For Christmas, I received a dehydrator -one of the top-rated ones that allows you to use 9 trays at a time and is easy to clean. The idea behind dehydrating food is that you maintain all the aspects of “raw” food, yet you can have different textures and preserve the food for longer.
I started experimenting today with different fruits and vegetables: apples, bananas, eggplants, and yams. All four products I washed, chopped, and then slid them onto dehydrator sheets and into the dehydrator -plain, no toppings or marinades. The apples, after coming out about 8 hours later, were crispy and delicious, and really sweet. The bananas were chewy after about 4 hours, but I left them in for another 4 hours until they were hard (I think I liked the chewy ones better). The yams were delicious! What a great way to get in your starchy vegetables. They were really chewy and had a bit of a taffy feel to them.
The eggplant, however, needed to be spiced up! So I found a great recipe on rawmazing.com for eggplant “fries” that use small amounts of oil, paprika, tamari (for salt), and some maple syrup. You marinate the eggplant and mixture overnight and then slip it in the dehydrator! See Recipe at: http://www.rawmazing.com/eggplant-fries/.
I’ve decided that dehydrating food is an excellent way to come up with healthy, raw, quick snacks for the week. I hope to combine spending time with my family and food creation on Sundays, when I can dehydrate a bunch of food at once, and soon dehydrate yogurt, which is supposed to have a taffy-like texture to it.
Learn How To Use a Dehydrator: 1 hour, Prepare Food for Dehydration (Select, Wash, Chop): 3 hours, Write-up: .5 hour
Cost: Dehydrator ($140), fresh produce ($45), Materials: Dehydrator, produce, cooking/cutting equipment
Total: 37.5 hours