Get Your Dehydrator On {Recipe Redux}

Ω September 22nd, 2014 Ω Tagged , , , , , Ω 9 Comments

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I’ll admit right off the bat – I don’t have a new recipe for you, dear reader. I had visions of a mountain of garden bounty reduced to the size of a teacup and warm coconut macaroons giving off a delightful rich, sweet scent. But then MOE interfered.

What a bummer, especially as I was looking forward to this month’s Recipe Redux:

Whether it’s extra garden bounty or a sale at the supermarket – dehydrating food is a budget-friendly way to stock up for later. You can use a food dehydrator, a low slow oven, or natural sunshine to preserve natural healthfulness. Show us how you like to dehydrate, or a healthy recipe for how you enjoy using dehydrated fruits, veggies or other bounty.

Seeing our dehydrator in this post’s first picture brings back memories of homemade beef jerky sustaining us across the plains of the Midwest while driving between Connecticut and Illinois. It reminds me of wrapping coconut macaroons to snack on while flying to Switzerland. Most of all, the dehydrator reminds me of a young couple sharing their love of food with each other.

Excuse me. I’ve got something in my eye.

Recipe

As I wrote previously, not only is dehydrating food a great way to preserve excess fruits, veggies, and meat, it also preserves (ha) much of the nutrient content of these foods. The fiber, mineral and calorie content of dried food remains the same, although calorie density will increase with the removal of water. Moderate loss of B-vitamins may occur during drying. Blanching vegetables before drying preserves vitamin A, while decreasing temperature over the course of drying will help maintain vitamin C content in produce.

Since I don’t have a new recipe, I thought I’d share a few ways we’ve used our dehydrator over the years.

Coconut Almond Macaroons (recipe included!)

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Empanadas de Mole Amarillo with Dried Chilies (recipe included!)

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Figgy Hearts

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Looking for other ways to get your dehydrator on without a dehydrator? Try these oven-dried tomatoes!


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Monday Munchies, Part 35: Dietitian on the Weekend

Ω September 15th, 2014 Ω Tagged , , , , Ω 11 Comments

This post is a continuation of the Monday Munchies series where I show everything I eat over the course of single day – in this case, a Saturday three weeks ago (no, I’m not kidding). I thought about scrapping this day; however, as you’ll see, this day shows, once again, that there’s no such thing as “perfect” eating. Dietitians everywhere enjoy a “wide” variety of foods.

Time races on with the relentless energy of a Maddie who has just spied the last treat in the bag. Since my last Monday Munchy, we:

* lost our special pup,
* traveled around the world (and I promise I’ll get to this exciting journey … as soon as MOE stops throwing coconuts),
* moved halfway across the countryagain,
* and I became a student once more.

That’s Life with a capital “L”. How does one begin after five months without a single Monday Munchy?

How about with breakfast?

Breakfast, 7:30 am:

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Never fear, Bircher muesli fans! I would never give up my favorite easy breakfast. Lately, I’ve been on an eggs-and-fruit kick that won’t quit. Here, we have a couple of over-hard eggs and a bowl of Greek yogurt with a tiny banana and blackberries. Served with hot Yorkshire Gold and nonfat milk.

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One benefit of reflecting on a three-week-old meal (a phrase that sounds terrible when taken out of context) is the emotional distance that comes with the knowledge that the meal is long gone. Perhaps we would do well to remember that every meal and snack is an opportunity to nourish the body rather than regret less-than-satisfactory food choices.

Also, those blackberries still look delicious.

Mid-morning comestible, 10 am:

As you might imagine, Oregon has some stellar farmer’s markets. I wish I could show you the frenetic pace of a fresh-produce-loving population, but the only picture I have is this:

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That would be a lovely blueberry scone, captured in a wan light of an inferior phone picture. I enjoyed half and lost track of the other half (maybe Maddie got it).

Lunch-ish, 11 am:

Speaking of less-than-desirable food choices.

Speaking of less-than-satisfactory food choices.

Your eyes do not deceive you: That is two giant hot dogs and a churro that appears to be about two feet long. Let me explain.

Whenever we’ve gone into a Costco, Peter laments the long line for Costco hot dogs (should those words really go together?). By chance, we struck upon the equivalent of weekend gold (at least, according to Peter): a short line and a ready availability of long hot dogs.

Of course, he couldn’t pass it up. I looked at food pictures worked on my phone while Peter waited in the two-person line. As a dietitian does, I expected him to come back with a single hot dog we could both try.

Instead, he returned with everything in the picture above.

I suppose there’s some lesson here about food and moderation, but in reality, this experience boils down to two points:

(1) Those three bites of hot dog were delicious – nice job, Costco, and
(2) This was good practice in listening to my body. Despite the small food volume, I didn’t want anything for the rest of the day. No need to follow a strict food schedule just for the sake of a schedule.

Therefore, I did not consume anything else until

Dinner, 7 pm:

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Peter-made crab cakes with tomatoes and fresh roasted beets. The crabcakes were topped with Peter’s homemade tartar sauce.

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I suppose with a home-cooked meal this good, I can forgive Peter’s earlier meal of beige. Not too shabby, dear reader, not too shabby.

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