If you have been reading my blog for a while you probably know that every few months I adopt some sort of new food obsession. Lately it’s been sprouting and raw food… this month it’s DEHYDRATING!
I’m the type of person who doesn’t spend a lot of money on fancy kitchen appliances. When I want to try something new, I usually look for it used on Craigslist or Kijiji. I refuse to spend oodles of moolah on some new kitchen ‘essential’, use it for a couple of months then surrender it to the dust bunnies in my basement. Nope. Not gonna do it.
A couple of years ago I wanted to try juicing. I know a good juicer isn’t cheap, so I got it used from a very nice gentleman on Craigslist. I paid $40 bucks for it. Sweet, right? I juiced for a month straight, loved it… then I moved and didn’t have the kitchen counter space for it, so it sat in the pantry. When we moved into our new house it made another appearance and I have been using it off and on for months. Definitely not a waste of $40. I love it and bust it out when I’m alternating between smoothies and juicing. I even keep the pulp from the juice so I can bake with it. See? Not a fad. I like to call it a ‘periodic obsession’. I have many of those.
This is a loaf of zucchini banana bread with carrot, ginger, apple and beet pulp. It was super dense and very yummy. Perfect for breakfast and really awesome toasted.
Yumm, that looks good huh! Hm… haven’t had bread in a while. Could totally go for… Nope. Stop. Not eating wheat.
Anyway. Where was I?
Okay, so I have desperately wanted a dehydrator for a reeeeaallllyyy long time now.
That’s a long time to obsess over something, right? I picked this gem up at Home Hardware for $39 on sale. Shazaa!
I started with apple slices on Sunday. Read in the booklet that you should pre-treat them with something acidic like orange/grapefruit juice and water so they don’t brown. I had a bunch of apples left from the orchard and got to work. I didn’t core the apples for two reasons; 1) I don’t have an apple corer, 2) I think it’s a waste of time. As long as the seeds are removed the little shell around them gets crispy when the apple dehydrates so you don’t notice it anyway. I tossed the pre-soaked apples in cinnamon and put them on the tray.
I didn’t take a picture of the apples. They turned out so good I ate the whole batch. So uh, here’s a picture of the sweet potato chips and kiwi that I did yesterday!
I only seasoned the sweet potato chips with salt and a little garlic powder. The kiwi was just sliced and put straight up on the tray. Looks groovy, huh?
The kiwi is a huge favourite in my house. It’s a little chewy and tart, with the right amount of sweetness. I grab a piece every time I walk by the counter. Totally addictive. Perfect snacks to keep in my purse so I don’t go hangry. Those raw power breakfast bars I made don’t last long and the chocolate can melt quickly in the summer, so these are prefect in any weather and won’t make your fingers messy!
The sweet potato chips turned out really bland. Garlic powder is NOT the right spice. I made another batch with another batch of apples yesterday and seasoned the sweet potatoes with chipotle pepper (ground). They were so spicy! I’ll take it down a notch next time. Also way too salty. I need to find a happy medium with the salt. I also did zucchini chips with the last of the sweet potato. I used a black peppercorn seasoning and I didn’t realize it had salt already in it, and added more. Oops, ew. They are awful to eat on their own, but I’ll throw them into a salad for a salty crunch so they don’t go to waste, or throw them into a soup and rehydrate them. Huh. Let me think about that one some more.
Definitely need to figure out the salt ratio though. I think I will try paprika or onion powder next time.
On the 2nd batch of apples, triple the amount of cinnamon, FELL onto the apples. Oh well. Who hates cinnamon? Not moi. So I decided instead of rinsing them off, to just let it be. Mental note for next time: use a cinnamon shaker and don’t free-shake.
We have a ripe pineapple on the counter, so tonight I’m going to dehydrate half of that. I really like having both fresh and dried fruit in the kitchen. I will most likely bake something in the near future with my dried fruit goodness.
I’m thinking of dehydrating some carrots, celery, potato, onion etc., and making my own vegetarian soup mixes in mason jars to give friends over the holidays. Sounds like a fun project but I don’t know that I’ll have time to research and get it all together before we leave for holiday.
Ah well… it will be my next obsession I’m sure. I must create and move on to the next! Here are some pictures of the goodies I’ve obsessed over this week. Enjoy friends!
Oh and here’s a picture of my cat, Art. Just cause he looks freaking cute in the box.