Carrot Crisps

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Are you a juice person or a smoothie person? Royce likes juice — fruit juice but also veggie-forward juice…especially on those days when we haven’t been eating very healthy. Personally, 9 times out of 10 I would rather have a smoothie than juice. I have a couple of issues with juice. First, from a health standpoint I’m suspicious of the nutritional value because it’s missing so much of the original fruit / vegetable. And second, something just seems really wrong about pulverizing all of these vegetables, only to drink the liquid and toss the rest. Especially given the statistics we see nowadays about food security and food waste!

All of this got me to thinking: if we are going to make juice (and we are going to make juice because I love Royce and he loves juice so we should make juice, and because maybe there are some health benefits to drinking our vegetables this way, who knows?!) then can we find a way to eat the rest of the vegetable? By no means am I the first person to ask this question. Yes, you could definitely easily fold in the juice pulp (veggie bits expelled by the juicer) into muffins or something like that. But then we’d have to make and eat muffins. Instead, we wanted to do something that would be super simple and require as few additional ingredients as possible. This way, the result would be closer to eating the vegetable pulp itself, and it would be easy to whip up when we found ourselves with extra pulp.

These carrot crisps are the end result of all of this thinking and juicing. They are incredibly versatile, and a delicious way to reduce your food waste in the kitchen while eating more of the vegetables you’re using for your juice. The recipe below uses carrot pulp, but some other fruits or veggies will work as well. If you are doing a mix of fruits and vegetables in your juice, you will want to juice the veggies you’re going to use for this recipe first, so that you don’t have to sort through the pulp afterwards.

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Ingredients:
100g (1 cup) carrot pulp (the bits expelled from juicing)
20g (1/4 cup) nutritional yeast
30g (1/4 cup) flaxseed meal
125g (1/2 cup) water
25g (2 Tbsp) neutral oil
pinch pink sea salt

Instructions:
1. Mix all ingredients well.
2. Spoon onto dehydrator sheet or silpat.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and roll out to roughly 3-4 mm thickness.
4. Dehydrate at 57°C/135°F (veggie setting) for about 6 hours or overnight.

Notes:

  • This probably goes without saying, but make sure that you wash your carrots well before juicing!
  • The length of time required in the dehydrator is going to vary depending on a few factors: type of juicer (i.e. how much moisture is in the pulp), cracker thickness, and any variations/add-ins (our tahini version took a few hours longer). We use a masticating-type juicer (an Omega).
  • The thickness of the crisps is really a matter of preference. Personally, I don’t like the crackers too thin but they will still hold together if they are thinner and they make nice garnishes that way as they will be very delicate one dehydrated.
  • If you don’t have a dehydrator or you’re short on time, these will also work in the oven (162°C/325°F for about 30 minutes). But the dehydrator, or using the oven on a lower temperature for longer (93°C/200°F for 60 minutes), is ideal as I’ve found that it retains the flavour (and colour) much better.

Variations:
As tasty as these are, a little variety is always nice! Another great thing about these crackers is how variable they are. A few alternatives we’ve tried are:

  • Tahini – 30g tahini instead of oil, no nutritional yeast, 1/4 tsp pink sea salt
  • Miso – no nutritional yeast, 1 tbsp of miso

There are lots of possibilities. It also depends on how healthy you want to be. I mean you did just drink so juice so…balance, right? Some other ideas might be using chiles (dried or oil) or popcorn seasoning. I am also certain that furikake would be insanely good! You could also mix up your own variation of sour cream and onion using onion powder, buttermilk powder, and some dried dill/parsley.

As I mentioned earlier, this recipe can also work with other types of juice pulp. I’ve tried beet, which works well, as it has a similar texture to carrots. I’m betting some fruits would work well too, though you’d probably want to change up the seasoning (apple-cinnamon crisps, anyone?). I’m not sure how well something more fibrous like kale or cabbage would work. If anyone does try it please let us know how it goes!

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