Hanging out to dry
I have a sweet tooth the size of Everest. My day isn’t complete unless I’ve had some form of chocolate or sweet treat. Even worse, in the last month or so I’ve had a craving for gummy bears that has become hard to ignore. What scares me though for these gelatin candies is the long list of ingredients, half of which I can’t even pronounced topped off with artificial food coloring. The best alternative to get my sweet fix has been dried fruits, especially the dried mangos from Trader Joe’s. What I love even more is that they offer unsweetened and unsulfured – so pretty much all you’re really getting IS really ONLY mangos and no added sugar or additives. Thank you all natural sugar fix!
My wallet has really taken a hard hit from my new addiction though.
We have an old dehydrator that’s been in our family since I was in elementary school, which means it’s about 15 years old. I took the initiative to resurrect it back from the dead (meaning the scary black hole in our garage where all appliances go to die).
My dad had to conduct some open-heart surgery and rewire the thing and fix the fan.
Now we have it up and running again (most of the time).
I just did my first round of dehydrating with some apples. YUM!
Here’s what I used:
10 pink lady apples (with the skin on for more fiber)
Few tablespoons of lemon juice
A million dashes of cinnamon to taste
I laid it all out flat and had dried apple chips 8 hours later. I really had to keep an eye on it though in case it blew up into flames (since it hadn’t been turned on in 15 years). Seems like a long time to wait though, but it was worth it. They turned out uber yummy!
Second round of testing.
5 zucchinis sliced (skin on again)
Couple tablespoons of apple-cider vinegar (bonus because it’s so good for you!)
Salt to taste
Same process again. I had to wait overnight – and the longer you wait the crispier they turn out (which is something you want for veggie chips). It was a success. To know that I can substitute my fried potato chip s with veggie chips that only have 3 ingredients – AMAZING! AND it’s actually GOOD for you!
I have to admit, dehydrating takes a lot of patience. On top of it, your fruits and veggies shrink to almost half their size so it doesn’t feel like you get as much as you put in. This picture is what 10 applies and 5 large zucchinis look like. If I could, I’d run this sucker every night to have a week’s supply of healthy snacks. I guess you really get what you pay for. I have to decide if I want to pay with my time or burn a hole through my wallet. Either way, the sacrifice is worth it and it makes me feel better about my choices. To know that I can snack without putting laboratory grown preservatives into my body is definitely something to feel good about.
Hopefully making these new changes won’t be so hard after all?