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What’s so great about dehydrated foods?

If you can’t enough of the smashing desserts and snacks at places like Golden Aura Organic Eatery and Eternal Abundance, its probably because most of them include foods (particularly nuts and seeds) that have been soaked and dehydrated.

The new Golden Aura restaurant in Kitsilano, for example, serves a five-star dessert called Lua’s Luscious Lime – a lime flavoured avocado coconut pie with a dash of vanilla and crust made of macadamia nuts and pecans.

The nuts in this dish are pre-soaked in filtered water and sprouted to increase their nutritional value and enhance digestion. Then they are dehydrated at very low temperatures (below 150c) before preparation to remove all the moisture.

What you taste is a baked-like crust with bright nutty flavours that blend beautifully with a creamy and smooth filling; so good inside and out.

So why does removing the moisture from foods make all the difference?

Benefits of dehydrated foods

1. Provides higher nutrition value and flavour than cooked food – the nutrients and vitamins in dehydrated foods remain alive and the flavours become more intense with the water removed. Cooking however, destroys some of the essential life force in foods.

2. Food is preserved for years – dehydrate seasonal foods and you can enjoy them year-round. Dehydrated foodsexcalibur need to be packed in airtight containers or bags and stored in a cool, dark place.

3. Convenient and inexpensive – purchase some of your favorite foods in bulk and dry them at home for a fraction of the cost of what you would pay at a store. Dried foods can be stored for decades.

4. Variety – you can make/preserve all sorts of foods with a dehydrator — nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, herbs and even jerky. These cheesy kale chips are a popular snack that are best dehydrated but can also be made in the oven. Give them a go.

Source: Five benefits of using  a food dehydrator

Which dehydrator should you get?

Most people I know favour the Excalibur dehydrator. The smallest four tray model is on special for $129 online and the 9-tray version is going for approximately $400. Living Food Champion and motivational speaker Adam Hart is also selling an older 9-tray model for $269.

Lua’s Luscious Lime photo credit: Golden Aura Organic Eatery via Pardeep Singh Photography

Coming up next week: Composting for beginners

Do you, like me, know how important composting is but can’t think beyond nasty smells and living with wiggle worms? I avoided this topic for ages until I found local composting expert Emma Holmes who broke it down so that I could see my options more clearly. Come next week and we’ll get a handle on it together.

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