Here is my next adventure into making more raw food recipes. This time I’m sharing my journey (from scratch…) with a Dehydrator and sharing a couple of very simple things you too can make. We’ll start with super simple ‘pizza’ crackers and eggplant ‘bacon’. These are a sure-fire way to start winning over those non-believers.
So what exactly is a Dehydrator and why do we need one for making Raw Food Recipes?
The dehydrator is a kitchen device that essentially dries out food using a low temperature and a fan. It draws out the moisture, leaving the food enzymes in tact, so that you’re food remains ‘raw’. (N.B. Food becomes cooked and loses those vital healthy enzymes over 118% degrees).
You can dehydrate fruits and vegetables from your garden, along with the nut and seeds recipes, which is great if you have an abundant crop. When you get really creative you can also make different types of bread and cakes…the possibilities are endless.
These foods can then be kept for weeks, months or even years depending on the recipe followed. They make perfect travel food, especially when you are not sure where the next raw meal will come. I recommend always having a box of crackers or the like with you.
You may find that your friends will want some too, so make sure you make plenty.
I have to admit the journey to Raw Vegan was not an easy one for me, and these recipes have made things really easy. Some people would say dehydrated food is also a great stepping-stone and 100% raw and don’t eat these.
Here Is The First Of My Raw Food Recipes: Pizza Crackers.
You will need:
• 2 cups of raw almonds – soaked in filtered water for 8 hours.
• 6 cups of zucchini – peeled and cut up roughly.
• One small red onion – roughly chopped.
• A generous handful of fresh (or slightly less dried) herbs – I used Oregano, Chives and a mixed Italian blend of dried.
• A dash of dried paprika to add a touch of zing.
• 4 tablespoons of Olive oil – you might need a touch more if you are heavy on the dried herbs.
• 1.5 cups of flax seeds ground up in a blender or coffee grinder.
• *Greaseproof paper cut into the relevant shape for your dehydrator – or sheets provided.
So you need to plan ahead a little bit here by remembering to soak the nuts overnight.
Mix all your ingredients in an electric food mixer until a smooth paste is formed.
Place a sheet into each tray, then portion out your mixture. I spread the mixture with a type of builder’s palette knife. Then score into 8 per tray.
*This makes me 5 trays of crackers, so about 40 slices in total. I am using a dehydrator where I am staying that was bought originally for doing beef jerky. So this is not the traditional rectangular trays but circular trays instead.
Stack your trays and dehydrate at 118% for around 8 hours, then turn down and keep testing till the top-side is dry. Flip your crackers over direct onto the mesh and remove your greaseproof paper.
The total drying time will vary according to your machine, your mixture, how evenly you spread it etc. I find mine can take up to 48 hours in total.
Now you can keep them in a Tupperware in the cupboard for weeks or months. Although I find they are eaten up in a fortnight.
Here Is The Second Of My Raw Food Recipes: Eggplant Bacon.
You will need:
• 1 medium to large eggplant – cut in thin slices with a mandolin (mind your fingers!). You can peel first if you don’t like the skin.
• 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (or coconut syrup).
• 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
• 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
• 2 tablespoons of tamari.
• 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika.
• Himalayan salt to taste, and a dash of pepper too.
Mix up all the ingredients (except for your eggplant) in a bowl to make a marinade. Take a slice at a time and dip generously through the marinade. Place in a second bowl. Once all the pieces are done leave them to soak up the flavours for an hour or so.
Then move them onto the mesh trays of your dehydrator and dry them at around 118% for approximately 12-18 hours. Checking regularly and turning over as they dry.
These were a massive success for me and I think it was mainly due to the slides not being too overly wet when they went in. As well as having uniform thin slices thanks to the mandolin.
I served with raw mushrooms, vegan raw ‘cheeze’ on a bed of raw spinach. Forgot the photo though, so will add one in later when I do them again.
Follow me on Pinterest to see more inspiration and recipes to try out. Some mine and mostly from other raw vegan ‘uncooks’.
Look out for more raw food recipes in the coming blogs, as I am a strong believer in building ultimate health. Having your health where it should be provides you energy and with energy you can accomplish anything.