Sprouting (and dehydrating) is very frankly the most sophisticated nutrition principle I teach. For newbies, I start with lower level things: getting more fruits and vegetables in the diet, and eating whole grains, for instance. Most Americans are not prepared for the idea of sprouting and live foods. Some of my readers are so ambitious that they go ALL OUT and within weeks of leaving a processed diet, they’re already sprouting.
Others of you have been doing the first few steps in 12 Steps to Whole Foods. . . and you feel you’re in strange territory, but you’re ready to try.
If that’s you, ask for an Excalibur 3000 series dehydrator for Christmas to start making live snack foods from Chapter 7 (or the Crunchy Snacks recipe collection).
Here’s one of my favorite recipes for using the dehydrator to get get LIVE flaxseed in the diet. These crackers are easy to make, yummy, and filling.Remember with dehydrated foods to always drink water with them. (Otherwise they aggressively soak up all the liquids in your digestive tract, like stomach acids.)
- Soak in 4 cups water for several hours:
- 3 cups flax seeds (1/2 brown, ½ golden)
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- Shred in food processor, or very finely dice
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 carrots
- Puree in Blend Tec:
- 4 tomatoes
- 2 stalks celery
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup nama shoyu
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 Tbsp. chili powder
Mix all all three mixtures together well, by hand, and spread on plastic dehydrator sheets, about ¼” thick.Cut into cracker shapes and dehydrate at 105 degrees until crackers are dry on top, about 24 hours.Turn over, take off teflex sheets, and finish drying until crackers are crispy.
Tip: We like to eat these plain, but we also often put slices of avocado on top.
So what are the benefits of drying food? Pressure cooking preserves food, too, but kills all the enzymes at 240 degrees. Canning also destroys water soluble vitamins. Freezing is the other best way to keep your fruit and vegetables, but nutrients are lost over time, and most people just can’t keep much in their limited freezer space. I have a large freezer and two fridges with small freezers–and I still never have enough room to preserve everything I want to keep.
Dehydrating with Excalibur is safe, with dark doors to avoid nutrition loss from light. The 3000 model has an automatic 26-hour timer so you can leave food drying overnight or even while you’re out of town.
Storebought fruit leathers and dehydrated fruits often contain sulfites, sugar or corn syrup, and other preservatives and chemicals. They’re also expensive! At the end of summer, I often pick fruit from my neighbors’ trees that would otherwise go to waste. (Make sure you get permission first!) Dried apricots are one of my favorite things, and they’re so easy to make: just wash them, pop them in half, and put them on the dryer trays until dry. You can also puree fruit in your BlendTec Total Blender, pour it onto the Teflex sheets, and dry it into fruit leather.
To make the crackers, chips, flavored almonds, and other fun stuff in the Crunchy Snacks Recipe Collection, or all the fun stuff in Ch. 7 of 12 Steps to Whole Foods, you definitely need a food dehydrator. It’s a great way to make inexpensive, “live” snacks that nourish you well.
So here’s the link to get all the benefits of drying food:
Today I’m telling you about one of my favorite tools for incorporating fantastic plant-food nutrition into your diet. This is my favorite appliance, second only to the BlendTec Total Blender. It’s the Excalibur dehydrator, my “oven,” the best rated food dehydrator in the world. See if the person who loves you most wants to get you this for Christmas:
You can buy cheaper food dryers. The cheap ones do not have temperature controls, unfortunately, so if you’re going to buy one of the small, Walmart-type brands, you’ll have to vent by opening up the trays, and use a thermometer to try to control the heat to not go above 116 degrees.
But you truly can’t buy one better for preserving the nutrition in raw foods than Excalibur’s. If you have a family, you can also make big batches because the 3000 models have nine trays, so you can dry several recipes at once, or doubled/tripled batches.
Excalibur is not only the gold standard in dehydrating, but the company knows raw food well and is used and endorsed by all the pre-eminent raw foodists (Cousens, Boutenko, Kulvinskas, and more). Dehydrating is the best way to preserve the essential properties of fruits and vegetables, and those are ENZYMES, VITAMINS, and MINERALS. It’s also a great way to preserve the summer harvest and stock up your pantry with LIVE food.