Saturday, September 6, 2014

Healthy Trail Mix at Home

We bought a dehydrator a while, over a year ago.....and I have been a dehydrating fool ever since. I love it! And when dehydrating, my basement smells fantastic! Especially when I have peaches or strawberries going.

A couple months ago I dehydrated onions. A neighbor (we live in a 4-unit townhouse) knocked on my door and asked if I smelled onions because he could in his's me. Sorry!
He wasn't upset...he just couldn't figure out where the smell came from. Ever since then, I've tried to keep the 'strong' smelling items going during the week when he's not home, and the good stuff like fruits dehydrating on the weekends when he is.

Either way, I am dehydrating all the time. A couple weeks ago, I started making my own trail mix. Boy! Is there a difference between store bought and home made. Store bought is harder...crispier....mostly because (as I found out), they tend to deep fry their fruits before they dehydrate them. Yuck! How unhealthy is that?

I like my fruit hard, but with some chew in the middle. That's where all the flavor seems to concentrate. It's wonderful! Most fruits I dehydrate at 125 for 12 hours. It depends on how thick I cut my fruit. (Any questions you can always check out my Pinterest board ) I have several links to how to do different fruits and veggies.

Well, I titled this post Trail Mix not 'listen to me gush about my dehydrator' so here's my trail mix:

Lovely, isn't it?
I used raw cashews, slivered almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, unsweetened coconut flakes, raisins, and my dehydrated fruits of strawberries, bananas, peaches and apples.
Even though there is no sugar in this trail mix, it was plenty sweet enough with the dehydrated fruit, and salty because of the salt on the cashews. In a word, fabulous!

Bananas- slice 1/8 in thick, dehydrate at 135 for 12 hours.
Strawberries- slice 1/4" thick. Dehydrate at 135 for 10-12 hrs
Peaches- slice 1/8" thick, dehydrate at 135 for 12-16 hrs
Apples- slice 1/4" thick, soak in citric acid water ( 1 tsp to 1/2 gal water) for 5 mins, then dehydrate at 135 for 10-12 hrs.

*You can also soak the banana's in citric acid water before dehydrating- doing so will inhibit the 'darkness' of the banana as it dehydrates. (You know banana's---they like to turn brown every chance they get!)
**Side note- you can use a lemon lime soda instead of the citric acid water. :)

***I've had people ask about oven dehydrating. Yes, you can do this using your oven if you don't have a dehydrator. Of course, using the oven speeds up the process because your oven can't go to as low a temp as your dehydrator can. The only drawback to using your oven is the speed. Especially with fruits, the slower you dehydrate something, the less chance of browning, or darkening, of the fruit. It's visually less appealing. Plus, you can only do one or two items at a time. With a dehydrator, you can do several trays of different fruits at the same time because you're using the same temp.  I have 10 trays for my dehydrator. I can do LOTS of stuff at once.
****So if using your oven, dehydrate on a parchment lined baking tray at  250 degrees until fruit is done.

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