Dehydrating food – a weird science

My adventures with my new dehydrator continue. It’s a roller coaster ride, but I’m persevering. The bin men might start to complain about the weight of soggy, putty-smelling residue they have to cart away each week, but I’m determined to make this work.

I’ve learned a couple of things this week:

  1. Dehydrating doesn’t chemically transform the flavour in any way, like baking does. So, if the raw dough tastes like crap, the end result will be a hard biscuit that tastes like crap.
  2. Things called ‘crackers’ need drying very thoroughly indeed. They need to spend many more hours in the dehydrator than I’ve been giving them.

I announce a moderate success with my Rosemary Almond Crackers and Sage and Onion Cashew Cheese:

almond crackers and cashew cheese

For the Sage and Onion cheese, I used the Simple Almond Cheese recipe, but substituted cashews for the almonds. I dried an onion, sliced, and a big bunch of sage, then ground it to a fine powder with a dozen black peppercorns. I rolled the cheese in this to coat it, then dehydrated it for 6 hours to give a crust.

It’s interesting that the cashew nuts hung on to the added water/olive oil/lemon juice in the way the almonds don’t in the original recipe. I drained the mixture in a cheesecloth for 24 hours, but it threw off absolutely nothing, where the almond cheese drips a couple of tablespoonfuls of fluid. This contributed to it being really light and creamy.

Yeah! I’ll make this combo again!


4 responses to “Dehydrating food – a weird science

  1. You probably fermented your wheat somehow. Or your flax was rancid.These crackers should not taste how you describe. There crackers are favorites of many people.

  2. I think it’s just ME and sprouted wheat right now. The crackers (that don’t contain wheat) and nut cheeses are fabulous.
    I don’t think I will try the sprouted wheat again until I’ve finished chemo. I’ll cheerfully admit that it’s probably my taste buds, and my newness to the technique, at the moment. Perhaps I should try again in two or three months time.

    ‘Rawmazing’ is a wonderful web site.

  3. Have you tried fruit? I meant to buy one of those when I was growing fruit to keep it preserved (fruit in the north of england doesn’t exist anymore, my peaches rotted on the tree this year)

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