Tag Archives: dehydrator

PROGRESS OR PROGRESSION

I used to love to make dehydrated foods, but then, one day, I just decided that dehydrating took too long, and, then, rationalizing, I decided that it was not as “natural” as food freshly cut up and mixed into different combinations. (Okay, I have met raw vegans who do not even want to use a food processor – they figure they should bite everything by themselves — I doubt I will ever be that raw – I like my food made into little bits or mush) So, anyway, I do not put my dehydrator into storage, and I now make recipes for things that I can make either by cutting the ingredients up or reducing the ingredients to mush in my food processor or in my Nutri-Bullet (yes – I don’t use a super power blender). It’s kind of interesting. I’m back to just a few steps from the way I started raw (with only a fierce Chinese cleaver). I’m feeling peace here, actually (No philosophy involved! Just thinking about how much easier my life is now that I don’t dehydrate)

I will share with you that most things that you’ll see dehydrating instructions for (aside with the obvious breads, cookies, crackers, etc) can be made as pates, and eaten unheated — i.e., a raw vegan burger which hasn’t been dehydrated, will be a raw vegan burger pate.

Life is so much simpler now.

GARLIC KALE CHIPS & GARDEN OF LIFE RAW MEAL

POST #849
Sometimes you have to try something new, and today has been that day for me.
Today’s new experiences:
Garlic kale chips
Garden of Life Raw Meal powder

GOOD NEW EXPERIENCE
I found garlic kale chips on the RawNouveau site, and decided to try them out last night. What was interesting to me was that, in contrast to the cashews which from the base of most kale chip “coating”, this recipe uses sunflower seeds, and I just happened to have a surplus of sunflower seed sprouts from making my sunflower seed crackers on Monday. I changed the recipe a little, because I’m me, and, also, because I only had one bunch of kale.  I ended up making one-fourth of the recipe, with changes here and there.

RAW GARLIC KALE CHIPS
1 bun kale, washed, stemmed, blotted dry
1 C sunflower seed sprouts
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 T nutritional yeast
10 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 med. jalapeno, finely minced
1/2 t sea salt
1-1/2 T raw agave syrup

  • Tear the kale into bite-sized (2-3 in.) pieces and place in a large bowl.
  • In a food processor or high-speed blender, blend the liquid ingredients, then add the remaining ingredients, and process to a smooth, creamy consistency (with a food processor, the consistency will be a little grainier)
  • Pour the cashew mixture over the kale in the bowl.
  • With you hands, toss and gently massage he kale with the cashew mixture until each piece of kale is evenly-coated top and bottom.
  • Spread the kale pieces evenly in one layer onto dehydrator trays covered with a teflex sheets.
  • Dehydrate at 115 degrees for 8 hrs. or until dry and crispy.
  • Store in a glass container with an airtight lid.

(notes on my changes to amounts/ingredients: I like garlic so I stayed with the original 10 cloves even though I was using 1/4 the amount of kale and other ingredients. I don’t like sweet normally, but this was my first time with this chef and this recipe, so I dug out the bottle of agave syrup I had, only to find out I only had 1 T left — I added a heaping t of the palm sugar I just got. The original recipe did not call for jalapeno, but I like spicy, so, there you have it.)

I took the garlic chips out of the dehydrator this morning and have eaten a couple of handfuls of them. They are good. I’ll do this recipe again.

NOT SO GOOD NEW EXPERIENCE
Now, about the Garden of Life Raw Meal,:
I bought this at Willner’s, on Park Ave., because they have better prices, and because it had such an impressive list of ingredients.
I had tried it once before, following the instructions to use 2 scoops of powder to 16 oz of water, but it turned out so thick and nasty-tasting that I decided to try it with half the powder and a huge handful of blueberries I had in the freezer, and I put 3 heaping teaspoonfuls of palm sugar in it..
Yuck. This stuff tastes like dirt. Despite all the palm sugar in it (and I normally do not use sweeteners of any kind), it just tasted like sweet dirt with a dirt aftertaste. This stuff was not cheap, so I will use it up, but I will never buy it again.

Note: I read a review on Amazon, in which the reviewer said his Raw Meal was moldy. I wouldn’t know how to tell it was moldy. It didn’t taste moldy, it just tasted like dirt, which some other reviewers mentioned. (I’m not unused to protein powder tasting like dirt—I used to use Nature’s Life Pro 96 Super Soy Green Protein, which tasted like dirt, until they changed the formula and added sweetener. With the original formula, a banana could disguise the taste.)

NON-ELECTRIC DEHYDRATOR-Interesting

Just fooling around, viewing different dehydrators by different manufacturers for fun, just to reassure myself after all these years (8 or 9, I’d say) that my Excalibur  dehydrator was and continues to be the right choice, the onliest choice for me, I found this interesting gizmo.

If you don’t have electricity, or if you live in a warm, dry place, the FoodPANtrie [sic] might be right up your alley. (Me, I live in a city apartment – no place to dry outdoors, no space to deal with this indoors). I’ve seen instructions for “build-your-own” dehydrators before, but this one is very uniquely creative. In addition, you can read the instructions and find out some interesting things that people do to the food when they are dehydrating. Do check it out, if only to see what ingenuity can do.

SOUP TIME — it’s cold out

It is pumpkin season and it is quite cold here. I like soup when it is cold.

There are two ways to have warm soup that i know of: You can process the soup in the VitaMix until it heats up – about two minutes, or you can put the soup in bowls in the dehydrator for an hour or so.

Here is a VitaMix pumpkin soup. Yum

PUMPKIN SOUP
2 C pumpkin, cubed
2 apples,peeled and quartered
3/4 C water
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 C onion, chopped
2 T raw tahini
1/2 t sa;t free Spike
1/2 t sea salt (or to taste)
1/2 tsp paprika

In a VitaMix process all ingredients until smooth.
Continue to process until warm, if desired.

WHAT TO DO WITH LOTS OF TOMATOES – my tomato shares are coming soon

If you haven’t seen what I did last year with my two (surprise) shares, please check out the post from 9/2/07:
https://prettysmartrawfoodideas.wordpress.com/2007/09/02/buried-in-tomatoes/

I’m readier this year. I actually paid for two shares this time, on purpose.

Here is my information, based on judicious research as well as my experience and final action last year.

HOW TO MAKE SUN DRIED TOMATOES FROM FRESH TOMATOES

SELECT TOMATOES

  • The best tomatoes for dehydrating are Roma tomatoes (small oval-ish tomatoes). Romas are thicker, meatier, have fewer sides, and are less watery than other kinds of tomatoes.
  • Avoid mushy, soft, bruised, and rotten tomatoes.


TO PREPARE FOR DEHYDRATING

  • Remove any bruises or soft parts, as well as cores/stem parts (usually yellowish or greenish).
  • Halve or quarter tomatoes lengthwise, or thickly slice horizontally.   (Although dehydrated tomato pieces normally shrink to 1/4 of the original size, keep in mind that, the larger the pieces, the longer it will take to finish dehydrating them.)

DEHYDRATING

  • Place tomato slices evenly on dehydrator trays as close as possible without touching (remember that the end-product will be 1/4 the original size).  If desired, sprinkle with salt or herbs of choice.
  • Set dehydrator for 140 degrees for 1 hr.
  • After one hour, reduce temperature to 125 or 115 degrees (depending on which guru you believe — I do mine at 125 degrees)
  • Dehydrate until done – regardless of the kind of dehydrator you use (I recommend the Excalibur — mine is a 5-tray model which lets me easily check the progress of whatever I am dehydrating, and is easy to and fast to load and unload), this will depend on where you are and what kind of humidity there is.
  • When the tomatoes are properly dehydrated, they will be flexible, or leathery, like raisins.  They should be deep red in color, and not be tacky to the touch.
  • Cool the dehydrated tomatoes to room temperature (20 or 30 mins.), then place in zipper bags, leaving some small space for expansion.  Squeeze out as much air as possible when closing the bags.  (A vacuum sealer is ideal, and will prevent spoilage and retain flavor best, but judicious squeezing out of the air will do.)  Make sure any storage containers are completely airtight, as dehydrated tomatoes readily absorb moisture, and can quickly become moldy.
  • Store bagged dehydrated tomatoes in the freezer or in a cool, dry place.
  • Frozen dehydrated tomatoes will last for  9 – 12 mos.
  • Check packs of dehydrated tomatoes frequently for signs of moisture condensation for a week or so. At the first sign of moisture, put the tomatoes into the dehydrator and re-dry them


PACKING IN OILS
If you want dried tomatoes in oil, it is advisable to wait until just before you are ready to use them, and then refrigerate them only for a short time.
Place dried tomatoes in a jar with a good seal/top, leaving about 1 in. of space at the top, for expansion.  Pour in extra virgin olive oil to cover tomatoes and fill jar.  Check after 8 hours or so to see if you need to add more olive oil.

VARIATION:
If you wish to add herbs to oil-packed dried tomatoes, “layer” them in as you add the tomatoes, then add the oil.

WHAT TO DO WITH THE DREDGES AFTER YOU MAKE REJUVELAC

On My Raw Year blog, I found a request for suggestions about what to do with the chaff left over after making a batch or two of rejuvelac.

Steve Meyerowitz, in his book Sproutman’s Kitchen Garden Cookbook suggests dehydrating the chaff, but he doesn’t make very clear what you should do with it after you dehydrate it. I am planning to use my next batch as filler in some crackers I will be making later this week (after these two batches of rejuvelac I’m “cooking up” are done.

I don’t see why the dehydrated wheat chaff could not be crumbled and sprinkled on salads and other food creations, so I will try that, as well.

Funny, I had never thought about what to do with the dredges until I started to make up this batch and went back to Sproutman to remind myself of what he had said about making rejuvelac (he has some good suggestions)

NEW SNACK

I’m kind of slow on the uptake sometimes..

With all the carrots I got in my first Winter CSA share, I have been making carrot juice, and I decided to dehydrate the pulp for later use.  

Surprise!!!! The dehydrated pulp is a sweet snack all by itself.  

I can, of course, include it in other recipes, but….. what a yummy thing to grab a handful of from time to time!!!!! 

PRETTY SMART RAW FRUIT & NUT BARS

I’m leaving on vacation tomorrow, and I have to change planes, which will make it a kind of long flight, so I had to think of something to take along to eat.  The last time I made something (crackers and “cheez”), security confiscated my cheez and then gave me a very very thorough search.  I don’t want to go through that, so…. I thought…. BARS!!!!

I’ve never been terribly interested in bars… I think I may have eaten a total of 4 Lara Bars in my life, so I had no clue where to start, except that I remembered that the Lara Bars were basically dates and nuts.

I don’t want to spend scads on a pile of Lara Bars, so I thought about what to do, and then I found a recipe in Brigitte Mars’ book, Rawsome.  I changed it a little bit, because I did not have all the same ingredients.  These bars came out really good…. I’d rather them not be so sticky, but they are still quite good… my room-mate says they taste like a Lara Bar.

MY TRAVEL BARS
1 C walnuts, soaked overnight, then rinsed
1/4 C dried apricots, soaked 4 hours to overnight
10 dates, soaked 20 minutes, then pitted
2 apples, cored and chopped

•    Combine everything in a food processor and grind fine, scraping down sides from time to time.
•    On a teflex dehydrator sheet, form mixture into bars about the size of a granola bar (or a Lara Bar), and about  1/2 inch thick.  Alternatively, you could make cookie shapes.
•    Dehydrate at 125 degrees for 4-6 hours, then turn onto a mesh dehydrator screen, peel off the teflex sheet, and continue to dehydrate for @ 6 more hours (a total of about 12 hours).

When I get back, I want to work on some flavors.