Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Tale of Two Chips

We got a dehydrator for Christmas. Sort of out of the blue. Sort of bizarre. But I'm totally into it. Mr. C wasn't so sure about it, until I mentioned we could use it to make jerky. Now he's totally on board.

I realize this blog is a temple for sugar and butter worship. But, as you know, I'm the sort of weirdo baker that usually reaches over the cupcakes and cookies so I can get to the vegetable crisps. When we received the dehydrator, I knew it and me would be great friends. With it by my side, I could make yummy chips made out of any vegetable known to man. Yam. Zucchini. Hell, I'd even try to dehydrate a whole mini pumpkin if Mr. C would let me (he still says no, but I'm sure we can make him change him mind). So, we started to experiment.

The thing about experimentation is, for every victory, you have a failure.

kalecarrotchips (7)

But talking about failure first thing is a major bummer. So lets talk about the successful part of this grand experiment:

The first thing we popped into the ol' dehydrator is kale. I am absolutely in love with this leafy green. I wish I could have iron- and calcium-filled babies with it. Instead, I would have to settle with covering it in tahini and sucking all the moisture out of it. Yes, kale chips. No, they're not your regular ruffles or sour cream and onion. But they are good. Very good. And, the best part, you can feel really good eating them.

kalecarrotchips (2)

Kale Chips
adapted from Fully Nourished

1 head kale (washed and torn into bite sized pieces)
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons soy sauce (low sodium, if possible)
2 table spoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
a couple pinches of sea salt
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (if you need a substitute, we found that using 2 tablespoons of crushed cashews with a little bit of grated parmesan gives you the same sort of taste)

1) Put the kale in a large mixing bowl. In your food processor, throw all your other ingredients in and pulse until smooth. Pour the sauce over your kale and mix it with your hands until your greens are throughly covered.

2) If you have a food processor: Line the kale up on your dehydrator sheets and dehydrate for about 6 hours at 115F. Flip kale halfway through

3) If you'd like to use an oven instead: Place kale on parchment paper and bake on the lowest temperature possible for about 30 minutes (or until dry). Make sure you keep an eye on it and turn over when needed.

kalecarrotchips (8)

After the super yummy kale chips came out of our dehydrator, we became overly confident. And cocky. We figured anything we threw into our little magic box would turn into gold. So Mr. C painstakingly chopped up a giant bunch of carrots (enough to fill our biggest mixing bowl), tossed them with some spices, and threw them into the dehydrator. What came out was utterly disappointing.

The carrot chips, which were about two inches in diameter when we put them in, came out about the size of the nail on my pinkie finger. This voodoo astounded us. Where did all our carrots go? All we were left with were a small pile of sad looking vegetable poopies.

Were they taste? To be honest, they were okay. They didn't have the nice crunch that I expected them to. I assume this is because we didn't chop them thin enough. That or the God of the Dehydrator decided to taketh away. Maybe some domestic prince or princess can correct our error. I hope so - I really don't want to give up on finding (and eating) the perfect snack food.

Carrot Chips

9 large carrots
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Tablespoon turmeric
1 Tablespoon sea salt

1) Peel your carrots, then slice them into 1/8th of an inch chips. Put them into boiling water and just blanch them for one or two minutes (until they are really bright orange). Take them out quickly, dose in cold water, then drain off the excess water.

2) Put the carrots in a large mixing bowl and toss with the spices and salt. Make sure everything is evenly covered. Place evenly in dehydrator for about four hours at 125F. Take out and be disappointed at your little biddy carrot chips :(



Evan Thomas said...

I've still never tried kale chips. I always mean to but I end up making salad because I can't resist eating the kale immediately. I'll need to buy twice as much next trip to the store.

BakingWithoutaBox said...

Aw! That's too bad. Carrot chips sound like they'd be delightful. I may stalk your site to see if anyone knows since my officemate got a dehydrator for Christmas. Glad the kale chips were so good!

Monet said...

I know several people that swear by their dehydrator...but I haven't tried using one yet. It is a shame that the carrot chips didn't turn out as well as the kale ones. They look so pretty! Thanks for sharing your experiments with us!

Unknown said...

LOL..The carrot chips look good!!
Try sweet potato and also try banana. I like to think I'm living vicariously through your dehydrator through you..oh never mind. Enjoy your new toy!

megan @ whatmegansmaking said...

haha I love the line about take out and be disappointed about your carrot chips. I know nothing about dehydrating, but these both look like great first attempts!

Anonymous said...

"Take out and be disappointed at your little biddy carrot chips." Wow, two years later and your comment is still making people laugh. Was going to try carrot chips tonight and am thinking twice after reading your post!

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