Well, not much at the moment – we really need to go shopping!
But I made these which, while not quite substantial enough for a meal, are sorting us out while we write our shopping list… and they are so yummy!
Soak the cashews in a little water for an hour, then drain and chop in a blender. You don’t need a high speed blender as the cashews will be quite soft.
Mash the banana and mix all the ingredients together.
Roll the mixture into 12 small balls (tip: use wet hands and sort-of ‘shake’ them into shape rather than roll!) and place onto a teflon sheet on a dehydratortray.
Bake in the dehydrator for 6-7 hours, turning them over half way.
Quick! Take a photo before they’re all gone! =)
To turn things over in a dehydrator:
* take the tray out of the dehydrator and place it on the kitchen-side.
* place a fresh dehydrator mesh sheet over the top of the product, then place a tray over the top.
* turn the whole thing over.
* remove the old tray and mesh.
* gently peel back the teflon sheet.
* put the new tray, together with turned product, back into the dehydrator.
The product will dry quicker without the teflon sheet because the air can circulate all round, so removing from the teflon sheet as soon as it is ‘peel-able’ ensures the quickest drying time.
Of course, if you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use a fan oven on fan-only, with the door open ajar.
The weather has turned a bit cooler today, so I’m experimenting with a warmer dish. This one will be good in the winter time.
Thai Spicy Mushrooms
4 Portobello Mushrooms, sliced hemp seed oil
Thai spices sesame seeds
a drop of cider vinegar Marinade the mushrooms with the other ingredients and leave to stand for about half an hour.
Then dehydrate on a low setting for 4-5 hours.
These are delicious served with Green Cashew Cream. (yesterday’s recipe!)
Here are a couple of useful sauces to make and keep in the fridge.
I had to dash out this afternoon, so I whipped them up quickly before I caught my train.
They are both good for making salad dressings, spreading on crackers, dipping vegetables in… etc, etc…
Soak 1 cup sesame seeds for a couple of hours. (Be careful not to soak the seeds too long or you will waterlog them and the tahini won’t last as long.)
Drain and blend with 1/2 cup water and some salt & pepper
It’s that easy! It will last about 4 days in the fridge.
This Raw Tahini comes out really pure and white and is perfect for making Raw Hummus! go on, soak some chick peas now…
Green Cashew Cream
This uses the pulp from making Cashew milk.
1 cup cashew pulp
1 tomato, chopped
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp spirulina
1 tsp agave syrup
1/2 cup water
Blend everything together. The Spirulina gives it a bright green colour which makes it look like it’s doing you a lot of good, which it is!
A great base for salad dressings or dips. Again, keep in the fridge and use within a week.
I’ve been hearing and reading a lot about Cultured Vegetables.
Now, to be honest, I had no idea what these were, but when the universe keeps banging on about something, I have to sit up and listen.
About a month ago I read a Sauerkraut recipe in one of Shazzie‘s books: Detox Your World (it’s a great book, by the way – I highly recommend it)
My first thought on reading the recipe was “Eeuw! No way! I’m not eating rotting vegetables, thank you very much! I’ll have something else.”
And that was that. I left it, until I saw this interesting article on Cultured Vegetables, which explained it all to me. I had one of those “Aha” moments (and no, not a flashback to the 80s pop group!) suddenly it made sense, but I still felt a bit anxious about making my own.
What if I did it wrong? Could I accidentally introduce a pathogenic bacteria and give it room to grow?
However, a quick look at the price of Cultured Vegetables convinced me that I had to make my own.
I found this useful tutorial and had a go.
I used cabbage and cucumber (keep it simple to start with,) and a couple of lettuce leaves to keep the vegetables under the water. Here is my Sauerkraut in a Kilner jar. I ‘pop’ the gas 2 or 3 times a day and it should be ready to eat on Monday!
One of the nice things about having a dehydrator is the range of interesting textures you can get from your raw food with it. I love experimenting in the kitchen and to be honest, green smoothies and salads, while delicious and very good for me, weren’t always very inspiring. I was craving cooked food. But not, I suspected, for the nutrition, but more for the feel-good factor. I needed some crunch, some goo, some nom, basically!
So I regard dehydrated food as Methadone for cooked food addictions – it satisfies the craving, without giving in to the addiction. And it can make a meal soooo much more interesting. I’ve never been one of those vegan martyrs who chews on tasteless cardboard ‘because it’s good for me.’ If I don’t like it, I simply won’t eat it. Period!
So here are two recipes which satisfy the baked food craving:
1 cup of almond or cashew pulp from making nut milk
1 cup vine fruits, soaked
1 banana, mashed
1 dsp lucuma powder
1 dsp mesquite powder
1 dsp maca powder
2 tsp coconut butter/oil
1 tsp stevia powder or alternative sweetener
1 tsp ground mixed spice
Mix all the ingredients together and roll into small balls. Flatten them (as thin as possible) and place on a dehydrator tray.
I ‘baked’ mine overnight, which was about 7 hours, but they could have gone longer and been more crispy – we just wanted them for breakfast!
Pancakes! Yes, I know! I found this recipe here, but mine took longer to dehydrate. Perhaps I made them bigger.
Makes 4 pancakes
3 bananas, mashed
1/3 cup ground flax
1 tsp cinnamon powder
a drop of water to bind
Mix everything together and spread onto teflon dehydrator sheets. Spread as thin as you can with a spoon (dampen it if you have to, but don’t get the mixture too wet. I made one on each of 4 trays.
Dehydrate for 4 hours, or until the pancake will peel away from the sheet. Place another tray (with mesh) on the top and turn the whole thing over. Gently (and I mean gently!) peel away the teflon sheet.
Dehydrate for another 4 hours.
We had ours with fruit and cacao powder. I’d like to show you a picture, but we ate them too quick!
Take a look at Polly Noble’s pictures – ours were like that!
As with all dehydrator recipes, you could use a fan oven instead. Just put the oven on fan-only or on the lowest temperature and leave the door open a jar to let the heat escape.
One of my favourite Chinese take-away dishes is “Sea Spicy Aubergine” and we had an aubergine in the fridge, so I thought I should try and do something with it.
OK, my results weren’t the same as the Chinese restaurant, obviously, but it was mighty tasty!
Sea Spicy Aubergine
1 aubergine, cut into slices, then sliced into strips For the marinade:
1/2 cup olive or hemp seem oil (they really drink it up!)
1 handful seaweed sprinkle
Garlic flakes Sesame seeds
Mix everything together
Roll the aubergine in the marinade to thoroughly cover it .
Leave to soak up the oil for several hours or overnight. Stir again to coat the aubergine with marinade.
Dehydrate on 105 degrees F until you are happy with the texture really. Mr H enjoyed them quite firm. I preferred mine to have ‘baked’ a bit longer. About 6 hours should do it.
Use a teflon sheet if you prefer, but remember to turn them over after a couple of hours and remove the sheet. I put them straight onto the tray and they were fine.
The salt and seaweed gives a nice ‘sea vegetable‘ taste and the sesame seeds add some excellent texture.
I returned home at from a job interview at lunchtime today to discover a large box waiting for me.
My new dehydrator had arrived!
I bought an Excalibur which, according to all the reviews I’ve read, seemed to come out top for reliability and ease of use.
I only have room for a 5 tray, but hopefully that will be big enough.
Here she is:
I’ve named her Callie, (all my appliances have names!) Unfortunately she has to sit next to the (mostly unused) microwave, which I call Stinky Meat Monster because the previous owner cooked a lot of steaks in it!
Anyway, Callie is great. The design is very straightforward; just a metal box with slots in the sides to fit the five trays. The fan in the back dries the food fairly evenly, but anyways it’s easy to remove the trays and turn them round. they’re square! Each tray is a moulded plastic frame with a plastic mesh which fits neatly on top. It’s easy to clean and the front lifts off to make for beter access to the food.
I bough the dehydrator on eBay. It was new, never used and I got it for a much better price that if I had gone to an online shop, so I’m pleased (although my overdraft doesn’t agree with me!). I also bought some teflon sheets from Raw Living so that I can make cakes and crackers!
I couldn’t wait to get started so I began with a simple recipe that I’ve been wanting to make for ages:
There are probably hundred of recipes for Kale Chips. Here’s mine:
1 (200g) bag of Kale or a large bunch form the garden or shop (note to self: Grow Some Kale!)
1 tsp rock salt
5 dsp olive oil
4 dsp nutritional yeast flakes (I use Engevita. I hope that’s raw!)
1 tsp garlic flakes (dehydrated garlic)
Remove the stalks from the Kale, cutting away as much of the tough stuff as possible.
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, massaging the marinade into the kale leaves.
Spread onto dehydrator trays (use teflon sheets if you prefer) and dehydrate on 105˚F for 5-12 hours.
With Kale Chips, if you dehydrate them for longer, they will be more crispy; if for less, they’ll be chewier. Either way they are yum! I personally prefer them a bit chewy, with lots of marinade on, but that’s me!