Becoming a raw food expert with a dehydrator - Raw foods part 6 & Banana crepes with cashew cream

For the last part of the raw food series, we now come to the pinnacle of raw food “cooking”: the dehydrator. If you have a raw food cookbook, you will see this weird machine making a lot of appearances. It looks somewhat like a portable oven, and does take quite a bit of counter space in your kitchen. This is definitely only an investment you will make once you are really enjoying your raw food journey and want to take it to the next level.

When it comes to raw foods, we don’t heat them over 48ºC/118ºF to protect all the nutrients. On top of that, enzyme function dies over these temperatures. Enzymes naturally occur in our digestive system to help break down all our food for it to be transported into our blood stream and to its final destinations. Enzymes in food are meant to be helpful to our digestion, although most of them do not survive the passage through our stomach acid. However, raw foodists believe that these enzymes are extremely helpful to digest food and nutrients in our bodies, making the food more nutritious this way.

Dehydrating helps to keep nutrients and enzymes intact, while giving the food a different texture… after all, salads can become boring when you eat them 24/7. With a dehydrator, you are able to make seed and nut crackers, kale chips, and sweet crisps and cookies. This all sounds fabulous, but keep in mind that dehydrating is quite time intensive. Because the temperature is not high, it can take up to 72 hours to dehydrate certain foods to get the desired texture. There is no quick whipping up of a snack - it has to be planned in advance. Dehydrators are also used to gently warm raw soups and drinks, especially in the winter time.

If you want to invest in a dehydrator, there are basically 2 choices:

The round, stacked dehydrator is your cheaper option. Many different brands sell these, you can find them on most online shopping sites. Trays are stacked on top of each other with the heat coming from below (and sometimes above). Because the entire system is open, the heat is not very evenly distributed through all trays. On top of that the trays have quite a big grid, meaning you need to use baking paper or cling wrap to hold you mixtures in place.

The closed off system, mainly from Excalibur, is the market leader for

I would always suggest to go with a round dehydrator first and see how much you will actually use it. The cheapest models only cost around 40 US$, so if this machine ends up catching dust in the cabinet, it’s not such a bad loss. Once you enjoy the dehydrating preparations, you can invest in an Excalibur model.

I wanted to give you one of the easier recipes to make in the dehydrator. These banana crepes only have 2 ingredients and require only around 12 hours to dehydrate. This means you could put it all in the dehydrator overnight and soak your cashews, then have it all for breakfast the next morning.

Raw banana crepes

I love these crepes for breakfast. Together with the cashew cream, they are a light start to the day or make for a perfect mid day snack. They keep well in the fridge in an air tight container for 5 days. They will harden in the fridge and become slightly crisper.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Dehydrating time: 12 hours

Makes 15 pieces:

  • 3 bananas

  • juice of ½ lemon

  1. Place bananas and lemon juice in a blender and blend for 90 seconds to get a creamy mix.

  2. Place drying sheets on your dehydrator trays, then dot 2 tablespoons at at time on the sheets to make little round crepes.

  3. Dry for 12 hours at 43ºC/110ºF. The crepes should be dry to touch on top but still bendable.

Cashew cream

I use this cream for everything dessert related! I use it for crepes and pancakes, as pastry cream for raw pies, and to top fruit salads with. It keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Soaking time: 4 hours or more

Makes 2 cups:

  • 1.5 cups raw cashew nuts, soaked in plenty of water

  • ¼ cup water

  • ¼ cup maple syrup

  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract

  1. Drain the cashew nuts, discard the soaking water, and rinse them well.

  2. Place the cashew nuts in the food processor together with all the other ingredients and process until creamy. This can take up to 3 minutes and you may want to scrape down the mixture in between. If your food processor does not do a go job at breaking down the cashews, add a bit more water.

Banana crepes with cashew cream and raspberries

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Makes 2-3 servings:

  • 60 fresh raspberries

  • 15 banana crepes

  • cashew cream

  1. Place banana crepes on a plate, add a spoonful of cashew cream, and top with fresh raspberries.

  2. You can also puree the raspberries as a sauce to add on top of the cashew cream. Or try topping your crepes with the raspberry or blueberry chia jams!

I hope you have enjoyed the raw foods series!

Also check out these posts of the raw food series:

Part 1: Raw cauliflower tabbouleh and the definition of raw foods

Part 2: The perfect green smoothie every time with the help of this cheat sheet

Part 3: Nuts about nuts plus a delicious veggie wrap with sunflower seed pâté

Part 4: Spiralizing - a raw foodie's best friend plus creamy zucchini noodles

Part 5: Juicing vs blending

#banana #raspberries #cashewnuts #vanilla #foodprep #dehydrator #maplesyrup