I bet there’s more in your kitchen than you think that you can stick in the dehydrator. What can you do with that dehydrator that’s sitting on your counter or in the cabinet and not getting used? How about pizza dough (read below!)? A healthy alternative to the corner pizza place and you can add all the fresh veggies you have in the fridge. It doesn’t have to be completely raw either. Have potatoes, but no oil for frying? Did you know you could dehydrate slices of potatoes and make your own healthier variety of potato chips? Not only potatoes, but veggies and fruits too. And how about pie crust that you can make and dehydrate and add your favorite fruit topping?
Dehydrating will dry food at temperatures high enough to remove the water, but low enough to keep enzymes intact. In the raw food world, dehydrating temps are below 112 degrees. This allows vitamins, minerals and enzymes to be preserved. Fresh fruit can take longer than certain grains. Teflex sheets are liners that will let you dry watery and thinner foods without them slipping through the mesh screen. Experiment with the times. Flip the cookie or fruit to make drying time faster. Eating a raw diet? You don’t have to sacrifice the warmth of the food when you use a dehydrator.
Save money? Absolutely, with dehydrating. Drying food is great for preserving food. Dry apples, corn, tomatoes and meat to preserve and store. Dried foods keep well because the moisture content is low. The high cost of commercially dried foods has brought back the popularity of drying food at home. Don’t forget nuts and seeds. From almonds to pumpkin. Top with your favorite spice before dehydrating.
Here are some simple recipes:
Sweet Potato Chips
Slice two sweet potatoes with a spiral slicer into thin slices and add 1/4 olive oil and 1/4 lemon juice and coat well. Lay the chips flat on dehydrator screen and sprinkle with cayenne or pepper to your taste. Dehydrate at 105 degrees for 8-10 hours or until crispy.
Alternatives for mixing with potatoes: Try Bragg’s Amino, Apple cider vinegar, sea salt
A Basic Pizza Crust
2 1/2 cups buckwheat groats, soaked and sprouted. 1/3 cup olive oil and any herbs you have on hand to taste, like oregano, basil or pepper. A little liquid amino and place all in the food processor until a dough is formed. Dehydrate about 4 hours flipping half way through. You can even put these out in the sun to dry! (Add other ingredients such as, ground flax, onion, parsley, garlic, red pepper)
Almond and Date Pie Crust
1 1/4 cup soaked almonds, 1 cup dates chopped, 1 tblspn water, 1/2 teaspn vanilla and some cinnamon. Chop the nuts in your food processor and add dates until finely ground. Add remaining ingredients. The crust will be slightly damp. Press the mixture and dehydrate for one hour or leave in the sun. Top with everything from fresh fruit to pumpkin. Yum!
And for the kids….Fruit Leathers
Puree any fruit until smooth and add lemon juice to keep fruit from darkening. Add honey for sweetness if desired. Spread fruit onto drying tray and dry for 6-8 hours. Top it or fill it. Let the kids decide!
These dishes will last in your fridge for days, and you can eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. My personal favorite about raw food. Experiment with what you have.
Be happy and be healthy!