Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Finally caved and bought it - the Excaliber!

I've been eye-balling all these fabulous recipes that require a dehydrator, wishing I could find another way to make them, oh how the kids would love the crackers, burgers, breads and cookies!   Well, the ONLY way is with a dehydrator, since it blows very low temperature air around the food keeping the enzymes in tact and provides more readily available nutrients.  So essentially you can still "cook" a food and it's still considered raw!  This sounds so appealing especially for my nutrient-deficient kids with gut issues.  I still plan to post a thread about raw foods and all the unbelievable benefits they offer, when I get around to having the time to pull all of my data together.

With school rounding the corner for Grayson, I want to provide healthy (and of course, gluten and casein-free), yummy and fairly normal looking snacks for him to take to school.  What better way to do that than providing raw foods bursting with live enzymes and bio-available nutrients?!  The only way to make them though, is with the use of a dehydrator.  In my research, I found the Excaliber to be the best bang for your buck and it has a nice warranty too.  So I placed my order hesitantly, because any machine that I have to spend over $100 for makes me cringe....fast forward....delivery day.  I couldn't wait to open it up and start using it, which of course I did, however, I didn't think about the drying time of my new project.  I just jumped right in, so anxious to try a raw cracker recipe for the kids.  Let's see, if I started it dehydrating at 4:30pm and needed about 10-12 hours of dehydration, that leaves me with a project completion time of ummmm, oh boy, 2:30-4:30am!!!  I did a little more reading and also found that, if I adjust my temperature to around 110 degrees, they could just dehydrate indefinitely, they wouldn't "overcook".  Phew.....After a weekend of chelation around the clock the last thing I want to do is set my alarm clock for the wee hours of the morning for CRACKERS!  I like this dehydrator and all, but no thank you! 

So this morning I woke up to nice crunchy LIVE crackers!!  Here they are, I call these Nuts for Veggy Crackers, because they are 50% vegetables and 50% nuts!


 
























The kids would love to gobble these up in one sitting, I guess they are good?  I also saved the edges that crumbled and fell apart for sprinkling on top of veggies and salads.

Oh, you want the recipe? Silly me, of course, here you go!  You can blend any combination of nuts and vegetables.  The nut and vegetable ratio should be 50/50.

This recipe requires a dehydrator

-2 cups soaked nuts (these are almond and walnut)
-2 chives
-1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic
-2 kale leaves, spines removed
-2 carrots, chopped
-some fresh chopped rosemary
-1 1/2 tsp himalayan sea salt
-a touch of fresh ground pepper

I also added my nutritional yeast "cheese topping" to 1/3 of the batch to make savory cheese crackers. The cheese topping is just a blended mixture of nutritional yeast, ground walnuts and sea salt, tastes just like grated parm!

Blend all of the ingredients in a food processor or a strong blender.

Spread the mixture out on the dehydrator trays (on nonstick liners or parchment paper) about 1/4 inch thick or less and use a pizza cutter to make lines where you will break the finished crackers.

Dehydrate at about 140 degrees for the first 2-3 hours, then 110 for the remainder of 10-12 hours, depending on how crispy you like them. I did it for well over this time and they were still a nice consistency, not too crispy. 110 degrees is a good safe temp for not overcooking. Flip them halfway to prevent spoilage.


This is how much this size recipe made.

1 comment:

James said...

Using a food dehydrator is a great piece of equipment for the kitchen. Improved family health.