My first ever official Recipe Redux post:
this month’s theme is last month’s theme was dehydrated foods, ‘ Get Your Dehydrator On!’. I have never dehydrated anything in my life, (except when I got brain washed with Pete Evan’s activated almonds idea for a few hours) and wouldn’t even know what a dehydrator looks like. Turns out an oven is just as good, or a hot car apparently, but the OH&S inspector in me says otherwise.
Dehydrating food has come back into popularity as of late with the rise of the Raw Food movement. Raw food is defined as food that is ‘cooked’ and kept somewhere below 48C. The idea is that the less heat the food is exposed to, the more nutrients and enzymes are kept in tact, meaning better for you! Dehydrating is also a great way to preserve fruits and vegetables. Once dried you can keep them for months, or take them camping with you 🙂 It is, however, a really time consuming process, and if you’re like me and don’t own a dehydrator, using the oven for 8+ hours does not work well with my environmental sustainability values. So if you’re a raw foodie, it is worthwhile to purchase a proper dehydrator, but I think this will be a once off experiment for me!
So anyway, I was pondering what on earth I could dehydrate…I’ve tried some tasty raw vegan crackers in my time but they weren’t mind blowing let’s be honest… and then I got thinking about my one of a kind housemate who is on quite a radical dietary adventure at the moment, the 80/10/10 diet – I won’t go into detail, but lets just say she eats a LOT of bananas, like, a lot. There is definitely an abundance in our household. So I thought I could put them to good use. And THEN I remembered those delicious dried bananas you get from the self serve section at the fancy Coles. You know how you can go put your goodies into bags and then label them yourself? And you always put the cheap ‘pretzel’ label on your bag of delicious expensive almonds… hehehe…not that I am condoning shop lifting guys! But a girl’s gotta survive. Anyway, back to the point, these dried bananas aren’t like those crunchy banana chip types, they are whole bananas that go really chewy and sweet, they taste like banana bread!
So whilst day dreaming about how good they were, ANOTHER, fantastic idea came to me (yeah, i was on fire)…and I realised they would be even more delicious coated in chocolate and nuts. Because what wouldn’t be made more delicious covered in chocolate and nuts? Enter: banana candy pops. uh, yum.
Here is the result of my vision…it’s close to what I had in mind, but i think i would have liked to have kept the banana pieces in longer strips. They were a good snack, especially with a sugar craving, because the bananas turn super sweet when dried, no sugar needed.
2 bananas, sliced lengthways and then in two halves (8 pieces in total)
2 TBS cocoa powder
2 TBS coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 TBS chopped roasted almonds
Turn your oven on the lowest possible setting (mine was about 100C)
Place banana pieces on a raised rack covered in baking paper
Leave them there for 4 hours, then turn them over
Leave for another 4 hours
If they are getting too brown, you can leave the oven door open a bit with an oven mitt or teatowel
When they are ready, they should look shrivelled up and golden brown
Use skewers to stick through the banana pieces
Combine the cocoa, melted oil, vanilla and salt in a small bowl
Drizzle over the banana pieces
Sprinkle over the almonds
If you’re interested in raw food and want some excellent first hand info on eating raw and the 80/10/10 diet let me know and I will point you in the right direction xx