I’m not a raw foods freak — sure, we try to eat healthy as much as we can and maintain a mostly clean diet with little processed foods — but I recently discovered how amazing raw fruit crackers can be. At the risk of sounding like a crunchy granola mom, I will reluctantly admit that we recently purchased a food dehydrator and have been running it almost nonstop since taking it out of the box. There. I said it.
I took a class on food dehydrating at Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor and learned that dehydrators aren’t just for making raisins out of tomatoes and chips out of apples — you can make fruit leathers, veggie leathers, spices, powders, and yes, even crackers. The teacher had a veritable buffet of crackers set out for us, using ingredients like apples, pears and even sauerkraut and roasted peppers. Look at all the treats we got to sample!
I stayed safe and used fresh apples for my first batch of crackers. Then I expanded to pear crackers, and even tried to make pumpkin leather, mixing pumpkin puree and honey with pumpkin pie spices. I think I’ll stick with pumpkin spice lattes instead, but the fruit crackers have all been a success.
For the apple crackers, I combined 2 apples and 1/4 c applesauce in a food processor and processed until the apples were small shreds. Then I added 1/4 cup each flax seeds and chia seeds, and a splash of lemon juice. Let the seeds soak for an hour or so, then spread onto the dehydrator tray lined with parchment or with an insert so it doesn’t drip down into the rest of the trays. I dried the crackers for about 40 hours at 115 degrees.
The crackers turn out crispy and slightly chewy, and the raw seeds help to make them a little more substantial than just pieces of dried fruit. They’re great for my kids’ snacks or for traveling — they aren’t terribly brittle so crumbs don’t end up all over the car.