My first investment into starting my sprouted grains business was the Excalibur 3900 9-tray dehydrator. It’s supposed to be top of the line and best for producing a lot of dehydrated foods. After my first test with sprouted grain foods, I think the route that makes the most sense is to begin developing recipes for sprouted grain crackers, cookies, crisps, flatbreads, etc – whatever you might want to consider them. I’m super excited to begin these sprouted grain recipes in an effort to preserve the integrity of the nutrition that the sprouts have to offer.
According to the book that came with the dehydrator and additional info I found online, the best way to dehydrate raw foods and still maintain the integrity of nutrition without risking mold or running the machine for days on end is to start at the highest temperature (145 degrees). You run it at this temperature for 2-3 hours, then decrease down to 105-115 degrees. Living enzymes are destroyed at 120 degrees, however, the moisture of the food prevents it from reaching an internal temperature that high until after the first couple of hours (which is when you turn down the temp!)
One thing I’m very excited about making is dehydrated kale chips. I loved making them in the oven, using olive oil before. Without the oil, they don’t do so well in the oven though. I have had dehydrated ones, though, that taste awesome. AND – they’ll be RAW instead of cooked, preserving a lot of the nutrition of the kale. (Most nutrient dense food, what?!) The kale that I’m cooking today, having been placed in the dehydrator at 145 degrees for the first 2 1/2 hours is actually almost done, and I’m sure is no longer considered a living food. I will need to start this at the low temperature for the entire time.
Banana chips are another big favorite of mine, but I have trouble finding them reasonably priced OR without sugar, salt, or oil added. Plus, I can use organic bananas this way as well. The guide says 7-10 hours at a higher temperature, but to extend the dehydrating time if wanting to preserve the living enzymes. So, I’m guessing it may take 12-15 but we’ll see the difference as the night goes on!