Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Verdict

After the hour of prep work yesterday, My juice pulp flax seed crackers took six hours in the dehydrator to become crunchy. I'm thinking twice about the carbon footprint implications of this exercise.

The result? still warm, dry and crisp, the crackers were okay, not great. With hummus they were great, but for me anything spread with hummus is great. Today, not quite as crisp anymore, the crackers were less great still, even with the hummus.

Everything we do in life has educational value. I am grateful for this experiment because I can add it to my list of things I know how to do. Will I do it again? Probably not.

I am reminded of the time I taught myself how to reupholster my sofa -- not slipcover, though I have done plenty of that too -- reupholster. I disassembled the furniture, panel by panel, and worked with tack strips, piping and hobnails. I used a crow bar, a hammer, a nail gun, a staple gun and a rubber mallet.I sewed each panel, leaving a rough edge for the next section. A couple of times I discovered I was on the wrong track, so I had to disassemble and redo it. I ultimately did a pretty good job with the sofa, but realized I could have benefited from an instructor. So, when I decided to redo my kitchen cabinets, I splurged on an $85 faux painting class. I did it right, and years later the cabinets are all still in good shape, but the whole process took five weeks. Though I saved $20,000-$30,000 doing it myself, I have discovered that time is more valuable than most sums of money. If we spend our time doing something fulfilling -- a learning experience counts here -- it is time well spent. So the crux of the issue is whether we would choose to repeat a project after the fulfillment of learning it is over.

Juice pulp flax seed cracker creation is not an experience I will repeat. My pulp will much more efficiently and appropriately feed the soil of my vegetable garden than it could ever feed me. I believe most of the nutrition left the pulp with the flavor and color, anyway. My healthy diet is a gift to myself, and as such, it should be enjoyable. Every mouthful is carefully chosen and prepared, and is so much more flavorful and pure than the junk I ate for many years. I don't want to waste a bite on something less than fabulous. I will continue to reap the benefits of making delicious juices, and I won't feel guilty about just saying no to homemade pulp crackers.

P.S. -- The topic of the nutritional value of the pulp fiber being lost in the process of juicing has come up among non-vegan friends. You vegans will understand that, unless you are eating only vegan junk food, lack of fiber is not an issue. Juicing simply allows us to pack in a much more diverse selection and quantity of vegetable nutrition than would be possible by consuming the entire vegetable. The juice is not a replacement for a well-rounded diet, it's an enhancement.


  1. I've held out on the $300 dehydrator because I didn't want to make an impulse purchase (I just learned of such a thing about a week ago!) In the mean time, I've decided to take my veggie pulp out of the juicer before I add the fruit, save it separately, and turn it into soup.

    But I've been dreaming about the dehydrator. I was just sure it's the last thing I'll need to buy before I stop buying everything that catches my eye.

    What I get from your post is that I don't have TIME--it's not the quality of the product. I, too, can put anything on hummus and it's GREAT.

    Your crackers make good food for thought. Thank you for the honest assessment.

  2. Colleen -- Separating the veggie pulp before juicing the fruit: Brilliant! I've no idea why that never crossed my mind. I am certain that would have made a better cracker. The dehydrator -- I bought mine (Oster) at Walmart for about $20. It's entirely possible the $300 one would get the job done faster than 6 hours. I wonder if there's a way for you to get this information before you buy it? I know what you mean about the appliances and the $ needed to become equipped. I need to replace my Healthmaster that caught on fire processing the juice pulp. I'll not buy the same brand again. The pitcher had already been replaced last year due to leakage, and then the fire from a little bit o' pulp . . . I guess I'll need to save up for a Vitamix. Yada yada yada. Good luck with your dehydrating, and great idea with the separate veggie and fruit pulps.

  3. Or separate the fruit pulp first and use it in muffins? Sorry your crackers did not work out. I agree completely about what you said regarding juicing and the fiber etc. We vegans get tons of fiber, and sometimes it is nice to give your body a break on all the digesting it has to do each day. Juice is the perfect solution! But, I do enjoy my green smoothies many times a week and will never give them up cause they just make me happy!

  4. Emily - Great idea with the fruit pulp too. I'm kind of missing smoothies too, and am sad I have no blender. Thanks for reading!

  5. I've been meaning to post about this. I use my juice pulp for flax seed crackers. I never use too much fruit (maybe one apple) and I think the addition of flax seeds really helps give it a crunchy texture and nutty flavor! also try adding spices to the pulp mixture before dehydrating- my favorite is nutritional yeast with garlic powder, cayenne and pumpkin seeds on top. Check out my post I just did on this http://trailofkale.blogspot.com/2012/01/my-little-poney-juice-and-cutest-flax.html

  6. Kim your recipe sounds much better! I think the fruit flavor ruined mine for me. I only use one apple also, but I'm just not a fan of sweets. If I find myself with a few hours again I may try the crackers with the fruit pulp left out. I'm going to check your blog post now . . .