Food dehydrator

All posts tagged Food dehydrator

Raw Cashew “Cheese”

Published January 26, 2012 by Polana Fowdrey

I haven’t eaten actual cheese for decades and don’t miss it at all, but as a vegan I have sometimes enjoyed a dairy-free alternative to cheese. It’s certainly a useful thing to have in the fridge, turning a simple salad into something a bit more interesting and nutritious and providing a great filling for a raw (or even almost-raw) sandwich.

I have adapted a recipe originally shared by Russell James (the Raw Food Chef) here.

Russell’s recipe uses macadamia nuts, which I absolutely adore, but they are a little expensive so, finances being how they are, I used cashews instead.

Here is my version, but I urge you to check out Russell’s (and his other recipes too – they are superb and always work out perfectly!)

Cashew Cheese

Equipment:

Blender/Liquidizer, Sieve, Bowl, Muslin (or Nut Milk Bag), Dehydrator (or fan oven – use fan only,) Ring Mould

Ingredients:

2 cups cashew nuts

1 cup water

2 probiotic capsules

pinch salt

2 teaspoons nutritional yeast (or 1 teaspoon Marmite (yeast extract) if you don’t mind a non-raw condiment!)

Squeeze of lemon juice

Method:

Blend the nuts and water together until you have a smooth paste.

Add the powder from the probiotic capsules and mix in thoroughly.

Pour the mixture into a nut milk bag or a piece of muslin and place in a sieve, over a bowl. Place a plate on the top and a weight to squeeze the excess liquid out. I used a fairly full jar of coconut oil which seemed heavy enough.

Leave at room temperature for 24-48 hours. It’s a good idea to place a cloth over the whole thing so that no dust or unwelcome flying insects get in.

After 24-48 hours, unwrap the mixture and place it into a clean bowl. Add the salt, yeast and lemon juice and stir everything in.

Now pour the mixture into a ring mould. I put mine on top of a non-stick dehydrator sheet (on a DH tray) and placed it in the dehydrator for 24 hours to dry out a little and get a crust. Then I placed it in the fridge, where it lives whilst it is being eaten.

You can just put it straight into the fridge without dehydrating if you are in a hurry or don’t want a crust.

It’s delicious and can be customised with herbs, onion, garlic… the list is limitless!

I think this should last about a week, but ours won’t. Nom nom… =)

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Raw Mushroom Burgers

Published January 12, 2012 by Polana Fowdrey

These were a hit at my birthday bash back in September, so I thought I’d share the recipe here…

Mushroom Burgers

Equipment: food processor, dehydrator (or fan oven)

Ingredients:

2 parsnips

2 carrots

8 mushrooms

olive oil

pine nuts

sundried tomatoes

Method

Soak the pine nuts and sun dried tomatoes in a little water for an hour

Break the mushrooms into tiny pieces and marinade with olive oil (add some tamari or miso if you wish)

Chop parsnips and carrots in the food processor into rice-size pieces. You can use a blender if you prefer.

Add pine nuts and sun dried tomatoes and mix again. You may need some of the tomato soak water to aid mixing.

Add the mushrooms and mix again.

Use an ice-cream scoop to measure out portions of mixture onto a non-stick dehydrator sheet and shape into burgers.

Dehydrate overnight and flip them over in the morning. Give the burgers another couple of hours dehydrating. They will keep well for a week or more in a sealed box in the fridge.

If you do not have a dehydrator, use a fan oven on the lowest setting, or fan-only and leave the door ajar to let the warm air out.

You will need to reduce the “baking” time if you are using an oven.

 

These burgers are lovely with a nice big green salad and are handy enough for packed lunches or picnics.

Aubergine Crisps

Published January 5, 2012 by Polana Fowdrey

I don’t find raw aubergine (“eggplant” to all my American friends!) very easy to eat, so I am always pleased to find ways to make it more palatable. Here’s something I tried last week, which Mr H and I absolutely loved. We nommed the lot, as soon as they came out of the dehydrator!

Aubergine Crisps

Equipment: Spiralizer or sharp knife and steady hand, Dehydrator

Ingredients

1Aubergine/Eggplant

Oil (I used Hemp Seed Oil)

Miso paste

Hot water

Method

Make up a Miso soup from a little Miso paste and hot water. (If you want to go All-Raw, use an alternative marinade such as a raw veg juice or herb salt etc)

Spiralize the Aubergine into thin spiral slices, using the flat blade.

Cut through the spiral to make thin slices. (Alternatively simply cut the aubergine into the thinnest slices you can manage.)

Dip the aubergine slices into the marinade and let them soak for about 10 minutes.

Lay the wet slices onto a dehydrator sheet and lightly brush a little oil onto both sides.

Dehydrate over night. They will go hard and crispy (like crisps) and will be ever-so moorish.

Now, I want another aubergine!

Note: “Crisps” in the UK are the same as “chips” in the US. We have a different use for the word “chips!”

A Good Drying Day

Published August 9, 2011 by Polana Fowdrey

The dehydrator has been used to dry and preserve foods for many years.
When you have a glut of something, it’s useful to have a raw-food way of preserving some, and keeping all the nutrients.
Here are some of the foods I preserve in the dehydrator:

Tomatoes
Slice into 4 or 5 slices each
Dry as they are or…
Dip in olive oil
Sprinkle with salt and chopped herbs
Keep in a jar and use just like sun-dried tomatoes

Plums
Cut in half
Remove stone
Dip in olive oil and mixed spice

Apples
Cut into slices
Either dry as they are or…
Dip in olive oil and ground cinnamon for a spicy Autumnal treat

Root Vegetable Crisps
Use a vegetable peeler to slice carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnip and beetroot
Dry just as they are, until crispy.

Garlic
Peel a lot of garlic cloves
Chop finely in a food processor (or by hand, if you can be bothered)
Dry in a nut milk bag or a dehydrator tray until completely dry
The pieces will clump together, so use an electric mill to crush them
Keep in a jar and use anywhere you’d use fresh garlic

What’s in the Cupboard?

Published July 31, 2011 by Polana Fowdrey

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!

Cashew Brownies
a handful of cashews
a handful of dates
1 banana
2 tsp cacao powder
1 tsp carob powder
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp lucuma powder

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 dehydrator tray.
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.

 

 

Originally published on www.pollyskitchen.blogspot.com

Super Cookies and Super Pancakes

Published July 27, 2011 by Polana Fowdrey

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:

Super Cookies

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!

Super Pancakes
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.

Originally published on www.pollyskitchen.blogspot.com

Dehydration, Dehydration, Dehydration

Published July 25, 2011 by Polana Fowdrey

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:

Kale Chips 
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!

Originally published on www.pollyskitchen.blogspot.com
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