Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Not so long ago, I moved into a new place. In return for moving out to the 'burbs, I got a larger flat with a lovely kitchen. I felt giddy from all the storage space - I had to restrain myself from going crazy and buying all the kitchen gadgets I'd been dreaming of.

OK, so maybe I wasn't that restrained. I went out and bought myself a dehydrator.

There seem to be two kinds out there - fancy-dan ones that cost a couple of hundred pounds and up, and cheapo, easy to break ones for around £30. You can guess which one I went for (hint: champagne tastes, lager budget. It was the latter.)

I was a bit worried that the poor dehydrator would suffer the same fate as so many of its gadget breathren - left to gather space in a box in some unloved cupboard until it's rediscovered by someone saying "why on earth did I buy this?"

Happily, that's not been the case. Me and my dehydrator are very happy together and we've been spending a lot of time together ever since we met. Sure, it's a bit of a space hog, but I can overlook that without too much trouble.

The best reason to get a dehydrator? KALE CHIIIIIIIPS!

They sell those for £4 a packet in some of the whole foods shops (or in Whole Foods' shops, in fact!) Now I've got a dehydrator, I can just knock up a load of kale chips at home for a few pennies. These were made with purple kale I got from Borough market with a mix of soy sauce, tahini, rice vinegar and mirin on, dehydrated for a couple of hours. I think them being purple makes them taste better in some way.



Then there's also homemade Nakd bar bites for a bit of a sweet treat. These ones are a mix of dried dates and figs, and whatever mixed nuts I had in the cupboard - peanuts and almonds I think. They took a little while to dehydrate, but they were lovely when they were done.



Also joining my new dehydrator roster are beetroot chips - I used candy beets because they mean less purple juice to clean up, and because they look so pretty. They make a nice alternative to potato chips, and they're awesome rawsome with a bit of hummus.

That's three for three on my first dehydrator recipes - I'm very pleased so far. Any suggestions for what to make next? Send em over!


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15 comments :

  1. The beets are spectacular. I never would have thought of doing that. The weirdest thing I ever dehydrated was chili to take as camping food. It took days to dry and I don't recommend it. I used to grow lots of tomatoes and would dehydrate them in the fall to use all winter. If I still had my dehydrator, I'd be making crackers.

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  2. I can totally relate to "buying all the kitchen gadgets I'd been dreaming of". :) Thank goodness my kitchen isn't very large at the moment but I am really thinking of extending the kitchen area into some of the dining area. Just so that I can get a slow cooker, dehydrator, soy milk maker, food processor... eek! But those kale chips are so tempting. I sometimes make some in the oven but I have to keep a constant eye on them because the next minute they are burnt! I always thought dehydrators were expensive, I'm gonna have a look around if I can find cheapo ones here. :)

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  3. Oooh lucky you! I don't think I realized there were cheaper dehydrators available..now your'e tempting me ;)
    Besides kale chips and other veggie chips I think I'd be making crackers and cookies in mine. I've seen recipes out there for raw pancakes and crepes which sound interesting too.

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  4. Everything looks great! I've never had want for a dehydrator until now. Thanks!

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  5. Dehydrators are so much fun! The one I have is my dad's - circa 1989! Ha ha! I love kale chips, and I will never buy them in a store again!

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  6. I'm just about to move to somewhere with a big kitchen and have been looking into dehydrators. It's great to hear and see you can get great results without having to go top of the range. One thing I like to buy are raw crispbread and cracker type things but they are expensive so I'd be wanting to have a go at those. Love the look of those amazing beetroot crisps!

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  7. Raw beet chips are my favourite! I also love a simple raw corn chip and I have a great mango energy bar I really should make again. I know you will have a lot fun with your dehydrator! :)

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  8. Wow, good job on the recipes! Time to dust my dehydrator off.

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  9. Thank you for reminding me to use my dehydrator! Those beetroot chips look beautiful.

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  10. My dehydrator is also one of those "fancy" $20 models, bought at a garage sale no less. It's still quite the luxury to get all the crispy kale chips you want out of it, considering the price that a bag of the ready-made sort runs. I could just never get them quite right in the oven, since the high heat would burn the edges but leave the centers soft. So worth the extra time to get it right!

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  11. Ooh, you've made such exciting veggie things in your dehydrator. We mainly use ours for fruit leather and granola, but I think some Kale Chips will be on the menu this winter.

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  12. I also got an el cheapo dehydrator. I've only made fruit leather and tofu jerky. Now I'll have to give kale and beetroot chips a try. They look awesome! :-)

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  13. This is one gadget I would like to have but have avoided buying bc I don;t think I'd use it that often and I don't have the space. But kale chips – whoa. And those peppermint radish chips look so pretty. I'm kinda' jealous :) But I still don't have the space. Bummer.

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  14. Congratulations on your new home, wishing you all the very best settling in and excited to see what you’ve made in your new kitchen! Glad that your dehydrator is working out great! The last photo reminded me of these Andean potato chips I had in Lima last week - they were so pretty in purple and pink rounds. I would love them with hummus, too! Yummm!

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  15. Wow, those beetroot chips are so pretty! The dehydrator sounds lovely. I moved into a new flat recently, and I loved gadget shopping, got myself a rice cooker and an ice cream maker (which is very fun to experiment with!).

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