I do, loves it!!!

Miriam June 30, 2013 at 6:14 pm

This looks amazing!!! Have never experimented with eggplant but will get one next trip to the farmers market! Sounds delish! Thanks!

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