So the first day of autumn is a pretty big deal around here. Like… a REALLY big deal. Every Facebook meme cliché of loving scarves, warm sweaters and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING is just me, me, meeeee!
I plan on playing some laid back, autumn breezy acoustic beats throughout the house while I pull out the fall decorations from storage and officially say goodbye to summer by adding a few cozy autumnal touches all around the house, and much on some homemade pumpkin spiced goodies.
Over the last week, the hubby and I made a couple batches of pumpkin, butternut squash and apple chips – and I think some pear chips would go really nicely in the mix for future batches!
Autumn brings in lots of varieties of squash, all of which make wonderful chips when popped in the dehydrator, and when you think beyond the generic pumpkin, there are literally hundreds of fun flavors to throw into a tasty bowl of autumn chips!
The Rosewill BPA Free Dehydrator
For this recipe we used the Rosewill BPA Free 5 Tray Countertop Portable Electric Dehydrator with Adjustable Thermostat (CLICK HERE to view the product on Amazon.com!).
The biggest and single most important feature of this dehydrator is that it is BPA free. As I have covered in past blog posts, Bisphenol A – more commonly known as BPA – is a chemical found in hard plastics that is used to make countless products.
BPA was never intended to be an edible chemical. When consumed, BPA behaves in a similar way to estrogen and other hormones in the human body. What this means is that BPA is an endocrine disruptor – basically a substance that interferes with the production, secretion, transport, action, function and elimination of natural hormones. When BPA imitates our body’s own hormones, it is hazardous for our health. A recent CDC report found BPA in the urine of 93% of adults!
Studies have shown that BPA leaches into foods that are acidic, salty or fatty, (like tomatoes and some vegetables). So it is recommended you not eat, drink or cook from anything made of plastic that doesn’t specify its BPA free.
This Rosewill dehydrator has an adjustable thermostat that ranges from 95 to 155 degress F, and it comes with BPA-Free herb trays, roll trays and stackable trays. I am REALLY looking forward to making tea with the native flowers and herbs I keep staring wistfully at each spring here in the Central Valley!
The machine is pretty straightforward, and redunkulously simple and easy to use. You just select the temperature that you want and then turn the thing on. It’s really that simple.
It is really quiet – not ninja quiet, if you are in the same room with it you’ll know its running, but it is not obnoxiously loud and having it running constantly is not an annoyance at all.
Only down side is that there is no timer, just temp settings, meaning that for us forgetful folks, you need to be sure to note the time you popped the food in and leave a timer on to check back around the done time. It is also a good idea to rotate trays from top to bottom for even dehydration. But otherwise, this unit offers some good bang for your buck!
[Disclaimer: There are no affiliate links in this review. I am an independent product reviewer. I only review products I am truly interested in. I don’t accept payment for reviews. The products I take the time to jabber on about are either items I have personally purchased, or the product has been provided for review after me initiating contact and incessantly nagging for a sample. All of my reviews are unbiased regardless of how the item was obtained.]
Pumpkin, Butternut Squash and Apple Chips Recipe
To make a flavorful bowl of edible autumn goodness, just select the squash and fruit you would like to include (we included pumpkin, butternut squash and apples), and after scooping out the seeds, cut them into slices using a mandolin – or in the case of tougher squash like the mini heirloom pumpkins we used, you may have to slice by hand.
Once you have your raw chips, mix the pieces together in a bowl while drizzling coconut oil over them. Place them side by side on the trays of the dehydrator, leaving enough room between the pieces for the hot air to circulate throughout the machine. Generously sprinkle some pumpkin spice over the chips. (We used a pre-mixed spice mix from McCormick, which has now gone GMO free!)
Since the heating unit on this model is on the bottom, we placed the tougher squash pieces on the bottom tray, and put the apple chips closer to the top. This five tray unit easily fit one medium mini pumpkin, half a medium butternut squash and two apples, which yielded about 3 to 4 servings of autumn pumpkin spiced chips!
Once your chips are all in place, dry them out at 145 degrees for two hours, and then lower the temperature to 110 degrees for an additional 8-10 hours for crisp chips. If you like your chips a little more on the fruit jerky side, then you can pull them out earlier.
Just a warning though.. these things are super tasty, and you will most likely eat them all in one sitting! Lol! Looking forward to chowing down on these while waltzing around my house in a fuzzy sweater and spreading autumn joy all over my home!