Lee and a curious calico crisscross the country in a RV, living simply and sustainably.


A food dehydrator has been on my wish list for a few summers now.  A friend loaned me this simple dehydrator and I’ve experimented a bit. First up were tomatoes. I scored a big basket full of juicy big ones & sweet cherry tomatoes for a few dollars as sprinkles descended on the Farmers Market.

After slicing them about ¼” thick, I layered them on the trays & cooked ‘em for about 8 hours. When it was time for tasting, they were like candy!

I ate as many as I preserved – a quart sized Ziplock bag went into the freezer. The not quite dry ones were preserved in olive oil with a few garlic cloves and are stored in the fridge. The plan is to top a gourmet (wheat-free) pizza crust with these babies. Then use the infused olive oil as a salad dressing. Yum.

Next came sweet potatoes. After researching drying times online, I decided not to pre-bake them, since they were sliced thin. My electric vegi slicer came in handy – just load up the chute with vegi’s and uniform slices pop out the other end. Kind of like a Playdough factory on steroids.

It was fun experimenting with different seasonings.  The cayenne pepper chips had a bit of a bite. The ginger was interesting, but least favorite. Best of all was just a touch of sea salt to balance the sweetness of the sweet potatoes. I passed around samples at the Farmers Market, then sold several snack bags of chips in following weeks.

Dehydrated kale has become a new favorite treat. I just sprinkled some organic tamari onto the leaves and dried them for about an hour. They were best eaten fresh off the trays. Got a bit soggy in plastic bags & the tamari started to make a mess. They were a hit when thrown into a stir fry. There’s a traditional Latino market in town with loads of vegi’s and bulk spices. I picked up some yucca root to make Cuban yucca with mojo and onions, then thought “Why not dehydrate some? It’s starchy like a potato.” I’ll let you know how that turns out.

Suggestions:

Think:  What are your favorite dried foods? Sun dried tomatoes? Cranberries? Apple rings? Mushrooms? Why not grow your own, or buy in bulk in season, then dry your own?

Say:  Let me know your favorite food drying tips & times. Anyone out there using a solar dryer?

Do:  Stock up on dried foods from local markets.  They make a quick addition to soups, casseroles & snack packs.

Comments on: "Dehydrating Mators & Tators" (4)

  1. My favorite dried food has to be beef or venison jerky. Aside from that, I love dried pineapple and raisins. Love yucca, but can’t imagine drying it.

  2. Once in a blue moon, we get too much kale and I like to dry it then, unadorned. It keeps forever, and is great, just wonderful, for adding to soups, which we eat a steady diet of during the cold months. Yay for cooler weather and soup!

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