Category — How To
Most people don’t realize how easy dehydrator recipes can be. Easy dehydrator recipes can be as simple as slicing fruits and vegetables and preserving them for later. If you haven’t used your dehydrator in awhile, here are some easy recipe ideas to make sure you are getting the maximum benefit out of your dehydrator.
All of these recipes were made in the Excalibur Dehydrator, but any dehydrator will do. Dehydrating times vary according to your dehydrator model, altitude, humidity, thickness and quantity of product.
1. Sun Dried Red Bell Peppers
Most people know that they can dehydrate tomatoes, but most people don’t realize how delicious dehydrated red bell peppers can be. You can use them just like you would sun dried tomatoes. They make a beautiful thickener in blended sauces and soups while adding a rich flavor.
Directions: De-seed bell peppers by removing the stem and seeds. Then slice them into rounds about half an inch thick. Dehydrate for about 12-14 hours at 115 degrees until completely dry and store them in an air tight container for later use.
2. Dehydrated Persimmons and Pears
Most people know you can dehydrate apples, but did you know you can also dehydrate other fall fruit such as thinly sliced persimmons and pears? Sprinkle with a little bit of cinnamon and they make great gifts around the holidays.
Directions: De-seed persimmons and pears and slice them into rounds about half an inch thick. (You can squeeze lemon or orange juice on the pears to prevent browning.) Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired. Dehydrate for about 12-16 hours at 115 degrees until completely dry. Store them in an air tight container for later use.
3. Natural Salt Replacement
Did you know that you can dehydrate a bunch of yummy vegetables to make your own natural salt free seasoning? For example, you can dehydrate a combination of any of the following: celery, lemon zest, lime zest, shallots, leeks, onions, green onions, fresh herbs, hot peppers, and red cabbage to make amazing flavor combinations.
Directions: Wash your produce really well and dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Slice desired vegetables very thin. Dehydrate for about 6 hours at 115 degrees or until all veggies are crisp. Grind the vegetables in a spice grinder and put in a sealed jar for later use. If kept dry, spice mixture should last a few months.
4. Dehydrated Veggie Snacks
Most people are aware that you can dehydrate fruit, but did you know dehydrating veggies can be as rewarding? Dehydrated kale and sweet potato chips have gained some popularity, but did you know you, you can dehydrate butternut squash, jicama, and cauliflower as well? Enjoy as a healthy snack when you get a craving for something crunchy.
Directions: Cut each vegetable differently according to which one you choose to use. Thinly slice butternut squash into chips using a mandoline if available, cut jicama into match stick strips, or crumble cauliflower florets. Toss desired vegetable in a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle a dash of salt, cayenne, paprika and combine well. Dehydrate veggies at 115 degrees until desired crispiness is reached which could take anywhere from 12 to 24 hrs at 115 degrees to reach maximum crispness.
5. Transform Leftovers
Did you know you can dehydrate left over fruit smoothies to make fruit leather in your dehydrator? You can also dehydrate leftover nut based blended dressings to make raw crackers just by adding a few tablespoons ground flaxseed or other ground seeds such as sunflower, sesame, or chia. You will need teflex sheets for both of these applications. (Although if you are making crackers, you might be able to get around the teflex sheets by using a large sheet of nori seaweed instead. Just spread your cracker mixture on the nori sheet and flip over half way through the drying process.)
Directions: To make fruit leather from a left over fruit smoothie you can add a little lemon or lime juice to the smoothie to prevent browning. Then using a spatula or the back of a spoon, spread a thin layer of your smoothie onto the teflex or dehydrator sheet (you can grease the dehydrator sheet with a thin layer of coconut oil to prevent sticking). Dehydrate for approximately 12 hours at 115 degrees until pliable. Store them wrapped in plastic wrap or in a sealed container in the refrigerator and eat as soon as possible. They shouldn’t last more than a week.
If you make a lot of nut based dressings in the blender (such as tomato, macadamia nut, basil, or some similar combination) and have some left over dressing, just as add a few tablespoons ground flax or another ground up seed (if you have a Vitamix you can just grind the seeds in the blender with the rest of the dressing ingredients) and blend in any other vegetables or spices you have laying around. Add water to thin if necessary until you get a muffin batter like consistency and then spread the mixture on a teflex sheet or large nori sheet. Dehydrate at 145 for 2 hours and then 115 for 8-10 hours, flip and then continue dehydrating for another 8-10 hours until desired crispness is reached.
Hope you enjoyed these easy dehydrator recipes. Here are some more easy dehydrator recipes you might enjoy:
Please do share your favorite easy dehydrator recipes in the comment’s section below.
P.S. If you liked these easy dehydrator recipes you might enjoy the everyday raw food recipes in the e-book, What do Raw Fooder’s Eat? *Affiliate Link
January 16, 2013 Comments Off
If you ever wondered how to use coconut oil read on . . .
By now you’ve probably heard of some of the unique benefits of coconut oil. Coconut oil is a unique fat because it contains 50 percent lauric acid, a rare medium-chain fatty acid found in mother’s milk that supports healthy metabolism and is now being studied for its anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial health-protecting properties.
It is also excellent for dry skin and hair and in my house we use coconut oil liberally both in the kitchen and bathroom. We prefer cold-pressed, organic extra-virgin coconut oil with a heavy coconut smell and taste.
Here are some of our favorite ways how to use coconut oil:
1. Make a delicious honey coconut oil spread:
Mix equal parts coconut oil and raw honey and a pinch of cinnamon to make a delicious spread for baked goods, pancakes, toast . . .
2. Make an herbed coconut oil:
Mix one cup coconut butter and a bunch of fresh herbs or assorted herbs (chives, basil, tarragon, cilantro, dill . . .). Blend in the food processor with the s blade until the herbs are finely minced and store in the refrigerator. Use on rice, baked potatoes, steamed vegetables . . .
3. Substitute coconut oil for butter in any recipe:
Use it in baking, sautéing, spread on mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, toast, popcorn . . .
4. Make a hot coconut oil treatment for your hair:
Warm coconut oil until liquid with a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Put on clean dry hair and cover with a warm towel. Leave on for 10-15 minutes and then shampoo out.
5. Use coconut oil instead of shaving cream:
Spread on desired areas and then smoothly shave away!
6. Use coconut oil as an anti-frizz hair styling product:
Rub a little bit of oil in the palms of your hands and then comb your fingers through your hair.
7. Use coconut oil as a make-up remover:
Apply coconut oil to your made up face with your fingertips and wash away make-up gently with a warm moist wash cloth.
8. Use coconut oil as a massage oil by itself or mix with other oils such olive, sesame, or almond.
9. Use coconut oil to occasionally season your wooden cutting boards and keep them looking new.
10. Use coconut as a natural deodorant:
Mix with some essential oil such as lemon or lavender and apply under arms.
I hope this list gave you some ideas on how to use coconut oil, but I know this list is just the tip of the iceberg! Please share your favorite ways to use coconut oil in the comments section below.
June 26, 2012 13 Comments
We all get unhealthy food cravings from time to time that are hard to control. There can be many reasons why we crave certain foods: it could be that we’re just plain hungry, stressed/emotionally upset, or physically addicted to the foods we are craving. Certain foods are more addictive than others such as high fat and high sugar foods, chemically processed foods, and sometimes we can be addicted to the foods we are allergic to.
However, no matter what the reason for our food cravings we are trying to satisfy a need in us, whether emotional or physical. To put it simply, we are trying to make ourselves feel better. Unfortunately, most of the time, if we give into unhealthy food cravings we end up feeling worse! Fortunately, there are other ways to comfort ourselves without food that won’t make us sick or leave us feeling guilty!
Here are ten ways how to control food cravings and comfort yourself without food. Try them next time the craving monster hits!
Next time you get a craving . . .
Tip #1 Try chewing on something instead of eating such as a piece of sugar free gum, a straw, seaweed, licorice root sticks . . .(etc.)
Tip #2 Try stimulating your mind by playing a crossword puzzle or suduko.
Tip #3 When wanting to zone out and eat mindlessly try flipping through a magazine instead, it doesn’t take much mental effort and can have a calming effect.
Tip #4 Try bringing yourself back to present moment by paying attention to you breath and any bodily sensations you are experiencing in the moment. Repeat the statement, “I am here now”.
Tip #5 Try making yourself more comfortable by changing into sweat pants, letting your hair down, finding a comfortable place to sit or lay down, and or snuggling up with your favorite blanket.
Tip #6 When looking for comfort without using food, try using the soothing effect of heat to calm your body such as drinking your favorite cup of herbal tea, or applying warm washcloth over your eyes or forehead.
Tip #7 Try giving yourself a quick self massage on your hands, feet, shoulders, ears, face, and scalp.
Tip #8 Try changing your mood with different scents. Essential oils are great way to experiment; some scents have a calming effect and others have an invigorating effect. You can use an aromatherapy humidifier, lamp or diffuser or simply pour the oil on a cotton ball and sniff anytime you need it!
Tip #9 Try listening to a piece of beautiful relaxing music such as classical or new age type music that has a calming or uplifting effect on your mood. If you need a quick pick me up try dancing for a few minutes to your favorite energizing music.
Tip #10 Try looking at pictures of loved ones that make you smile, and make sure to have these pictures handy next time a craving hits.
This blog post was inspired by the book 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food by Susan Albers, PSY.D, so if you liked these tips, check out the book! (Available on Amazon.)
If you have any other ways you like to comfort yourself without food, please do share!
P.S. If you would like some personal guidance on how to conquer cravings I am also available for a raw food coaching session.
May 3, 2012 6 Comments
*Above is a picture of some mineral vegetable broth I made with the left over juice pulp of celery, carrot, and beet juice. It was a beautiful red orange color that I then sprinkled with dulse flakes.
Last November I wrote a post about how to stay warm on the raw food diet and in the post I explained how I make mineral vegetable broth full of essential nutrients and electrolytes. The original post elicited a positive response and a few questions from readers, so now that the weather is cooling down a bit I decided to make a short video about how I make the (now famous!) mineral vegetable broth.
Click here if you can’t see the vegetable broth video above.
I’ve experimented with making mineral broths many different ways and I’ve found that they turn out the best when I make sure the broth has sweet, spicy, and salty elements.
Choose 3 or more from each category:
Apples (without core)
Winter or Summer squash
Spicy Peppers (use sparingly)
Miso Paste (optional)
(any greens will do with the exception of dandelion greens which can make the broth too bitter)
You can also add any culinary or medicinal herb as well!
Rough chop the vegetables and put them in a large pot of water. Add a few sprigs of herbs, a few bay leaves, and at least 2-5 good sized pieces of seaweed. Kombu and Wakame work best, but any seaweed will do. Let the pot come to a boil and then simmer on low for at least 3 hours. You can then strain the broth and add a sprinkle of salt if desired. For a really clear broth you can use a sprout bag to strain it after it has cooled. Sip the warm broth like tea or use it as a base to make cooked vegetable soups and grain dishes. You can also freeze the broth to defrost for later.
Hope you enjoyed this recipe and stay warm!
October 6, 2010 15 Comments
I commonly get asked how to make green smoothie recipes that don’t taste, well, green. I can sometimes sense the fear in their voices, as if they are afraid to make a mistake and create a green mushy concoction that tastes like tar!
Okay so maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but there is definitely a little trepidation when it comes to taking the green smoothie plunge! I take a no holds barred anything goes approach to making green smoothie recipes, but there are a few basic guidelines I abide by to make sure that my husband will drink his every morning (i.e. it has to taste good!). To learn my green smoothie basics, so that you can take a tasty walk on the wild (greens) side, watch the video below and let me know what you think:
Click here if you can’t see the green smoothie recipes video above.
If you want to delve a little deeper into the art of green smoothie making consider checking out Cecilia’s Green Smoothie Challenge Recipe Ebook.
Have a Great Day!
October 4, 2010 1 Comment