Fruit Chips…


I’ve always been a sucker for kitchen appliances and cooking. I love cooking shows, recipe scavenger hunts online and watching cooking clips on YouTube. So, when I saw an array of vegans and vegetarians sucking the moisture out of fruits by way of YouTube, I couldn’t wait to try it. Initially, it was the videos of raw wheat bread that got my attention. I ran out to Walmart and purchased mason jars in an effort to make my own sprouter. I was successful in creating a home made sprouter but my attempts to sprout wheat berries for my raw crackers didn’t turn out so well… my crackers tasted like grass… o_O… Don’t ask…

But… my fruit chips turned out magical. Let’s just say, that my lovely girlfriend ate ALL of the banana chips in one sitting and although she isn’t a total slobbish eater, she is far from an overly heath conscious eater.

So, I purchased a Nesco dehydrator from Bed, Bath and Beyond for about $60. I did look at the $40 Oyster dehydrator at Walmart but I opted to spend the extra $20 for 2 reasons; 1. The Nesco dehydrator has an adjustable temperature gauge so that you can change the temperature at which you dehydrate, which is great if you are a raw foodist and 2. The Nesco dehydrator comes standard with 4 trays but you can buy extra trays if you need to dehydrate more stuff at once.

And as with any new toy, I had to try it out as soon as I got home. We had 3 brown bananas sitting on the counter which were totally ready to be stored in File 13 but I figured what the hell. I sliced all three bananas up into about 1/2 thick slices and laid them out on the dehydrator tray. I sprinkled the slices with a few pinches of sea salt and turned the dehydrator on. I let it run over night and by the next morning, I had yielded banana chips. They were a little brown from the oxidation process that bananas usually encounters from the air hitting them but that had nothing to do with the taste. They were absolutely fabulous! I did read an article stating that if you dip the slices in lemon juice before you dehydrate it will allow them to keep their color without affecting the flavor. I will be sure to try this technique the next go round. I followed up my banana chips by dehydrating some pineapples and strawberries.

The process is quite simple. Gather your fruit and cut into slices to your liking, but be mindful that they will shrink so don’t cut them too small. Lay them out on your dehydrator tray and turn it on. It may take quite a few hours but the reward is well worth the wait. Try dehydrated fruit in your oatmeal, trail mix or as a stand alone snack!

photo 300x179   Fruit Chips...

April 19, 2011
Food, Kitchen Gadgets

 
 

Strawberry and Plantain French Toast


Like my mother, and my grandmother before her, I am the breakfast Queen. I grew up on southern soul food, grits and salmon cakes, and I enjoy making breakfast for my friends when they visit, and for myself, because I like to eat. Sometimes I cook for my sweetie pie 🙂

Every Sunday, we go to an awesome local bakery. This past weekend, I bought a loaf of some good bread from Atwater’s. We made sandwiches the day before, but I had to save a few slices. I love using good bread for French Toast.

frenchplan 300x225   Strawberry and Plantain French Toast

Strawberry and Plantain French Toast

I cut the slices about 1/4 inch thick and soak them in a mixture of egg, almond milk, (you can use regular milk) and a few spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, clove). The key to good French Toast is “soak time.” Good bread will not fall apart in the egg mixture. I let it soak for about a minute and then I turn it over and let it soak again on the other side. Repeat several times. I do this for the better part of five minutes, until the bread is saturated, but not soggy.

Once the bread is ready, melt a little bit of butter in a skillet on medium heat. Place the egg battered slices in the pan and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until the pieces are slightly brown. If you cook it too high, the middle won’t be done. I suppose the heat can’t be TOO LOW, but people have stuff to do and it would take too long LOL  If you choose, you can sprinkle the spices on the bread in the skillet instead of, or in addition to, putting it in the egg mixture. I’ve been known to season my French Toast with the Oregon Train Chai Mixes. So good.

The plantains were easy. I used butter in a skillet and cooked for about a minute on each side. Sprinkle cinnamon on the plantains while they cook. Slice the strawberries and put the fruit on top of the bread. Serve. Enjoy! Maple syrup is a great addition 🙂

p.s. We are building a garden. That explains the soil and potted plants in the photo LOL

March 29, 2011
Food, Recipe

 
 

Take-out dinner from a grocery store in Kohala


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dinner   Take out dinner from a grocery store in Kohala

Inari, cucumber/avocado rolls, summer rolls, and rambutans…. mmmm

 

 

March 26, 2011
Food

 
 

Granola and Blueberries with Almond Milk


I am a granola head. Call me a hippy or whatever you like, but I love granola. I’m always looking for a new brand, especially one that isn’t too sweet or high in calories. I get really excited when there is a good grain:fruit:nut ratio. Right now, I’m diggin on the Cascadian Farm granola cereals!

This wasn’t breakfast. I had a bowl of granola and blueberries drowned in Silk almond milk for an afternoon snack.

p.s. Almond Milk is my new favorite. For years, I experienced “issues” (I’ll spare the details) because of my allergy to lactose. I love cereal and milk and I didn’t want to eliminate my favorite snack/meal from my diet. I switched to almond milk and now I can destroy massive amounts of healthy cereals with a healthy alternative, and without the terrible side effects 🙂

blubergran 300x225   Granola and Blueberries with Almond Milk

Granola Cereal and Blueberries with Almond Milk

March 23, 2011
Food

 
 

Fruit smoothie


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Blended fresh fruit smoothie:

1 small gala apple
1 very ripe banana
a handful of blueberries and raspberries
1 kiwi
Fresh mint garnish (would be good blended into the smoothie, too!)

(Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Raw)
fruit smoothie 164x300   Fruit smoothie

March 10, 2011
Drink, Food