I finally have my Excalibur dehydrator after snagging it pretty cheap on a 4th of July Sale, and for the past week I’ve been experimenting with different raw recipes!
One thing that I’ve been eager to make is raw pizza – it looks super pretty on any of the websites I’ve looked at recipes on, and I’m sure it tastes as good as it looks. Now I can dehydrate crust and jump on the raw pizza bandwagon! I spent quite a while looking for an easy recipe with relatively few ingredients to try out, and I found one at The Rawtarian. I didn’t have all of the herbs she used, so I added an Italian spice blend from Aldis. I also added in a few handfuls of hemp seeds, and although not raw, some wheat germ, in an attempt to give it a pizza-doughy flavor. When I came back to my room after a few hours of dehydrating, my room smelled like fresh baking herb bread! I was nervous to leave it on while I was sleeping, so I unplugged it after they’d been drying for about 7 hours, and turned it back on in the morning for about 2 more hours. The only thing with the recipe that confused me was that she wasn’t very clear about what temperature to start out dehydrating at, unless I missed it… 😡 But I used 115, and then lowered it to 105 like she said. With the amount of dough the recipe made, I was able to make 2 medium sized and 3 smaller crusts that were about 1/4 inch thick. I tried one out with some hummus and chopped veggies, and loved the flavor and the texture – can’t wait to try making some sauce and raw cheese to go along with it!
Along with raw pizza, a dehydrator also means raw breads, crackers and bagels! I’ve been using Eziekiel bread for the most part, but it can get to be pretty expensive. Since I usually eat bread in the morning, I decided to give bagels a try as well. Like pizza, many of the recipes involved a lot of ingredients and didn’t sound good to me. I adapted this recipe from Women Go Raw, soaking a combination of oat groats, hard wheat berries, buckwheat, and 7 grain cereal overnight. I processed them with the dates, and made them into bagel-y shapes for drying. They look like they might not cut in half nicely like a regular bagel, but almond butter can definitely still be spread on the top, which is the best way to eat bagels 🙂
Coconut Milk Yogurt
Like I mentioned in my last blog, I planned on giving coconut milk yogurt a try. Cultures for Health, the company I bought my vegan yogurt starter from, has a recipe right on their site for making non-diary yogurts. I followed their recommendations, using tapioca starch as the thickener, and my dehydrator as the incubator. If all goes well, I’d like to strain it with cheese cloth to get a Greek yogurt texture, and maybe add in some agave or jam for added flavoring. For now, I just used 2 cans of a Taste of Thai unsweetened coconut milk. I read on another blog that when using canned coconut milk in your yogurt, it’s best to choose ones with the full fat content, and that have no added ingredients other than guar gum, which is a thickener.
I was able to make the pizza crusts at school, but I decided to wait until I was home for the weekend before trying out the bagels and the yogurt. Mainly it’s because I don’t have a food processor anymore (I killed my $10 one trying to make brownies…oops), and I also needed to buy a candy thermometer so I didn’t culture the yogurt at the wrong temperature. Even vegan bacteria can spoil, apparently..
I will be honest that my percentage raw dwindled quite low for a few weeks, with a camping trip, hormones and cravings, grad parties and other summer festivities. The last week or so I’ve been doing a pretty good job at eating more raw foods, and mixing random things from the fridge, like a zuchinni noodle, avocado, cucumber, sprouted lentil and chick pea mixed salad with hummus for a dressing. When I go home for the weekend I try to clean out or eat as much as I can, so I decided to throw a bunch of things together for lunch Friday. I was surprised at how good it tasted! I’ve been using Oasis hummus lately, and I really like that it’s so low in calories and fat. Normally I’m skeptical of such things, but I noticed that tahini is surprisingly absent from the list of ingredients, which is where a lot of the fat in hummus comes from. It doesn’t have such a creamy texture, but I think the flavor makes up for it.
So far, I’m impressed with my Excalibur, and excited to try out more recipes. I think kale chips might be my next experiment with it. Kale salad is great, but anything in snack form is always better.