After freezing 4-plus gallon of pomegranate nibs, and eating more than a few, I suddenly had the inspiration to dehydrate some. What a great addition to my backpacking menu! The tangy, sweet, crunchy red little jewels would certainly add some zest and–oh yes–antioxidants to the usual trail food. Dried pomegranate nibs are used in Indian cooking,* I’d heard, so obviously they dried well. Right? Right!
I had a quart of freshly shelled pips that I spread on paper circles on the 5 dehydrator trays in the early afternoon. Before going to bed that night, I re-stacked the trays since the bottom one was looking pretty close to done. By morning, before tea, everything was dry. Sticky, but dry. Yum! A quart had reduced to just over a cup. Not as red, but just as sweet, tangy & crunchy and certainly more appropriate for hiking food.
Aside: As usual, the whole fruit is better for you than the juice alone. Pomegranate seeds provide most of the antioxidents and the fiber. But don’t feel compelled to eat the rind!
Honestly, I don’t have any idea how I’m going to incorporate these delicious dried nibs into backpacking food, but I did make a scrumptious at-home treat by mixing a few tablespoons into some raw almond butter & honey. Candy! Just as good as the “fudge” I’d made a few days earlier with raw pumpkin seed butter, Dagoba cocoa and backyard honey. I’m thinking that recipe might work for backpacking, especially if I put it in one of those squeeze tubes. (Those 2 weeks ranting about sugar must have activated my sweet tooth. Hmm.)
For backpackers who have hot breakfast cereal, dried pom nibs would be great in oatmeal, cream of wheat or rice porridge, I bet. Maybe I’ll just drop a spoonful into my morning tea and eat ’em with a spoon once I get to the bottom. Or make some kind of savory pom cracker …
I did try a zucchini nut cracker on the dehydrator, too, but it had too much fat, even for me, and didn’t seem sturdy enough to go backpacking. I’m going to experiment with it and report back. In the meantime, if you’d like to try the original recipe, you can visit The Sunny Raw Kitchen I like to browse the raw food recipes for easy dehydrator foods. Sometimes they are good for backpacking & sometimes not.
Next time, I promise: the pease porridge recipe for which everyone is awaiting so eagerly. It’s just not as pretty as pomegranates!
*More About That: Anardana powder (ground, dried pomegranate seeds) is used as a spice in Indian cooking to add a sweet/sour flavor. It is also a thickener, I’ve heard. The blog Life Begins @ 30 provides a recipe for using anardana in a potato dish! Too bad I don’t eat potatoes …