Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dehydrate Those Leftovers!

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One of the many things that I love about my new home is being able to have my larger kitchen appliances stored right in the kitchen area and not in the basement storage room.  I am more likely to use my dehydrator, canner, wheat grinder, etc. when they are accessible.  After preparing dinner tonight I had a half a bag of spinach leftover, so I pulled out my dehydrator, spread out those extra leaves and saved them for another meal.  It was such a chore before when I had to hike downstairs and carry up the dehydrator.  Now it is stored right in my kitchen for use anytime.  I know not everyone will have the kitchen space to store larger food storage appliances, but it has helped me to use them more often. 

When they are finished dehydrating I will have a small amount of dried spinach leaves that I will store in a mason jar and then make air tight with my foodsaver.  They will stay fresh in the mason jar for years.  (This is my estimation and how long I feel comfortable storing my items.  Check dehydrating books for a more accurate guideline.)  One of my favorite tips is to save the leftover veggies from a weeks worth of meals, dehydrate them, and store for use in soups.  There will be a variety of veggies depending on what you serve for dinner, but it saves money when they are being used again because no one really wants leftover veggies from the fridge.  I also keep my eye out for "manager specials" at my local grocery storeProduce will be marked down that is closing in on its expiration date and that is when I snatch it up for dehydrating.  Many shoppers see that manager's special sticker and they shy away thinking it is rotting veggies, but it works perfectly for dehydrating.  Also, think twice before throwing away leftovers.  Soups, casseroles, even rice can be dehydrated for use in quick dinners, camping food, and 72-hour kit meals.  There are quite a few books out there and online if you are interested in dehydrating your food.  I love the Dehydrator Bible for dehydrating, it is filled with step by step information on every fruit and veggie that you can think of.  Dehydrating is quite a simple process and the results are very rewarding, so think of those leftovers in a new light and dehydrate them!

3 comments:

  1. I've been thinking of starting this so you gave me some inspiration!

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    1. I am so happy you said that!! I always need a little motivation to keep my projects going or even started!! Have fun!!

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  2. For rehydrating of butter powder, it should tell you on the can how to reconsititue one tablespoon of butter. In a pound of butter there are 32 tablespoons of butter or eight in a stick. Two cups of butter is a pound. For ease of converting, just do one stick of butter--eight tablespoons. IF the ratio is 3:1 powder to water, then you need to measure 24 T of powder (8 T x 3 powder per T= 24) If the ratio is 2:1 then only use 16 T powder, if the ratio is 1:1 then only use 8 T powder. (I would put it into a measuring cup and mark how much that totals in dry measurement. In wet butter it is half a cup. In powder, it could be different.) Then in a smaller measuring cup for liquid, measure 8 T of water (8 T x 1 per T = 8). Mark what amount of liquid that actually is and write it down. That is what is necesarry to reconsititue 1/2 cup of butter. Then to get a pound of butter (2 cups) measure those amounts three more times. Once you have measured for a quarter cup, write down what the exchange rate is, and it will make it a lot easier the next time! Write it on your blog, or on the can, or in your notebook. That way all your readers will also have that information!

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