By Laura Killingbeck
There’s no better way to celebrate fall than with some delicious dried apples!
Dehydration is the simple yet magical process of removing water from cells. When you dehydrate a fruit, you’re left with a tightly condensed package of flavor, nutrition, natural sugars, and aroma. Dried fruits are the world’s original candies!
Dried apples are portable, healthy, and easy to make. You can snack on them throughout the day, rehydrate them for baked goods or granola, or keep them in your car, purse, or bike panniers to munch on when you travel. These snacks are so tasty that we hand them out on Halloween as treats.
Core the apples and cut them in thin slices or rounds. Lay them flat on the tray of a food dehydrator* and dehydrate at 135 F for 12 hours or until done.
Some people drizzle lemon juice over their apple slices to preserve the color. I’ve done this and it works. However, the difference is so minimal that I no longer bother.
Try sprinkling your apples with spices before you dry them. Remember that your apples will reduce in volume as you dry them, so a little spice goes a long way! Some good spice variations:
Apple Pie Apples (Cinnamon, Allspice, Nutmeg)
*You can often find dehydrators at thrift stores or yard sales. I use a nine tray Excalibur Dehydrator. In some climates, homemade solar dehydrators are also very functional. Other people use an oven turned to low.
By Laura Killingbeck
Our friend Jennifer Snyder has lots of fun food tricks up her sleeves. This spring when she stayed on the farm, she made us these wonderful crackers. I call them “Infinity” Seed Crackers because you can use infinite combinations of seeds, fermented vegetables, and fresh herbs. We ate them with fresh goat cheese and pesto, and they were an instant hit.
These crackers are live-culture, raw, vegan, and delightfully crispy and flavorful. Jen’s inspiration for this recipe came from https://www.saveur.com/seed-crackers-lacto-fermented-brine-recipe/.
Infinity Seed Crackers
Makes 4-6 servings.
¾ cup whole flax seeds
⅓ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup chia seeds
½ cup sesame seeds
2-3 tbs pumpkin seeds
1 cup sauerkraut or other fermented vegetables
½ cup sauerkraut brine, or other live culture brine
¼ cup chopped white onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 ¼ cup mixed fresh herbs (dill, oregano, cilantro, parsley, sage, thyme, chives, etc)
1 tsp salt
- Pulse half the flax seeds in a spice mill until powdered.
- Put the powdered flax seeds in a bowl and mix with all the other seeds.
- In a food processor, mix the sauerkraut, brine, onion, garlic, herbs, and salt and blend until smooth.
- Mix all the ingredients together.
- Press the mixture in a thin layer (about 1/8 inch thick) on a silicone sheet or wax paper, and put it in a dehydrator.
- Dehydrate at 105 F for about eight hours or until crispy.
- Break the crackers into pieces and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
By Laura Killingbeck
Spring is a time of wild obsessions. The sun starts to shine brighter and flowers pop up out of nothingness. The color, fragrance, and flavors of fresh spring herbs capture our attention with a new intensity. It’s a delight to walk through the farm and see life springing forward.
This year we had an enormous abundance of obsession-worthy chives. These were planted years ago on the old Sid Wainer Farm which we purchased in 2020 and now call Everbearing Farm. By late April, the chive leaves were full and tender, with a delicately piquant flavor. We chopped them into salads, blended them into dressings, and sprinkled them over food as a dried spice. We also ate them by the gallon as pesto.
The muse for this pesto is the chives themselves—full of sweet sunshine, and a fleeting, fragrant, sharpness. It makes a great incentive to grow more chives!
So far in 2021, Round the Bend has donated 175 pounds of chives to The Westport Food Bank and over 800 pounds to the Daily Table.
Spring Obsession Chive Pesto
6-8 cups chives, rough chopped
½ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
½ cup lemon juice
1 cup safflower oil
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp powdered garlic
Put all the ingredients except the chives in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the chives and continue to blend 1-2 minutes, or until fully incorporated. Store in a glass jar and refrigerate. Keeps about one week.
We use this chive pesto on just about everything! It’s great as a sandwich spread, mixed with pasta, as a veggie or chip dip, or added as a topping to egg dishes or casseroles. Some people say it’s addictive!
Double the quantity of toasted pumpkin seeds to give this pesto a creamy, spreadable consistency and richer flavor.
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Round the Bend Farm (RTB), a Center for Restorative Community, located in Dartmouth, Massachusetts is a working farm and educational non-profit. We are a living laboratory that cultivates, educates, and empowers people of all ages. We are devoted to the global paradigm shift toward hope and abundance by valuing diversity, modeling nature, and redefining wealth.
92 Allens Neck Road, South Dartmouth, MA 02748