Friday, March 20, 2015

Crunchy & healthy snacks with wild leaves

Here is a very easy and delicious recipe that will convince everyone - even the kids! - to eat more wild greens. It is also a great way to shift to healthier snacks and it might help curb other undesirable food cravings - usually for junk.

You might need a food dehydrator for this recipe. It can be an electrical one or a solar one. There are many tutorials and videos on youtube on how to build a solar dehydrator using recycled materials. Some of those ideas work even in places where there is often not enough sun to get things dry, such as where I live. Some regular ovens can work on low temperatures, so if you have one of those that might also work out. 

What you need for this recipe:

Wild leafy greens; freshly picked: dandelion, ground ivy, valerian, mint, etc.


Tahine (sesame paste)
Sea salt
Coconut aminos, miso or tamari (all optional)
Water (or apple juice if you want to give it a sweet contrast) 
Herbs of your choice. I use rosemary, oregano, savory, thyme or other available aromatics
A pinch of chili
Lime zest + lime juice (optional but it gives a great taste contrast with the tahine and other herbs)

Rinse the wild greens and dry them in a salad spinner. Mix the ingredients for the coating well until smooth. Dip each leaf in the liquid, making sure they are entirely covered with a thin layer of it and place them in the dehydrator trays. You may also work with teflex baking sheets over the trays, to protect the trays from getting too messy. Do not place leaves over one another. 

Dehydrate under 40°C to 45°C until crunchy (it may take from 2 to 5 hours, depending on how thick the coating is and how moist the air is outside. If you want an extra crunchy layer you can make sure the dip coating is thicker - but that will take much longer to get it dry. A thin layer will be also crunchy, but very fragile. 

When ready, take them out of the trays immediately and store them in a very good air tight container until the moment to be served. Sometimes after a few minutes after they are out of the dehydrator they start getting soft again. If they get soft again because you did not take them out of the dehydrator quick enough, just run the dehydrator half and hour extra and they will get back their crunchiness. 

Instead of tahine you can also use other nut or seed pastes (cashew, almonds, hazelnuts...). I sometimes add some hemp seeds to the coating dip, without mixing it. That gives a very nice texture to the snacks. 

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