Who doesn’t love the salty crunch of a crispy potato chip? Those chip packets made their way into everyone’s school lunch box and their familiar crackle can be heard at every braai and friendly social gathering. These days, we’re a little more conscious of the negative health effects of a diet high in salty, fried foods like our beloved potato chip. But don’t despair, we may have found a scrumptious way to satisfy those naughty cravings without compromising our health…
By Jana du Plessis
Dehydrating is a form of preserving food that has been around for centuries. The process removes all the water from the chosen fruits and veggies so that you are left with a smaller, lighter, crisp version of the original. Dehydrated produce can last much longer than fresh foods. By removing all moisture, bacteria and mould are less likely to grow.
The how-to on dehydration
A temperature of about 140°C will be hot enough to draw out the excess water in your fruit or veg. Air-drying will also absorb all the moisture released, but it might take a little longer. The above can be achieved by sun-drying, using an oven or, of course, a dehydrator.
The best foods to crisp up
Root vegetables are especially popular for dehydrating. They are sturdy, slightly sweet, and pair perfectly with a savoury flavour. Beetroot, sweet potatoes and butternut take the top spots, but other veg like brinjals, onions and kale are just as delicious. If you are looking for a sweeter treat, go for apples, pears or strawberries and add them to your morning granola for a crunchy surprise.
Have any of you tried dehydrating? Let us know which ones are your favourite by commenting below!