Saturday, October 15, 2011

Juicer Pulp Dehydrator Crackers

(Pics enlarge if you click)

I don't know how many times I've been in my local supermarket produce section and have passed through the small organic section after curiously eyeballing the only bulk item they carry there...carrots.  I'm not much of a carrot eater per se, at least raw carrot sticks.  Sure, we use them in stews, but never to the point where I need 25 lbs of them in my refrigerator at a time.  But, wow, they seemed like a good deal...priced at $14.99, that comes to about what, 60 cents a pound?

So now I guess it's time for true confessions.  We were given a Champion juicer a while back, and had not used it yet, despite the best of intentions.  Why??? (head banging time, ha)  I don't know!  But I succumbed to a sudden urge to ramp up our nutrition as I stood there in the produce section, and knowing that that many carrots would be a pretty good buy for some serious juicing.  I've juiced before, and I'm used to the taste, especially with a carrot and apple base.

We had never used a Champion juicer, and Jack manned it after we watched a couple of  youtube videos to get all tutorialed up.  It was really easy to use and clean and it did make a lot more juice than some cheaper juicers we've used in years (wayyy) past.  So we juiced up some carrots and a couple of apples, and it was oh, so good!  The juice was drunk right on the spot by us both.

But what to do with that good clean carrot pulp?  Kaleb got a snack of some, some went into the evening soup pot, but the bulk of it was the stuff of experiment.  Having made some dehydrated raw foods in the dehydrator in the past couple years (but never crackers), I wondered if I could approximate some of those dehydrated crackers I've had in the past from the health food store.  I needed to use whatever ingredients we had on hand, bits of this and that.  We're trying to stay away from most flours, but we do eat oatmeal and seeds and nuts.  I also don't have one of those convenient tray liners to make thin spreads on, so I have to make the mixture thick enough to not fall through the dehydrator spaces on each rack.

I put about 2 parts carrot pulp (a tiny bit was apple) to about 1 part uncooked quick raw oatmeal and added sesame seeds, raw hulled pumpkin seeds, some flax seeds, a few pinches of sea salt and some pepper, a little olive oil, and a few spices, namely powdered garlic.  Then I mixed in 1/2 of a onion, minced fine.  It was still too crumbly at that stage, so I added water enough to really wet the whole thing, and let it set for about five minutes so the oatmeal could get sticky enough to hold everything together a little better.  I tried to patty out portions as thinly as I could between my hands and then transfer them each carefully to the stacking dehydrator trays. 

I had no idea how they would turn out, but hey, it would be a shame to waste that really good organic carrot pulp!  I let the deydrator go and didn't really pay attention to how much time it took, but I think it was in the neighborhood of about 4 or 5 hours (???)...till they were very dry.  I didn't want them still moist in the middle because I'd like them to last without molding for a while, or at least until they're eaten  :)

They didn't turn out badly!  Not a 10 but definitely way above the category of a dog biscuit (ha!)   Not bad for a first attempt.  They're crunchy and very full of fiber and have a sweetness from the carrot that pairs nicely with the oatmeal binder, and the seeds and onion and garlic are nice.  This will go well with soups or with some farmer's cheese topped with herbs.

We're already glad we got supplied with enough carrots to begin juicing again's been way too long!  We watched some clips and full length videos about the Gershon Protocol and have tweaked our eating once again.  It seems we're always having to hone our focus in the area of our eating, and get on track with better choices.  With the carrots going into juice, soup, and now dehydrated crackers all at one shot, it really makes me feel like we got a very healthy bang for our buck.

How do you use the pulp from your juicers?  Have any great dehydrator recipe along those lines, or other ways to use it?

I can't believe this is the first time we're doing this.  Jack's already requested a sweet version with raisins and maple syrup or cinnamon.  If you have any experience or ideas, help, I can use it!

I hope you all are well and are having wonderful cooler weather with some relief from those high temps.  The days here in Florida are simply beautiful just now, and the nights a bit cooler.  Ah, I miss my Tennessee autumns!  But no complaints from down here in paradise right now...

:)   Robbyn


Melodie said...

This is a great idea! We have to live gluten free and I can see this being a nice little snack cracker! thanks for sharing this!

fullfreezer said...

I have never had a juicer but it sounds great. I love your idea of using the pulp. I wonder if you could slightly grind the oatmeal to make it stick a bit faster. I've been known to give oatmeal a quick pulse in the coffee grinder when I needed something finer than the rolled oats but not a flour. Just an idea.
I'll be interested in seeing how your adventures in juicing proceed.

Shaheen said...

So wonderful to make your acquaintance Robbyn. I am extremely impressed with these juicer pulp dehydrator crackers. What a great way to recycle food, other than the compost bin of course. I don't have a food dehydrator, but when I do - oneday - I will sure keep this recipe in mind - savoury and sweet!