Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Learning to love my food dehydrator & homemade granola recipe

A couple of weeks ago, Nate bought a food dehydrator. His basil plant was running wild and basil doesn't freeze well (learned that one the hard way). At first, I wasn't too happy about the purchase. Not because I'm an advocate of spoiled foods or plants gone wild, but because of the work involved. But Jen, you say, you just throw it on the tray and plug it in. True. But then you have to wash said trays. By hand.

Every time I look at the dehydrator I think work, work, work. And it also takes a lot to make a lot. It's kind of like juicing. Like you need a bag of oranges to make a glass of juice. With dehydrating foods, you need half a melon to make a handful of melon candy.

But I can't argue with the results. We dehydrated two trays of basil and crunched it up and put it in the same bottle as our store bought basil. Can you see a difference?

Before.

After. You can see how the color changes right above the line of the label.



Crazy, right? So I've been dutifully cutting up apples and bananas and drying them to a crisp (and eating them in one sitting). So much work.

And there are some really cool things you can do like making your own fruit roll ups (these really are good). Or drying apples for crafts (why craft with them when you can eat them?) and some other recipes that are in the book that came with the dehydrator.

But what's really turned me around is the homemade granola. I found a recipe in the book and tweaked it (mainly because I didn't have dried fruit on hand because I'd already eaten it - work, work, work) and oh man. It's amazing. I kid you not, this granola tastes like cookie dough. And you know what? It's pretty darn good for you, too. At least, that's what I tell myself as I eat it by the handful.

All you do is mix everything together, pat it onto a tray and turn on the dehydrator until it's crisp. Mine took about 36 hours. Then you crumble it up and store it. Here are some pics.

The recipe as written made two full trays of granola.

Before.

After.

And, because I know you want it, the recipe is below. You're welcome.

Cheers,
Jen

Homemade Granola (click here for printable version)
Ingredients
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup golden flaxseed meal
1/2 cup honey flavored agave (or just plain honey)
1 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla
1/2 cup margarine, melted (I used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup chia seeds (you know I had to add chia seeds)

Directions
Mix everything together until ingredients are evenly distributed. Spread onto a fruit roll sheet. Dry at 145 degrees F in your food dehydrator until crunchy. Crumble and store in an airtight container.

5 comments:

  1. Can't wait to try this recipe(: what brand food hydrator did your husband go with? We've been considering getting one...

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    Replies
    1. Britney, he bought the Nesco Professional Food & Jerky Dehydrator. He's also a hunter so I think he's hoping I'll start making jerky, haha.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Hello,

    Indeed a good post, And I believe having a Food Dehydrator at our home is very important as it helps dehydrating food,, so we need the best food dehydrators, that's why I have recently purchased one of the top food dehydrators available, because i want to make best food with food dehydrator.
    By the way, Keep up the good work.

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