All Year Gardening – Quick Guide To Dehydrating Fruit and Vegetables
Dehydrating or drying out food is one of the oldest food preservation techniques and something that’s making a bit of a comeback in recent years.
The idea is to preserve the food by removing as much of the moisture or water content as possible. Not only will this keep fruits, vegetables, and even meats from spoiling, it also removes a lot of the weight and size of each piece of food.
This allows you to store your harvest more easily. Many dehydrated foods can be eaten as is, but you can also soak them in water or another liquid to rehydrate them.
The reason dehydrating works so well to preserve a large variety of food is because yeast and bacteria need water to grow. By removing all the water from the food, there’s no way for these microorganisms to thrive, thus leaving your food well preserved.
You can dry food in the hot sun, in the oven, or with a dehydrator. The oven is a great place to get started, while a dehydrator will give you better control and lower settings that result in tastier dried foods.
The optimum temperature for drying food is 140F. This can be a little hard to hold even on the lowest setting on your oven. Before you start to do any dehydrating in the oven, I recommend you invest in an oven thermometer. It will help you determine what the actual temperature in your oven is. It will also allow you to turn the heat on and off as needed to stay at or close to the ideal dehydrating temperature.
Personally, I’m too busy to watch food drying in the oven or sun and prefer an electric dehydrator. Add the food to the appliance, look up the booklet provided that advises temperature and time. Simply, set and forget so there is time for something else including returning the garden or allotment.
These appliances aren’t as expensive as you may think, I picked up a great one with ten shelves for under $100. Play around and start drying some fruits and vegetables. Get comfortable with the process and more importantly, see how you can your family enjoy the dry food.
All Year Gardening – A Quick Guide To Dehydrating Your Harvest
Do you find yourself snacking on dried fruits and veggie chips?
Kale chips are very trendy and yummy, and a much healthier choice than fries and potato chips.It is so easy, just wash and then tear into bite size pieces, coat in spice, salt and olive oil to your taste, lay as single layers in your dehydrator and follow the instructions for your dehydrator.