|Homegrown tomatoes in the dehydrator|
|American Harvest Dehydrator|
I have been experimenting with dehydrating the past couple of years and it is really fun to see everyday foods shrink down to tiny pieces of themselves. I also love to dehydrate because I can purchase produce for a great price, and use all my garden produce, dehydrate it, and seal it in a mason jar using my FoodSaver. It allows me to save money and stock my pantry at the same time. Storing dehydrated food takes up minimal space in your pantry and is so simple to do!! Just remember that there are 4 key factors that will affect the success you have with food dehydration. (From "The Dehydrator Bible)
- Air speed
- Raw material preparation (use quality produce for a quality finished product)
I have dried tomatoes, zucchini, celery,rice, pureed fruit for fruit leather, frozen veggies, grapes, apples, green onions, strawberries, cabbage, etc!!! The possibilities are endless!! I love to buy frozen fruit when it's on sale and then puree it and make fruit leather out of it. My kids eat it as fast as I can make it! Another great idea is to dehydrate soups (use the plastic dehydrator tray inserts to hold liquids), rice dishes, and other meals to make backpacking dehydrated meals. All you need is to add water.
|Using a FoodSaver to seal dehydrated zucchini in a mason jar.|
I have dehydrated a chicken and rice dish and I was so excited to see it actually worked! Dehydrating is all about experimenting. Zucchini is really easy and abundant, especially right now, just slice or shred and dehydrate. Now you have zucchini for breads, soups, etc. all year long!!
|Zucchini and Cherry tomatoes.|
|Dehydrated veggies from dinner.|
If you don't have a dehydrator you can use your oven. My oven actually has a dehydrator setting, but the very lowest setting that you can get will work. Depending on the water content of the food it can take anywhere from 4-36 hours to be fully dehydrated. I would look online or get a book from the library for exact times. Just remember to have fun!! Don't stress about it, this is really one thing I don't think is intimidating and you get great results!! So don't let all that garden produce go to waste!! Dehydrate it!!
Dehydrating is only one of our goals this month. Click HERE to see them all!
Enjoy the Journey!
Enjoy the Blessings!
Feel the PEACE!!