dehydrator

strawberry lemon rice crispies

Yesterday was World Cancer Day.

Yesterday was the day I spent the morning with my dad and the head of oncology at our hospital. Hearing a new cancer diagnosis, with an accompanying recommendation of a laryngectomy. Dad will have his voice box removed permanently, and with it, the cancer. Hopefully permanently.

Surgery is scheduled for this Thursday. Which is a good thing, because I will not be able to think of anything else until then.

strawberry lemon rice crispies

I want to say Thank You, again. Thank you to all of you who continue to pray and send good thoughts, ask about Dad and ask about me. You all have made this experience much more bearable. Sometimes, even happy.

I think it is appropriate that I originally made this recipe as a Thank You for someone who has been a huge lifesaver to me.

My strawberry lemon rice crispies are dessert number two in my [click to continue…]

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What else was I going to do with kale during a ‘Treats and Sweets’ month?

Seriously, I came up with several ideas. Many that are not ready for spabettie just yet,

but these? Several taste testers have approved – vegan or not! They all loved these.

and to my surprise, they were still crunchy and crisp, even after a few days – still delicious!

chocolate dipped sugared kale chips

kale
coconut sugar
chocolate  - melted 

Wash and dry kale. Tear / cut leaves into small pieces, removing ribs and stems. Arrange in single layer on baking pan or dehydrator sheet. Sprinkle with coconut sugar.

Oven: bake at 250-275 for 45 – 60 minutes.

Dehydrator: 145 for 2-3 hours.

Once dried, brush with chocolate and allow to dry. 

More recipes using kale:

miso sesame kale chips

 

plant based steak dinner

 

grapefruit kale chiffonade

 

raw taco Tuesday

 

lemon avocado massaged kale salad

 

tahini kale stuffed waffles

 

 

To see more kale creations, visit Heather for Meatless Monday A to Z!

 

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Dehydrated pineapple flowers definitely make a pretty presentation.

The first time I saw them was when Annie shared them (she says they are from Martha Stewart), and I have wanted to make them ever since. My lovely friend Sarena just made some too – hers are gorgeous as well!

I have made these flowers three times now, once as cupcake toppers for Jeni’s going away party, which called for some over the top desserts.

The way I made them was very simple – I sliced very thin rounds of fresh pineapple (which was by far the most difficult part), peeling some of the slices and leaving some slices with peel intact – resulting in different looks for the flowers. I placed them over the backside of a muffin tin and dried them in my dehydrator (I am sure this would also work in an oven, lowest temperature, door open) for several hours.

I checked on them every so often, moving them around as they softened. Moving them is an important part – as they soften they become sticky and moving them helps keep them from ripping or sticking to the pan. After several hours (like 6 or 7) they are pliable and chewy, and crunchy around the edges.

After frosting the (cooled) cupcakes with green frosting and darker green “leaves”, I placed a pineapple “flower” atop each cake. Then I filled a raspberry with icing, which became the middle for each flower.

I made two flavors of cakes for Jeni and her party – chocolate and vanilla.

For the chocolate, I used this cake mix. Not only is it gluten free, it appears to be naturally vegan as well! I used the same recipe method that I used with these cupcakes, without the orange flavor. The vanilla cupcakes were a recipe I am making for a project off this website, if I can share it later I will.

Summer is here, and my dehydrator is working overtime, for sure. More goodies coming soon.

 

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My kitchen smelled so good the day I made these – warm and spicy. I was actually becoming lightheaded from smelling my hands, even after washing them! They smelled of cinnamon, curry, peanut butter – which translated into warm, buttery sweetness. On my hands and in the kitchen.

I want to bottle that smell…

So, this really is’t much of a recipe, and while I used my dehydrator you could just as easily use your oven.

cinnamon curry apple chips

1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
~1 teaspoon water (enough to make a paste)
1 apple

Slice apple horizontally, 1/5 inch thick, core middle as necessary. Spread cinnamon curry paste over one side of each slice (I started with a spoon, ended up using my fingers – much easier). Arrange in single layer on dehydrator sheet (or cookie sheet), dehydrate for 6+ hours on 125-135 (in oven at lowest heat, door open).

peanut butter apple chips

1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 apple

Slice apple horizontally, 1/5 inch thick, core middle as necessary. Spread peanut butter over one side of each slice. Arrange in single layer on dehydrator sheet (or cookie sheet), dehydrate for 6+ hours on 125-135 (in oven at lowest heat, door open).

Another dehydrator creation we will enjoy year round! The peanut butter version stayed softer, but were no less wonderful. The cinnamon curry chips were crispier, and tasted warm and spicy! I love how they look – very pretty with the dark yellow spice and the marbled red of the apple peel.

Are you a fan of yellow curry spice? What is your favorite dried fruit?

 

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Two of Basil’s favorite foods. While I was making these, he was walking through the kitchen, his nose pointed up like Snoopy, sniffing sniffing sniffing…

I let him lick the spatula and he was SO happy:

So, this isn’t really a recipe -

two ingredients, two appliances, more than two hours

I made a small amount to test this; it sounded good in theory, but if it ended up gross I didn’t want to have to waste eat much.

peanut butter banana fruit roll

vegan, gluten free, delicious

2 bananas, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons peanut butter

Blend at high speed until smooth – less than one minute. Spread onto dehydrator sheet; dehydrate at 125-135 for 4-5 hours.

This may work in an oven, lowest heat setting with the door open. Use a baking sheet lined with parchment. 

These were sweet like a banana chip (childhood memory – bulk bins at the health food store!) and the peanut butter added a great flavor and a stronger consistency, if that makes sense. I would make these again.

Basil is happy.

…and so am I!

Jason is flying home as I type this, and I get to go pick him up and we are going to lunch with friends and taking the rest of the day off! Weekend, activate!

Yeah. He is the other half, my Wonder Twin.

Snoopy, Superfriends… what was your favorite cartoon?

Peanut butter and banana – yes or no?

Happy Friday!

 

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If you’ve been here a while, you know I love basil. If you are new (hello!), I love basil so much I named our dachshund Basil. Fresh basil is my favorite thing to have in a vase in the kitchen, growing in my garden, as a lingering scent on my hands.

Yep, even though it’s already winter out there, in my kitchen I’m still acting like it’s summer. Strawberries and fresh basil. Always a perfect pairing in my opinion, and this is one I have been wanting to do for a while.

Bird’s eye shot of my Vita Mix. See, told you she’s an Old Lady Vita. Look at that old school handle. I bought this in college and I keep saying I should stop bragging that I’ve used it with no problems for … um … many years. Don’t want to jinx her.

Don’t think I will.

Anyway, between the few minutes of chopping the berries and chiffonading the larger basil leaves and the ten seconds of blending, this “recipe” comes together quick. Well. Then there’s a couple hours of dehydrating.

I really wanted to tip this tray on it’s side and drink it. So good. Glad I waited though, because the fruit rolls are even better!

strawberry basil fruit rolls

gluten free, vegan, no added sugar

2 quarts fresh strawberries
1 large bunch (1 cup) fresh basil leaves 

Blend in high powered blender until smooth. Pour onto solid sheet for dehydrator, spread to a 1/2 inch thickness (thinner might rip or crack). Dehydrate at 130 for 3-4 hours. Alternately, you can pour into plastic wrap on a baking sheet, place in oven on 120 with door open for… several more hours.

These taste amazing! They have the fruity sweet flavor of the strawberries, and the basil is strong in the best way possible.

Are you a basil fan? How about a Basil fan?   :D

Do you like fruit rolls? Favorite flavor?

 

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Watermelons always make me think of Grandpa Z. We shared a mutual love of watermelon, and I have many memories of enjoying it with him. I have photos of Grandpa Z sitting on the kitchen floor, holding our dachshund Hansel, with a huge watermelon in front of him.

We called his mom “Watermelon Grandma”. We had watermelon eating contests – to see who could “clean” their piece the fastest. We looked for the largest watermelons always, and often used the dachshund as a reference measure.

I love my dehydrator.

I have been wanting to dehydrate watermelon for years. I tried it in the oven once – didn’t work. So even though summer is on it’s way out (brr – SO cold here!!), I did find a watermelon, and I did make my first “fruit leather”.

This tastes amazing – natural watermelon flavor intensified. Chewy and pliable like it should be, it is easy to bite and mmm, too easy to eat the entire tray (uh oh – I’m sensing a theme).

So easy – I sliced a watermelon into uniform strips, about 6 inches long, almost 2 inches wide, 1/2 inch thick:

I also cut some of those strips into bite size squares. Those were my taste testers along the way. One thing this dehydrator will (hopefully?) eventually teach me? Patience. I have none! I keep peeking inside.

These took about 8 hours at 125 degrees.

I love this as much as I knew I would, and Thank You Baby Jesus I have the room in my kitchen for it.

Grandpa Z might not appreciate Talladega Nights or Ricky Bobby (though I suspect he would…), he would love these.

Do you share the love of watermelon? What should I dehydrate next (wrings hands)?

 

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Have you ever eaten two whole trays of kale chips in one afternoon? Yeah, me either.

One of my birthday gifts last month was a dehydrator. I’ve been wanting one for some time, so this is definitely not a Homer Gift.

I have a long list of dehydrator ideas, but I had to break it in with a classic.

oops, there’s the photographic evidence of just how many kale chips I scarfed in a matter of hours.

I couldn’t stop. I tried to save some for Jason, I really did. Good thing they are so easy to make.

miso sesame kale chips

vegan, gluten free, dairy free

kale
miso dressing
sesame seeds 

Wash and dry kale. Tear / cut leaves into small pieces, removing ribs and stems. Coat kale pieces with miso dressing (toss in bowl or massage with hands) and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Arrange in single layer on baking pan or dehydrator sheet.

Oven: bake at 250-275 for 45 – 60 minutes*.

Dehydrator: 145 for 2-3 hours*.

*Depending on thickness of dressing application, these times may vary. I made these a second time with a thicker application of miso dressing, dehydrated for four hours. Check and flip.

miso dressing

vegan, gluten free, dairy free

1/4 cup smooth miso paste
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of two lemons
1 green onion, minced fine 

Whisk all ingredients – adjusting liquids for desired consistency. Insert straw and drink Store in airtight container in fridge.

I make this miso dressing thinner for salads, thicker to use as a dip or spread (delicious on sandwiches and wraps!). Thick or thin consistency, this works well as a kale chip coating!

These have incredible flavor- very umami. I make these in small batches now, especially if I am alone. I cannot be trusted around them!

Are you a miso fan? What about kale chips?

 

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