We post a lot about raw vegan food here at EpicSelf. Today was our first day working with the dehydrator and we made some amazing things. I knew this fellowship would be a nutritional restart for me, but I didn’t imagine I’d be raw, vegan & dehydrated. 🙂

Prior to heading to Costa Rica, I ate a mostly vegan diet in Houston, TX. I have suffered from chronic IBS for years and I’ve found a vegan cuisine to be most gentle on my digestive system. Coming to EpicSelf HQ, I was looking forward to learning the ins and outs of raw vegan living from Amber.

While here my diet has been vegan and 80% raw. It’s been awesome to learn how to prepare raw foods other than salads and I’ve noticed many changes in my health. I’d read about benefits of raw diet including decreased inflammation, improving digestion, and increasing energy. I’ve noticed all of the above benefits along with increased sensitivity to how food affects my body. I’m able to notice more acute changes in how I feel when I ingest something. Sugar always upsets my stomach and I’ve been able to easily pinpoint which fruits cause me discomfort.

Even though I feel great, I find myself missing parts of my old cuisine and craving something a little more hearty. I loved to have chips and guacamole, spicy dishes, and cooked Mediterranean food. I was so excited to learn there was a way to make these type of dishes raw & vegan via a food dehydrator! *The heavens parted and angels began singing*

What is a food dehydrator?

Great question! A food dehydrator is kitchen appliance used to to dry food.  A dehydrator uses heat and air to remove excess moisture from foods allowing for textures similar to breads, crackers, cookies, fruit rolls, & anything else you can think of!

What is the difference between dehydrating and cooking?

Its important to keep the enzymes in raw food alive and active. Dehydrating food at temperatures below 118 degrees Fahrenheit ensures the plant based vegan foods you’re working with maintain their nutritional profile. Cooking food at temperatures about 118 degrees inactivates the enzymes and other bioavailable goodies!

How long does it take to dehydrate raw vegan food?

It depends on what you’re making but the dehydration process can range from a hour or two to over 24. Keep the cook time in mind when craving meals that require dehydration. Preparation becomes important as well as planning to enjoy having your delicious meal later that evening or the next day.

What are some raw vegan dishes you can make in a dehydrator?

This is a question I found myself researching when thinking about what recipe I wanted to prepare. You can make chips, crackers, bread, veggie burgers, cakes, candies, dessert bars, granola bars, fruit leathers, & sun dried tomatos and much more! Dehydrators offer an amazing opportunity for expressing creativity through food. Vegan dehydrated food doesn’t have to be boring.

Is dehydrated food a good transition into a raw diet?

Yes it is! You can recreate many of the same textures and tastes without any of the guilt or adverse side effects that come from non plant based cuisines. For me this is a saving grace as I’m able to satiate my desire for carbs and heavy starches via dehydrated breads and crackers. I’m also able to satisfy my desire for more savory and flavorful dishes. Next on my list to try, dehydrated desserts !

Food dehydrators provide endless options available for those transitioning to a raw diet. Learn more about my co-fellow’s experience here! Click here for yummy vegan pizza ideas for your dehydrator inspiration! Happy Eating!