dehydrator veggie recipes for healthy low carb diet

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Catseye, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    I am so addicted to these, but I can't really tell if it's an acquired taste or not. I am so stingy with them, I don't exactly hand them out to everybody. I would if I had enough. The couple of people that have tried them were surprised, they said they were really good and they had expected them to suck! I asked them why they thought I would be eating something sucky and they said they just never thought veggies could be good like this.

    My everyday favorite is made with zucchini, bell peppers (all colors) and red onion. You can probably add some other veggie slices to these like squash or even yams, daikon and snow peas (which is what they use in the ones I bought that I "stole" the recipe from) or anything else that would slice easy; these are just my favorites and what's available here. Make sure the zucchini is sliced very thin, we use a slicer. If they're very thin, then they'll be crispy like thin potato chips. The peppers can be a little bit thicker, but the thinner everything is, the faster it'll dry.

    veggie crisps:

    one cup raw almonds soaked overnight in water, you want them to sprout and this usually happens in a day, you'll see them puff up and begin to germinate

    you can use other nuts like macadamia and cashews (which I only soak for about a half hour rather than overnight), but almonds are cheaper and they work, try the others on a rotation basis if you get tired of almonds

    Throw out the almond soak water and put them with one cup of fresh water in a blender with:

    note - I don't really measure anything, I just throw in stuff based on my own taste so here's approximations but you can obviously vary the spices used

    a couple cloves of garlic
    half an onion - we usually use the tips from when we slice, you know you always end up with some large ends before you slice your fingers
    half a pepper, red has the strongest flavor - likewise, use the bell pepper ends left over from slicing
    parsley - optional, we only use it sometimes
    curry - optional, I'm actually trying it for the first time today but it goes well with veggies so it's not like it's a real risk to the flavor

    So blend all this up and this is your batter. Now mix in the slices of 3 bell peppers, 1 large zucchini and 1 large red onion, slices separated. The batter can be pretty thin, it will have to be to get a coating on all the veggies. You don't need a batter like you would find on a Captain D's fish fillet, just a thin coating will do - it's for flavor mostly.

    Lay everything out in the dehydrator. The zucchini slices should be placed singly right next to each other in long rows. The peppers and onions you can just dump on the tray and spread out with your hands. If you try to separate the onion and pepper slices, you'll be there all day.

    Okay, dry for about 12-24 hours, depending. When they're crispy to your liking, then they're done. You can speed things up to like 6-8 hours if you up the temperature to like 135. But if you keep it at 117 or below, you preserve the enzymes in the food. They are destroyed by higher heat and are very good for health. Electricity here is very expensive so I've been sacrificing my enzymes most days for quicker drying time. Then you just put them in a ziploc bag when they're dry. I guess theoretically, they'd last forever since they're dry but I haven't had them last for more than a day because I eat them up so fast; they're just too good. The cookies will last more days because they're richer and not as light. You couldn't eat the whole batch of cookies in one day. Although, maybe people like Cheech and Chong could!

    You can't eat too many veggies, so you don't have to beat yourself up if you eat a whole bag like you would if you ate a whole bag of potato chips or cheese balls. And you won't get fat from bags and bags of these like you would with bags and bags of chips and balls, either!

    The crisps above are pretty light, these are heartier:

    veggie cookies:

    1 cup raw sunflower seeds soaked overnight
    1/2 cup flax seeds soaked in water for about 1/2 hours or until they're "snotty" - you'll see what I mean!

    throw out the water and rinse the seeds

    put all seeds in a blender with enough water for them to blend, this will be thick like a cookie batter, you don't want it thin like the veggie crisp batter

    blend the seeds and water with:

    one large carrot
    one celery rib
    3 garlic cloves
    one onion

    You can keep adding a little water but just enough for the things to mix. I have a nuclear blender, a K-Tec, but this should work in a regular one. Too much water will mean much longer drying time.

    For these, we put the batter into "cookie" shapes on the teflon sheets. It would fall through the regular drying screens. These will probably take 12-24 hours, too. When they are dry on top, I flip them over and let the bottoms dry so they will dry quicker. These are great with nut butter or even regular butter on top, as well as just plain.

    for sweet cookies:

    I can't have anything like these now because of the sugar content, but if you can you may want to mix up things like these:

    brazil nuts, water, bananas, dash of vanilla - put in blender with just enough water to blend until you have a cookie type batter and then pour into cookie shapes on the teflon sheets and dry overnight, turning over once - careful, VERY addicting and hard to put down

    fresh coconut (the softer the easier), dates, macadamia nuts - I use a food processor for these, it's a pain because the dates and nuts keep getting stuck in the blades, but they're worth it, really great taste! add dried goji berries if you want even more exotic flavor and more pain in the ass with the food processor.

    You can pretty much make up your own cookies with fruits and nuts. Things like dates and figs, or any dried fruits and certain nuts go together really well. I know almonds sprout pretty quickly. These other nuts I only soak for like an hour or half hour: macadamia, cashews and brazil. It's hard to predict how stuff will taste. One of my favorite food bars that I used to buy were pumpkin seeds and agave. If you go to some raw food websites and order some different bars, then you can get an idea of what goes with what and how they're supposed to turn out. Then you will have a better idea of how to make your own. Or if you just want to try them without buying them, just browse through the different crackers and food bars they have, and then just use the ingredients on the ones that appeal to you.

    That's how I got the ideas for all the crisps (veggie and zucchini tempuraw is what they're called at the rawguru site), and the cookies or crackers above that I've made. One of my favorites which I haven't tried yet is the pizazz crackers from rawguru. I just haven't gotten around to making them yet, but here's the ingredients:
    Soaked almond*, carrot*, celery*, red bell pepper, parsley*, tahini*, wheat free tamari*, herbs* and spice.

    You'll learn with each batch what you can do to make it better. You just have to experiment! If you have any questions, I'll be around!

    good luck

  2. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    Hi jam,

    I have the Excalibur with the 5 trays. I really don't know anything about the other ones. If I had to do it over, I would have bought the 10 tray one so I could make more stuff at one time. That's because electricity is expensive here and I eat the veggies so fast. It has a fan and a temperature regulator. It will come with screens, but you can buy the teflon sheets separately which don't have any "holes" so no juice or anything will be able to leak through when you dry stuff that "drips" or stuff that is too "thin" to be put on screens like the cookie batters. They are the same size as and fit right on top of the screens. I put the veggies on the screens, and they do drip a little on the trays below, and the cookies all go on the teflon sheets because they would drip right through the screens. The screens aren't like window screens, the holes are about 1/4 inch or so.

    I can eat a whole dehydrator full of veggies in less than 24 hours. I think you'll find that the stuff you make is quite yummy and won't last long enough to have some left over to freeze. Plus since it's dry, you really won't have to freeze it anyway. Well, at least not until you get into the high tech dehydrator foods like meatloaves and entrees and breads made with sprouted seeds that are thick and moist and dense and jerkies made with meats. I guess that stuff will last a bit longer since it's heartier.

    It's really a whole new avenue of food you are embarking on. I miss my brazil, banana cookies like hell, they are just superfantastic. Actually, they are not a good mix for digestion because it's fruit and nuts, but once in awhile, what the hey!

    You won't believe what's out there in recipes. Like the cashew cheesecake recipe I have and the ones I posted that won in that dessert contest. It's unbelievable what people have come up with - actual healthy, guilt-free, tasty, satisfying foods that are made with a dehydrator. I can't believe I ever ate Hamburger Puke Helper in my lifetime while these foods were available, I just didn't know.

    I'm working on the lyme just with diet and supplements. After seeing people go through long term antibiotics, I was worried I'd have to do that. But maybe not, after all. Antibiotics make me feel like hell and I'd really like to avoid them. So we'll see if I can eliminate all my symptoms permanently like this. So far, so good.

    Papaya, peaches, nectarines, strawberries and pineapple were my favorite fresh fruits to do because they don't last long fresh, but they'll last until you get to the last one when you dehydrate them! I'd eat them fresh the first day of ripeness and dehydrate all the leftovers while they were still perfectly ripe.

    good luck

  3. JoFMS

    JoFMS New Member

    Thank you so much Karen,

    I have just made some veggies with the nut batter! Hope they turn out ok.

    I made the mistake of putting just veggies with no seasoning or nut batter on yesterday and sliced them too thick and I had to dispose of them all - they weren't edible at all! Think I also left them in too long.

    I'll let you know how I get on and will have a look at the others too.
  4. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    I've thrown out stuff, too. Once you start doing it, you'll get a feel for what the dehydrator does exactly and you'll be able to adjust your slices and spices and combinations to get what you like the best.

    I tried some rice crackers once, a real disaster. I've also tried some weirdo cookie combinations that didn't work, I don't even remember what they were. I tried the macadamia, dates, coconut thing and added coconut water to make it easier to handle in the food processor, but it got too wet and wouldn't dry - just stayed this gooey, sticky mess and was edible only with a spoon and just didn't taste the same as before when they came out right. Since macadamia nuts are about $16 a pound, you can imagine I was pretty pissed off. So I just tried combinations that I know work from looking at the raw food sites - recipes and what they're selling. They're experimenting all the time and come up with some really good stuff. If something is out of stock all the time, you know it's a winner.

    You'll also find with a dehydrator how expensive healthy food can get, especially if you try for organic. You can go broke trying to eat organic everything. I think the brazil nuts/ banana thing was the cheapest so that's why I made it the most when I first started out with it. I don't know if it would make a good cookie, but I was also drinking almond/banana shakes. I can't remember the exact formula, you could google for it, but it was like 1/2 cup almonds, 1 banana, dash of vanilla, 1 cup of water and just blend it until smooth and strain with one of those tea strainers.

    If you have a blender you can make your own nut milks. They sell nut milk bags for straining and if you add a bit of vanilla, it makes them taste a little sweeter than they actually are. Nut milks are a great substitute for dairy because they're full of fat and protein just like dairy and fat and protein are very satisfying to the stomach. You can make your own cereal and milk with almond milk and then whatever crunchies are available to mix together: hemp seeds, dates, puffed rice, sprouted and dried buckwheat and quinoa, etc. It's not low carb, though. Just thought I'd mention it because I would like to have it again one day when this low carb menu is over.
  5. JoFMS

    JoFMS New Member

    Hi Karen,

    So my second batch of veggie crisps came out quite chewy and still soft rather than crispy - think I was too impatient. They looked crispy when on the tray but the next day after putting them in an airtight container - they are soft, edible but could be better! I used cashew nuts for mine.

    hopefully my next ones will be somewhere in between!

    How did your curry ones turn out?

    Thanks for the info
  6. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    How thin did you slice them? Mine are done with one of those slicers which is a plastic tray with a blade in the middle and you run the veggies back and forth over it. It slices them to about 1/16 of an inch. When they get all dried out, they have a very thin coating of the dried nut stuff on them and they are paper thin.

    And how big was the container? I use ziploc bags and squeeze all the air out of them before I seal them. It doesn't take much humidity to soften them up. Try a ziploc instead. Even a small hole in the bag will ruin the crispiness.

    The curry ones had a nice 'zing' to them. It's definitely a good veggie spice. You don't have to toss them if they're soft, just put them back in the dehydrator until they're done!
    [This Message was Edited on 08/25/2008]
  7. msSusan

    msSusan Member

    I would love to try these "chips" and "cookies" but it seems the batter would be very messy. Does any batter actually stay on? I need good substitute for rice crackers and mixed root veggie chips.

    I have intolerence to most nuts/seeds so are there any substitutes for that ingredient? (Too much omega-6?) I assume that's what holds the batter together?

    What are good resources for raw food baking/cooking?
  8. JoFMS

    JoFMS New Member

    Hi Karen,

    I used a slicer - (part of my food processor has a slice section) which does them very thin.

    I will leave them for longer next time - also the container I had them in was quite big - a plastic airtight box.

    I did eat a bunch of them today and I used normal onion as I can't get red onions and think I made them a bit too oniony. I might try some beetroot ones and others on the next one now I can see what I have done wrong!

    Thanks for the advice.