Dehydrating Foods: The Next Level

Dehydrating Foods: The Next Level

Hi everybody! In a previous blog I wrote about sprouting. I hope everyone ran out, got some sprouting seeds, located a tray or colander and gave it a try. It is really simple. Today I want to talk about using a dehydrator, which is the next logical step in preparing simple and nutritious foods.

Dehydrating food is as old as humanity itself. It is probably the simplest way to preserve food. No other method of food processing [canning, freezing, baking, or frying] maintains the nutritional integrity of food as well as dehydrating does. Enzymes, proteins, vitamins and minerals all remain intact.

As an aspiring raw food person, dehydrating has been on my radar for quite some time. We were fortunate enough to recently receive a dehydrator for a wedding present. I now find myself dehydrating fruits and vegetables that are starting to go bad. Now they can find their way into other dishes we make down the road. This is a very cost effective and is very satisfying for me. I hope our compost pile doesn’t get jealous!

We have an Excalibur Dehydrator which is considered top of the line. Our good friend bought one at Costco and is very happy with it so far. If you do not wish to have another gadget in your kitchen you can use your oven keeping the temperature below 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Or you can go old school and simply hang or place your food items in the sun. As usual if you need more information on dehydrating or raw food there is a lot of info on the internet or can contact me for that personal touch.

Today’s dehydrating efforts for me include sprouted wheat berries for a raw pizza crust, preserving broccoli and raw sweet potato chips. We LOVE chips, and spend way too much money on bags we empty and then throw away. Making our own chips helps to keep our craving satisfied and our landfills without those packaging bags.

Sweet Potato Chip Recipe

4 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and washed

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1/2 teaspoon agave nectar (or other sweetener of choice)

Slice the sweet potatoes very thin using a mandolin or similar cutting device. Mix together the olive oil, sea salt, cayenne pepper and agave nectar. Place the sweet potatoes in a large bowl, cover with the seasoning mixture and  set to marinate for an hour. Spread the coated sweet potato chips on Telfex sheets and shelves in a single layer. Set your dehydrator temperature at or below 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Dry out these delicious chips for between 6-14 hours. Dehydration time will vary, but your taste buds will not lie. Sample the chips until they have just the right amount of crunch that you desire.