HoleFoods http://www.holefoods.co.uk Sun, 15 Jun 2014 12:13:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.6 Almond Cheese http://www.holefoods.co.uk/almond-cheese/ http://www.holefoods.co.uk/almond-cheese/#comments Sat, 05 Oct 2013 11:17:31 +0000 jackie-hole http://www.holefoods.co.uk/?p=1070 Fermentation Stage – Beginner… Since I̵ […]

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Fermentation Stage – Beginner…

Since I’ve been going on about how home made Almond milk is so much nicer than store bought, I’ve also been asked what to do with the Almond pulp and the answer is of course…


It’s a great dairy free alternative and you can add pretty much anything to it. If you want a richer cheese and don’t want to make milk then use the whole almonds, but as far as I am concerned the cheese is a by product of something else. If you’re going to dehydrate it afterwards or ferment it – what difference does it make?

‘Almond Cheese stage 1′ is so easy and actually pretty tasty, you can also add what you want to it to make it more tasty but here is recipe #1 plain old Almond cheese with cracked black pepper and parsley garnish.

I am still quite new at this so have been keeping it simple but will progress to more complicated cheeses as time goes on.

How to make Almond Nut Cheese

  • cheese-weightTake the Almond Pulp from stage 6 of  the Almond Milk recipe - or just soak overnight, de-skin and blend your almonds until you get a thick paste
  • Place the paste in butter muslin, cheese muslin or a nut bag
  • Squeeze the liquid out then put a weight on the top if you are just grinding up soaked almonds there will be less liquid
  • I hadn’t thought this far ahead so I had to improvise with my juicer strainer, the bottom of my grinder and my massive pestle and mortar on the top (it’s the heaviest gadget in the kitchen) –>

Once you open the muslin, the almond dry paste is is your basic cheese with no fermentation at all – I find it tastes a little like cooked egg whites so you can add a lot of flavour. Many recipes suggest garlic, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, herbs, vegetable powders etc. I chose just salt and pepper as garlic not cooked and fermented is not something I think will be very nice!

If you want to ferment quickly get some pro biotic powder and add a few spoonfuls, you can also use ‘rejuvelac‘ (soaked wheat water that has started to ferment), but that is a little advanced and complicated for me at this stage as that’s another 48-72 hours to make. You can also just leave the cheese in a warm place for 24-48 hours but without the pro biotic element you may as well just put it in the fridge as is and add things to it.

Basic Almond Cheese Recipe – Stage 1

  • Almond Paste put through a muslin – and that’s it :-) – you can stop here and just add some almond milk back in until you reach a creamy cheese consistency

I went on to add this though

  • A spoonful of pro biotic powder (to see what it did)
  • Cracked Black Pepper to taste
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Chopped Parsley to roll the cheese in with some more fresh ground black pepper
  • I also made a version with no parsley put in the dehydrator for 4 hours to get a ‘rind’ then left overnight to see how much tastier it got with a little fermentation – the next attempt will leave it to ferment for the full 24-48 hours to get the full cheesy flavour

The result?

A tasty grainy cream cheese with a slight tang to it. The second batch left overnight was definitely more tangy. Delicious on home made oat cakes.

I think  the next batch left to ferment for a few days will increase the tang even more – here’s to finding out :D





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Home Made Almond Milk http://www.holefoods.co.uk/home-made-almond-milk/ http://www.holefoods.co.uk/home-made-almond-milk/#comments Wed, 11 Sep 2013 00:17:23 +0000 jackie-hole http://www.holefoods.co.uk/?p=1057 So Easy, so delicious! Having tasted store bought I was […]

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So Easy, so delicious! Having tasted store bought I was not really taken with Almond Milk – a bit powdery and a bit erm – bland?

BUT – Make it yourself and you can choose the consistency and the ‘creaminess’ and now I know what all the fuss is about.

Not only is it LUSH, I will happily drink a glass of this as a milk substitute without wondering why healthy stuff after all these decades still doesn’t taste much better or has tonnes of sugar in.

How to make Almond Milk

1. Soak Almonds over night in filtered water

2. If blanched then use as they are, if with skins ‘pop’ them off before using

3. Drain the water and rinse then put the Almonds into a high powered blender

4. Add water – and blend  - I use a Blendtec on setting 4 ‘whole juice’ and I do it twice

5. Blend to the consistency you want – you will be making Nut Cheese out of the Almond pulp so the thicker the ‘creme’ the thicker your resulting milk/cream will be. I find the store stuff to be watery and tasteless – I like mine the consistency of slightly thicker milk. Don’t forget you can always add more to the final liquid but you can’t take it away. The ‘thinner’ the liquid, the easier it is to squeeze out though.

If you are making cheese – add your probiotics now – but if you don’t want that in your milk then add probiotics later once you have made your milk

6. Get a bowl and a sieve (fine double mesh I find works the best) then place butter muslin into the sieve or use a nut milk bag. Twist the muslin or draw the string of the bag and put a weight on the top – I use my pestle and mortar bowl as it weighs a ton!

7. You can leave overnight if you are making cheese but I find if you squeeze it all to within an inch of it’s life and keep the weight on, you get most of the milk out so you can drink it fresh and refrigerate.

The finished product… Look at the gallery for step by step pics!


no images were found



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Japanese Vegetable Spiralizer /Spiral Slicer http://www.holefoods.co.uk/japanese-vegetable-spiralizer-spiral-slicer/ http://www.holefoods.co.uk/japanese-vegetable-spiralizer-spiral-slicer/#comments Wed, 04 Sep 2013 14:21:23 +0000 jackie-hole http://www.holefoods.co.uk/?p=1014 As a person that gets very bored of vegetables ‘s […]

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As a person that gets very bored of vegetables ‘straight up’, I decided to have a look around to see how I could make things a little more interesting.

Apparently all you need are some specialist slicers for making vegetables into noodles so let’s give it a go.

After reading many reviews and watching YouTube videos – I decided to cut out the middle men and just go straight to the exotic vegetable art and noodle capital of the world – Japan.

Having already purchased a supersize Benriner Mandoline Slicer a while back for general kitchen slicing, I was more than happy to purchase the Benriner Cook’s Help Spiral Slicer purely because the other ones looked large and unecessarily fiddley.

Granted, many may find these fiddly as they have screw in blades as opposed to the cheap and easy slot in blades from other slicers I have seen, but there are very few mechanical parts and it doesn’t look like an awful lot can go wrong. Except of course for losing the blades in a few weeks, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it :-)

Noodle Slicer Test

It seems the vegetable hailed as the pasta of the raw food world is the courgette or zuchinni to our friends overseas. Having never eaten courgettes like this before, I was totally not convinced that I would like it at all! I thought it may be soggy and as hard to eat as a huge bowl of grated carrots (yes I get bored easily if it is the same texture over and over).

I was however pleasantly surprised and more surprised that one courgette fills you up completely and I’m not even slightly hungry even though I have not eaten a lot.

When you use the slicer, it feels like nothing is happening but when you lift it up you get a plate full of these bad boys… the spiral slicer made incredible fresh and tasty noodles that I would happily eat again and again but I might take the time to make a proper sauce recipe instead of chucking in the blender what I had to hand – was still delish though!

Quick Sauce Recipe

img_0584For the test I used a basic pepper and tomato sauce that I kind of made up (they will get better):

  • 1/4 cup of soaked courgettes (handful)
  • 3 tsp Nutritional yeast
  • 1 whole red pepper
  • 2 dehydrated tomatoes
  • Handful of dehydrated onions
  • Handful of Alfalfa sprouts (there were there so I thought why not?)
  • Ground black pepper to taste

I personally don’t use much salt so this was great for me.

I made the noodles then just put the sauce on the top – looks like spaghetti, tastes like a creamy cheese pepper sauce (with a hint of Alfalfa) lol

I enjoyed it and may have another one as it’s so easy to eat and nothing like the slimy cold nasty mess I was expecting. I think I need to experiment with more sauces though!

Happy Spriralizing!


If you want to buy one – here you go!
Benriner Cook’s Help Vegetable Slicer – Professional Grade

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Eating Raw – Changes I have noticed in 2 weeks http://www.holefoods.co.uk/eating-raw-changes-i-have-noticed-in-2-weeks/ http://www.holefoods.co.uk/eating-raw-changes-i-have-noticed-in-2-weeks/#comments Sun, 25 Aug 2013 11:11:01 +0000 jackie-hole http://www.holefoods.co.uk/?p=984 I’ve been eating probably 90% raw food for the la […]

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I’ve been eating probably 90% raw food for the last two weeks a minimising dairy to a small amount of yoghurt in my smoothies and milk in my tea… well I am British!

Given that ‘mostly raw’ is a club that I used to be part of and I’ve always had a super juicer, the transition has not been difficult at all – but I have not cut out dairy or gluten before for longer than 4 weeks. If anything I am still excited by new tastes and ways to do things in the kitchen so it’s actually been a lot of fun (even though my folks probably still think this is some sort of foody fad that will be over in 10 minutes)

The great thing is that is is not so unusual to want to eat less dairy and gluten these days, and if you say I have salad for tea every night people don’t think that is strange so I just carry on regardless :-)

I have still been having a normal life with a couple of meals with friends and family and a few pints of ale due to nights out or gigs. I also still drink the odd cup of tea or coffee as I’m not trying to fight any strange illness or having a competition with the world to see who can be the healthiest – the majority is super healthy so a little bit of what you fancy every now and again is totally fine with me! Even so, I am noticing changes…

What have I been eating?

  • Raw or dehydrated foods: (spinach, kale, onions, spring onions, celery, carrots, beetroot, courgette/zuchinni, lettuce, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, apples, oranges, pineapple, grapes, bananas, pears, strawberries, mango, lemons, limes, papaya, oatmeal powder (blended oats), vegetable powder (all of the above), all of the above also juiced and made ice-cream
  • Cooked foods: Canned tuna, fresh salmon, fine fillet steak, eggs, baked potato, grilled mackerel, green beans
  • Cereals/Grains/Nuts: Bran Flakes not many once I also decided to go wheat free, Powdered Oats, cashews, almonds, walnuts, olive oil, rapeseed oil and butters made from sunflower and Pumpkin seeds.
  • Herbs/Spices: Garlic (home dried), coriander, chives, parsley, cinnamon, chilli, salt, pepper
  • Processed Food: purchased 1 bacon sandwich en route to a gig, a few biscuits in meetings, dessert at my sisters last night :D
  • Drinks: Non GMO organic soya milk, home made almond milk, tea, coffee (not giving that up completely!) probably a quarter cup of milk in my tea and coffee and a LOT of water – more than before to counter the dehydrated food part (you would be surprised how much you can get away with drinking less liquid when you eat fruit and vegetables in abundance).
  • Booze: Real ale (2-3 pints), red wine (a few small glasses in the last 2 weeks)

So as you can see, pretty healthy. I actually quite like these foods so don’t crave any processed stuff at all.

What changes have I noticed?

Having lived the life before there were some expected changes but it’s still a shock to the system when you realise it’s this easy to feel great – I won’t say better as I don’t really ever feel bad due to the fact that I eat all of these things anyway, just more cooked food than raw (my body has always told me when I need to stop going out and eat more green vegetables).

So here you go

Positive changes:

Energy - initially – I felt tired in the afternoons for two or three days but that passed – this is the same on a detox as I’m guessing the liver is working hard to get rid of the crap it’s been loaded with for such a long time. (I’m looking at YOU Mr Booze!).

I’ve always been a bit of a machine and will keep going and working 12-18 hours a day regardless of sleep without any noticeable change in mood or ability but this week, the sense of well being that goes with feeling healthy is back – this is the feeling I have been missing, you know the one where you can take on the world no matter what happens. I am still workload tired but there is a definite spring in my step and it’s not just because I’m a little lighter.

Weight Loss - yup – nothing to start with then suddenly this week I have lost 7llbs – since my little shunt a few years back stopped me from running and cycling I put on 4 stone, so still have plenty to lose :-) It doesn’t feel like the usual water loss at the start of a fad diet.

Skin & Muscle Tone - I am noticing that I have less dry skin – I can get away with no moisturiser in the morning when before it used to feel like someone was pulling at my face if I didn’t moisturise. Generally, skin all over is softer and muscle tone without any real exercise is also noticeable. Seriously – as a half marathon runner before that has been depressed at the loss of that feeling that you get from that run in the outdoors – things just feel firmer and I feel more upright.

Nails – having been a nail chewer for some time, I am noticing that I am just not doing it as much – I have also managed to grow some and not have them break off straight away.

I am not hungry – and when I am I just eat some dried apples, or have a handful of dried strawberries (seriously – they are like sweets!), or a bag of kale crisps, or a smoothie… [insert endless list here]

I don’t miss processed crap – I didn’t eat a lot anyway but like any other normal person I crave the occasional bag of crisps, bag of maltesers, bit of toast, quick sandwich from the shop

I don’t miss dairy – ok so I’ve still been having some in my tea, and yoghurt but I love milk on cereal, a tall glass of it, lattes, cream, ice cream (it is summer) and cheese – don’t miss them at all and I thought that would be the worst – I think yoghurt is going to be the only thinkg I can’t replace!

I don’t miss Booze – if you don’t give me any, I can take it or leave it, give me a pint of ale and I want more BUT the difference I noticed is that I was happy with just a pint – didn’t even finish pint 2 even though I was gigging and have a stage fright/please let me drink issue ha

Negative changes:

Headaches - I have not had any withdrawal symptoms from less coffee or tea or any detox headaches from times that I have given up caffeine altogether, but I have found this week that even one pint of ale or a small glass of red wine has given me a headache.

I know this is potentially a good thing to drink less ale, but as someone that enjoys real ale and wine, this is also a bad thing! ;-) It’s either tannins, or not enough water due to more dehydrated food (or the fact that alcohol is essentially poison!). I also have a neck ache and back ache from the previous war wound after lugging boxes, sitting for too long and taking things to the tip but that’s nothing to do with the foods! I don’t take painkillers if I can help it so may have to down some rutin – natures aspirin – contained in all these foods

Sugar - not a negative consequence yet but I am actually more concerned about my teeth than anything else. I naturally avoid processed sugar as it makes me feel like I’ve been poisoned if I have too much but with all this juicing and smoothies, the sugars are being broken down. I may have to brush my teeth before eating as opposed to after! :-)

Other than that, apart from strange looks I get and the ‘that’s very interesting and creative but I don’t want to try it really’ comments from home (haha) when I start raving about cashew cream or nutritional yeast – but more on that later today!

I don’t really get ill unless I get on a bus or a train with other ill people and even then it doesn’t’ last long and I’ve never had IBS or bloating or any of that stuff unless I’ve had weeks of rich food (Christmas) but that is understandable!

End bit to any food facists out there!

As I am still eating some meat and fish, I know that I won’t be classed as a real raw foodie despite 80-90% of my food being raw vegetables and fruit but that doesn’t’ bother me in the slightest – having seen the terrible stuff that some vegetarians and vegans eat (or don’t as the case may be with the purposely underweight) – I am still much healthier than many. I have also met many vegetarians/vegans that  ’one day fancied a steak’  or were told to eat some protein by their doctor. Probably due to taking the easy route of processed from the health food shop (not always healthy!) or not having variety.

For me, it’s about making healthier choices and getting in to the habit of looking after myself instead of relying on good genes to ‘get away with it’ for as long as possible! Anyone that knows me knows that I fill my life to the brim so if I want to keep the pace up as I age, healthier choices are the way forward but until I can give up my addiction to cramming as much in as I can to too few hours or loving Real Ale way more than I should… for now, I will concentrate on the nutrition part and the rest will fall into place!

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Cashew Cream vs Dairy Cream http://www.holefoods.co.uk/cashew-cream-vs-dairy-cream/ http://www.holefoods.co.uk/cashew-cream-vs-dairy-cream/#comments Sat, 24 Aug 2013 09:49:43 +0000 jackie-hole http://www.holefoods.co.uk/?p=964 When it comes to going dairy free, the things I would s […]

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When it comes to going dairy free, the things I would struggle with giving up most are a nice tall glass of milk, cheese, creamy sauce on pasta or steak (sorry!), or a nice cholesterol laden dollop of cream on my dessert, so I thought it was time that I tried to make some dairy alternatives to all of the above that also satisfies my need for gourmet…

So this week I am going to attempt some Cashew Cream then use it in some cooked (hot) and raw (cold) dishes to see how it fares with regards to taste, texture, creaminess and nutritional value. After all, if you want to lower cholesterol, eating a cupful of cashews every day may not be that much better for you – or will it?

Let’s find out…

Cashew Cream vs Dairy Cream – Nutritional Value

According to the Nutritional Facts when searching looking at Waitrose products (soooo middle class!) – based on the average serving size of 25g to 30ml I will assume like for like with volume. Also Cashew Cream is just Cashews and water so essentially the nutrition is all cashew.

cashews single cream double cream
Typical values
100g 25g 100ml 30ml 100ml 30ml
Energy 2392  kj 598  kj 777  kj 233  kj 445  kcal 0  kcal
Energy 577  kcal 144  kcal 188  kcal 56  kcal 1831  kj 0  kj
Protein 17.7  g 4.43  g 2.6  g 0.78  g 1.7  g 0.000  g
Carbohydrate 18.1  g 4.53  g 3.9  g 1.17  g 2.6  g 0.000  g
Sugars 4.6  g 1.15  g 3.9  g 1.17  g 2.6  g 0.000  g
Fat 48.2  g 12.05  g 18.0  g 5.40  g 47.5  g 0.000  g
Saturates 8.3  g 2.08  g 11.2  g 3.36  g 29.7  g 0.000  g
Sodium 0.015  g 0.004  g 0.049  g 0.015  g 0.037  g 0.000  g

Cashews have an abundance of other vitamins and minerals – instead of using more data, I’ll just link to the first link I came across from the Worlds Healthiest Foods.

Cashews and Cholesterol

I’m not a doctor, but it is always a good idea to consult your doctor if you are changing your diet or using the internet to research diets and nutrition that you may take as gospel. However, there is an abundance of information online regarding Cashews and Cholesterol that I have decided to trust for the purposes of this post.

According to studies from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition where they tested cholesterol lowering drugs against cholesterol lowering foods. Many nuts provide those that eat them with unsaturated fats that potentially outweigh the bad stuff.

The Science Bit…

Simplified – Saturated fat makes the body produce LDL (bad cholesterol), Unsaturated fat makes the body produce HDL (good cholesterol) which means that Cashews  are likely to create more of the good cholesterol that is good for our hearts, helps de-contaminate our blood and helps promote tissue health.

Good news for all you optimum nutrition fans. All I have to do now is test it for myself, and come up with some dishes to rival previous creamy dairy offerings.

First though (as with most raw food cooking) – you have to do things like soak the Cashew Nuts overnight so stay tuned for the next post tomorrow – Making Cashew Cream!

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Carrot Chips http://www.holefoods.co.uk/carrot-chips-crisps/ http://www.holefoods.co.uk/carrot-chips-crisps/#comments Thu, 15 Aug 2013 17:15:33 +0000 jackie-hole http://www.holefoods.co.uk/?p=911 I can juice my way through carrots no problem but ask m […]

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I can juice my way through carrots no problem but ask me to eat the actual vegetable and I struggle past one or two which is a shame as they as so good for you. When you juice you lose some of the goodness as pulp and I have to admit  that I didn’t really like total juice carrots and I get totally bored with grated carrot unless it’s hidden in coleslaw so I thought I should find ways to eat more vegetables when I get stuck in to work and ways to waste less of the vegetables juicing.

I love roasted carrots and love baked vegetable chips so I thought I would try So I tried raw Carrot chips.

I cut them super thin with a potato peeler for fast drying and extra crunch and put them on 125 overnight

The Result?

Super Crispy super light crunchy carrot chips. Trying them all straight first but will venture in to toppings and marinades as I get more used to things.


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Dehydrated Cabbage Crisps http://www.holefoods.co.uk/dehydrated-cabbage-crisps/ http://www.holefoods.co.uk/dehydrated-cabbage-crisps/#comments Wed, 14 Aug 2013 22:04:35 +0000 jackie-hole http://www.holefoods.co.uk/?p=766 Sounds disgusting but actually isn’t! As part of […]

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Sounds disgusting but actually isn’t!

As part of my raw cabbage soup diet experiment I thought I’d try all the ingredients separately first then see if I can make it taste a bit nicer using the dehydrator.

First – try the cabbage crisps straight up – and although not everyones cup of tea – actually pretty tasty, peppery and not hard to eat – unlike the same volume in cabbage!

Will have a go at some toppings and sizes to see if I can get some cabbage nacho thing going on

In the dehydrator at 125 overnight did the trick!



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HomeMade Raisins http://www.holefoods.co.uk/homemade-raisins/ http://www.holefoods.co.uk/homemade-raisins/#comments Wed, 14 Aug 2013 19:09:32 +0000 jackie-hole http://www.holefoods.co.uk/?p=783 This Dehydrator lark is pretty amazing and today I disc […]

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This Dehydrator lark is pretty amazing and today I discovered the joy of homemade raisins. turning simple seedless black grapes into the most amazing dried grape sweets.

It took absolutely aaaaaaaages partly because I didn’t dip them in boiling water for 90 seconds in my keen-ness to just get them in the Excalibur.

How To Make Dried Raisins

Wash, put on Excalibur shelves and dehydrate on the highest setting for 24 hours (155 on mine) to stop them from souring while they dry then switch down to 125 and leave for another 24 hours. They take forever but boy are they worth it – not sure it’s cost effective so may just source organic ones but these mini prunes were fun to make and great to eat. I just put in loads of other stuff as I waited for them to be ready so it’s not like the heat was wasted.

The Results





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Dehydrated Strawberry Sweets http://www.holefoods.co.uk/dehydrated-strawberry-sweets/ http://www.holefoods.co.uk/dehydrated-strawberry-sweets/#comments Wed, 14 Aug 2013 19:08:19 +0000 jackie-hole http://www.holefoods.co.uk/?p=770 OMG dehydrated strawberries are like SWEETS. I just can […]

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OMG dehydrated strawberries are like SWEETS. I just can’t get enough of them.

Originally they were to go on my porridge and cereal but I am now obsessed with finding the knock down organic strawbs in season and drying them for daytime snacks. So tasty, so sweet, and if you don’t dry them completely and keep them whole or half you can eat them like wine gums!

I put them in the dehydrator for8 hours (overnight) on 125



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Raw Powder Power http://www.holefoods.co.uk/raw-powder-power/ http://www.holefoods.co.uk/raw-powder-power/#comments Wed, 14 Aug 2013 19:07:25 +0000 jackie-hole http://www.holefoods.co.uk/?p=769 I still cannot get over how amazing it is to have a deh […]

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I still cannot get over how amazing it is to have a dehydrator. The first thing I thought of was making vegetable chips (Kale & Parsnip please!), then how to make them more tasty.

The same way they make regular chips tasty, salt, pepper & Seasoning. What makes seasoning? Vegetable powder!

Check any pack of crisps or chips and they use onion powder, garlic powder, celery powder, yeast extract, paprika, dried red pepper, dried chilli, dried yoghurt, dried lemon, dried chives and a host of other things, so I thought – ok powder not only = super tasty, it also = salt substitute.

So I dried a variety of onions (red, green, white), and some celery at 125 degrees for 8 hours and the result was amazing crunch onion rings and celery sticks that could stored or ground into powder for bouillion, sprinkles and whatever else you fancy – I found that just dipping my fingers in it and eating it like sherbert was also pleasing!

No processing, no hassle (just the chopping but you’d have to do that anyway) and I find that if you are drying things, you use a lot more of the vegetable so less waste.

I have even started to buy spinach in bulk and dry it so that I have a constant source of dried vegetable powders to use in smoothies, shakes, thickeners, sprinkles or coatings for my kale chips. If nothing else – the last time I looked, a small tub of vegetable bouillon was £2/£4 and spinach powder was £7/$10 for 250g so although I can’t compete with bulk dry – when you consider the amount of spoiled salads and veg you’ve thrown out of your cupboards and fridge – they can now go to much better use!

raw-powder veg-salt

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