Friday, September 28, 2012

Waste Not Want Not!

   One of the first things I got into with the new, healthier me was juicing. It was simple, nutritious, and best of all, yummy! Fresh juiced apple cider is as good as dessert! I fell in love with green goddess juices. I  save the pulp of the carrots and the apples and freeze them for use later in cakes, breads, and the like. Some of the veggies I mix in fresh to my little bug's mashes. Still, so much of it wasn't getting used! Watching all that fibrous, usable material go to waste just felt wrong.

   I decided to try my hand at make-shifting a cracker made from this high fiber pulp. I don't have the best juicer, so some of the nutrition and juice is left in the pulp I use. I just set up all my veggies for my morning juice yesterday and went to juicing. This time I used apples, carrots, kale, and tomatoes. I was thinking of the crackers when I made this juice selection for sure!!

I juiced all my fruits and veggies, not being too careful to get all the juice out, I thought leaving some in would improve the flavor of the crackers and help me form them before drying.

  (Man am I glad my kid already makes healthy decisions when it comes to food, out of habit. I really wish that for him, when he's older, that it's easier for him to eat well, not just out of concern for health but out of habit. He loves him some kale!)

   Once everything is juiced and put away, it was time to start on the pulp. I dumped it all into a bowl and mixed in a big handful of flax seed for that extra punch of nutrition:

I separated the pulp into three bowls. One I left plain. The second, I mixed in a bit of minced onion and garlic and a bit of cracked pepper. The third I mashed some fresh blackberries into, just in case the rest didn't turn out well. I cut out sheets of parchment paper to lay out on the trays of my 5 layer dehydrator, packed the pulps into the trays in their individual flavors, and set it to work. (NOTE: This can be done in the oven, on the lowest heat, if you don't own a dehydrator. I got mine for $5 at a garage sale. It's not the best but it gets the job done! )

After over 24 hours of dehydrating the chips were done. Next time I will make the indents where I want the crackers to break after the first couple of hours, but I just snapped them into casual squares this time. 

This made a large bag of crackers for me. The blackberry crackers were definitely the best! We liked them all however. The garlic ones were great with feta and apple slices! I keep all the little piece for the Bug. He eats them up!! 

So much cheaper than the kale chips from the store, no preservatives or weird ingredients, and fresh fresh fresh!! I can't wait to experiment more with different juices, pureeing the ingredients together before adding flax, and adding different herbs and spices.  

I can't believe eating raw, cheap, and healthy can be so yummy!!

Happy Dehydrating!

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