My home smells like pizza. One of the beautifully unexpected aspects about dehydrators is that they fill your home with wonderfully delicious scents while your food dries. I’m making Mini Pizzas, which if you have my UnCookbook you know are made of sliced eggplant, marinara sauce, and some spices. When dehydrated, they taste wonderfully chewy and conquer that I-need-to-have-pizza craving I get now and that. They kinda remind me of those pizza bites I used to love as a kid.
Dehydrators. Before I went raw, I had no idea why they were necessary and had never even seen one. The idea of drying your fruit sounded silly to me…why not just eat it normally? I liked jerky, sure, but would rather buy it than make it. Yuck. So when looking for a dehydrator, I wasn’t sure what to keep an eye out for. I quickly learned that the dehydrator needs a temperature gauge, as most dry at temperatures hot enough to cook (and thereby destroy the nutrients and enzymes of) your food. I also learned that if I wanted to make crackers, breads, and fruit leather, I would need a square dehydrator, not a round one. Most round dehydrators have the fan in the middle – with a cutout…so you would get bunt-shaped foods. I quickly learned that there was one name on everyone’s lips: Excalibur. They have phenomenal dehydrators, lots to choose from and a great reputation. They are expensive, though…and I wasn’t sure I wanted to splurge if I wasn’t going to use it very often. Smart, cautious move…but I wish I had splurged. I bought the four tray and later on bought another four tray. Like the rest of my appliances, I am looking to possibly upgrade and sell the dehydrators I have now. If interested in purchasing mine from me, contact me.
As much as I recommend an Excalibur dehydrator…I know that not everyone needs to dry all their food, so I tell everyone to find what they can in their budget. I bought one of my friends an inexpensive round dehydrator for $40 for her birthday and she makes wonderful foods in it. I’ve enjoyed her crackers and she tells me wonderful stories of her pancakes and other treats.
Now I can’t imagine what I’d do without my dehydrator! My Mini Pizzas are UnBaking right now and I need to make another batch of crackers. Breads, cookies, tortillas, granola, cereal, spicy seeds, “candied” nuts, chips and fruit leather are all a lovely part of my diet. Not an essential one, but a wonderful option when salads get monotonous. In fact, fruit leather may be the easiest food in the world to make. It’s so easy and simple to me, that I can’t imagine putting it into my next UnCookBook, so I’ll share it with you.
Now, if you don’t have a dehydrator…never fear! Take a look at your oven. Does it have a “warm” setting? Any idea what temperature your “low” setting is? If you have a meat thermometer (and if you don’t, they are only a dollar or two), put your oven on “low” or “warm” and prop the door open a little. Now, place your thermometer inside and wait ten minutes. If the temperature is under 120°, you are in business! If it’s even lower…yaaay! Ideally, you want to get it below 118°, but I like around 105°.
For those of you without a dehydrator or a warm oven…feel free to bake these little babies…they are still delicious and better than the store bought fruit rollups. They have no added sugar and are remarkably healthy.
Strawberry Fruit Leather:
*Pears are 98% carbohydrates, which are helpful in weight reduction and also provide a natural quick source of energy. A pear is a nutrient dense food, providing more nutrients per calorie, than calories per nutrient. Pears also provide 30% more potassium than an apple, which is necessary for maintaining heartbeat, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and metabolism. High in Vitamin C, copper and Vitamin K.
**Strawberries are PACKED with Vitamin C, and eating a handful will fulfill your RDA. They also have wonderful anti-cancer properties and have been linked to fight against macular degenerations, rheumatoid arthritis, and helps heart health. Strawberries are also excellent sources of manganese, iodine, potassium, folate, vitamins B2, B5, B6, K, cooper, magnesium and even omega-3 fatty acids)
***In the ancient world, cinnamon was more precious than gold and was regarded as a gift fit for monarchs. It is used both as a culinary spice and for medicinal purposes. Cinnamon is anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic and even has anti-clotting properties, making it a natural treatment against arthritis, yeast infections, stomach ulcers, and has even showed to inhibit the growth of cultured tumor cells. Cinnamon has also been used in Korea and China as a traditional herb for treating diabetes. It is rich in magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, iron, zinch, copper, and selenium. It also is rich in Vitamins A, C, and E.
I LOVE how many people have tried these simple little brownie bites. If you make them, tell me about it...share your experiences, and take some photos for me!!! If the recipe is not to your tastes...adjust it!!! Now, I want to share a secret with you. The trick to these beautifully simple little beauties...is that they are VERY versatile. You see, they are also my pie crusts. If I'm making a chocolate pie, then I'll use the brownie bottom. Very yum. But the shortcut, and my personal rule, and my little secret, which I'm sharing with you all is....one part dried fruits, one part nuts/seeds. You can mix and match to get different flavors and wonderful combinations.
Nuts/seeds: Cashews, Walnuts, Pecans, Almonds, Macadamia, Pepitas, Brazil Nuts, Pine nuts, Hemp seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, whatever you have or can find easily.
Dried Fruits: raisins, figs, currents, dates, apricots, and anything you can find dried...but be careful, many have preservatives added. The more you can dry yourself, the better.
Spices (to enhance the flavor): Cinnamon, Vanilla, Cacao, Nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, cloves, ginger, etc.
Process it till it's a paste, or chunky paste. You can roll it into balls, or press it into shapes (cookie cutters are fun), or just press it into a pie plate or casserole dish and after it's chilled you can cut it into small squares. If you would like to take it out and about, make it into a bar and wrap it into some plastic wrap or aluminum foil. I like to roll mine into balls and coat them with fun things, like cacao powder or shredded coconut.
So, now you all know my secret. Okay, so it's not really MINE. I'm sure many people know all about this,definitely in the "raw scene" ;) . Just a little sum sum that I discovered and wanted to share with all of you. So, get into your kitchen and start creating! Try a little of this, and a little of that...be adventurous! I can't wait to see what you make...and I'd love to even taste it! ;)
When I first started making raw, I was worried about costs and that no one appreciated what I made, so I hoarded it all. The more comfortable I became and the more everyone around me became curious, I started to reach out. Now most people who come to my apartment ask what I've been making, peek into my dehydrators and fridge, and sample my wares. :) I love showing off different dishes I've made and don't mind losing half of my pie to friends.
When a dish is REALLY easy and yummy, I can't wait to share it with everyone. Check this out! It only has three ingredients! It's really healthy! Can you believe it?! I can get a little carried away. Thankfully my excitement seems to rub off on those around me, which I love. Sure, I wrote an UnCookBook and are making people pay for my recipes, but that's because I can't share ALL of them with everyone I meet and this is the easiest way I can share them (and heck, a girl's gotta make a living!). ;)
Two days ago I was craving something chocolaty and filling, so I made some brownie bites. They are ridiculously easy to make and very sneaky. Almost everyone who tasted them couldn't believe they were as simple and healthy as they were. I made sure to make a double batch so I could share them with everyone, and they honestly are cheap enough that it didn't bother me. It also took me less than five minutes to make them, which is pretty much a necessity for a recipe of mine. If it's complicated and time consuming, I'll never make it and feel guilty about my laziness. Well, who needs that?! Why not just design a recipe that's fast and delicious?! So without further ado:
I love this recipe because it only contains three ingredients and can be made in under five minutes. If you make a double or triple batch, it's a wonderful recipe to take to gatherings and potlucks. Have fun!!
I try to be as transparent as possible with my lifestyle. I don't go around telling people that they are unhealthy, I simply eat raw and people around me can't stop asking questions. Along with transparency, the Lord has been endowing me more and more with a spirit of generosity. I have to admit, I'm usually very tight fisted. I usually pinch where I can and don't offer to anyone else. I cut corners and don't give very freely.
But within the past year that has changed drastically. I've attempted to do it out of my own power, but end up with regrets and bitterness. I KNOW that the Lord has enabled it to come more naturally to simply give without expecting anything in return. I've lent lots of money out and haven't even paid attention as to whether it's been repaid. I give of my time, my effort, my gifts, freely to whomever is in need of them. Yes, sometimes I get burnt, but I have no regrets. And I've been making food for others without that inner voice of "they don't really appreciate your effort and creativity." I love that that generosity, that clearly doesn't come from me, also spreads to others.
I love hearing the phrase, "My friend/family member has to try this! They could eat healthier and this would help them so much!" or "Can I invite them to come and learn more about this?" The light comes on and they can't wait to share it with people they know as well. I'm so thankful that I get to watch this incredible domino effect of love.
I started teaching at a young age. First it was with my friends, playing school,and I was ALWAYS the teacher. Then as a teenager I tutored after school elementary kids through Big Brother/Big Sister. Then I took a class in high school that was T.A. work...one semester is was mostly grading papers, organizing, filing - secretarial work. The following semester it was actually teaching alongside a first grade teacher. Not only did I realize that I LOVE teaching, but I love the interaction between student and pupil FAR more than the subject material. I now knew what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
So, I followed the usual path - graduation, college, certification, and degree. I moved out here to Arizona to pursue a career, since they were taking a little too long for my liking on hiring me on the Northeast Coast. I taught middle school Language Arts for two years until my daughter was born. I've nannied and tutored since then. Now I find myself teaching in an entirely new field. I love the fact that I'm still doing what the Lord called me and designed me to do, yet the subject and pupils are radically different. I'm teaching adults, younger and older than I am. I like to say that I'm simply showing people how to make recipes that I enjoy myself.
But it's more than that, really. I am teaching people about all things raw. Just like I used to teach about literature, revealing that books can be fun to read, a way to escape your present reality and see things from a new perspective....I now reveal that there is another another path to health out there, that is hidden from our view. Fruits and vegetables? Sure, they have been around since the beginning of time! But...then why don't we eat more of them then? Because we are pushed, prodded, and programmed to eat packaged foods. Don't believe me? Watch an hour of television and count all the commercials with prepacked food in them. Then, count how many times during your SHOW you find references to food. Even if you don't watch television, you have billboards, newspapers, magazines, and much more. Even if you couldn't read, there is the family factor. You know...when every time you get together with your family, you eat. Every time. In my family it was foods bought at certain locations: Dominoes, Marie Calendars, Boston Market, etc. Again - prepackaged, processed foods.
Well, there is another way and I'd love to introduce you to it. It's healthy, but it's also quick and easy. You don't have to spend an hour in the kitchen to eat your dish in ninety seconds. It's just as fast (and often faster!) as opening a can and putting it into a bowl and popping it in the microwave for ten minutes. I just made some brownie bites in five minutes, ate a handful and still have more for the next few days. :) I made a dip for tonight's bible study in under five minutes and was making it up as I went along. I don't expect you to do that, that's why I write my recipes down and put them into books. That way you can enjoy them and make them often!
So why am I blogging about all this?! Well, I've had multiple conversations lately about teaching larger classes, teaching different groups of people. I have to say, for the first time in my life, I am hesitant to venture forth. You see, I have no "credentials". I didn't go to Raw Teacher College, culinary school, and don't even have a degree in Nutrition. My recipes are not gourmet...they are simple. They are designed for anyone out there that has heard little to nothing regarding raw and would like to simply add more healthy meals to their repertoire. When it comes to teaching people who are already raw in one capacity or another, I'm hesitant. I've been all raw for two years now, which isn't very impressive to those who have been dabbling in raw for a decade. I simply began teaching raw to girls I met at raw potlucks who were new to raw and needed help with recipes.
I am using my current income from the UnCookBook, Raw Recipe Nights and Parties to fund a certification course in Nutrition, so that I have some paper in hand for the future. But, it's not Raw Nutrition, or a Raw school. You see, I was an English major. I'm a teacher. I'm VERY good at researching. I have done EXTENSIVE research in the past two years, especially when I started teaching others, in order to learn all I could about the Raw Lifestyle so as to share with others. I'm still learning and will learn the rest of my life. Most raw recipe books I have seen and purchased have very impressive yet ridiculously difficult and consuming recipes. I don't wish to learn any more recipes that I won't use because they aren't practical enough for me. I am also not touting a particular raw lifestyle as the only way. I tell people what has worked for me and others, but will never be a medical professional. I'd love to someday get a masters in Nutrition, but simply don't have the income to finance that yet.
So, I would love your ideas, thoughts, encouragment, support, or constructive critisism. Constructive, I said! :) What do you think about all of this? Are there any raw foodist out
Let’s start with the brand new, ready for purchase Living Raw By Grace UnCookBook! Yes folks, it’s finished! It has almost fifty recipes, two pages of color pictures to match to recipes, and lots of information about appliances, shortcuts, and even a brief explanation of my own raw walk. It’s spiral bound so that it can lay flat on your kitchen counter as you work out of it. It is single sided so you can take plenteous notes and add/subtract/substitute for a recipe that works to YOUR tastes. It’s only $15 or $25 if you would like to purchase one for you and one for a friend. You’ll enjoy recipes like “Sweetheart Ice Cream Cake,” “Where’s the Beef & Broccoli,” “Cheezy Sauce,” “Apple Strawberry Banana Granola,” “Incrawdible Lasagna,” and many more!
In order to have it finished by September I had to stop adding recipes. I am already working on the next edition of the uncookbook and have over fifteen recipes so far. As I hold Raw Recipe Nights, I create recipes just for those evenings and I will add them to the next book. For example, the Tiramisu and Italian Dressing from the Italian Night are in the next edition of LRBG’s UnCookBook, and the Chocolate Mousse Pie and Peach Cobbler from the Ice Cream Night are in the next edition as well. I’ve had several requests for the next UnCookBook, like a chapter devoted solely toward Green Smoothie recipes, an Ice Cream chapter, and of course, plenty of desserts.
Interested in buying your own? Go HERE! If you would like it shipped to you, it’s an additional $3 a book. Or you could meet up with me when you see me and get one for a flat $15.
There has been quite a bit of change regarding Raw Recipe Nights. Living Raw By Grace had eight Raw Recipe Nights scheduled for September, but due to low attendance has had to cancel two and has reassessed how Raw Recipe Nights are to held. From now on, any scheduled events will be held in my home, to keep rent and travel expenses minimal. This means that groups as small as three and as large as fifteen can be held. I will be hosting two events a month at my place, the rest will be Raw Recipe Parties.
I just held a Raw Recipe Party at a friend’s house in Peoria – she picked an Italian theme with Fettuccine Alfredo, a side salad with Italian Dressing, and Tiramisu. So easy and DELICIOUS!
I have another Italian Party planned for the end of September in Buckeye, AZ, as well as an Asian Party, with California Rolls and Strawberry Cheesecake for dessert, planned for the middle of September. September is pretty full with classes and parties, so if you are interested in hosting a party, start taking a look at your October and November schedules. Saturday evenings, Sunday afternoons, and Monday and Wednesday evenings or afternoons work great for me. As for the 31 flavors of Raw, please go HERE to choose a theme.
About the Blogger
Haley is passionate about Raw Food and how God has used it to heal her. She loves to share what she knows with anyone who is curious, and finds herself talking to everyone around her about her lifestyle.