Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Dehydrating Is Space Saving!

I received a dehydrator last year for my birthday, and used it mainly last year to preserve the herbs from my garden.  I still have a ton of herbs in my pantry that I dehydrated, and still use from last year! So, this year I didn't plant many herbs, and decided instead to use my dehydrator to dry fruit and vegetables.  I have kept my dehydrator humming the last few days with various different fruits and vegetables.  It is amazing what a great space saver a dehydrator is, as it will take a bag of frozen veggies, and after dehydration, they can fit into a pint sized jar - pretty incredible.


Bananas taste wonderful after being dehydrated.  My husband loves bananas, but can't carry bananas with him while on the road, as they go bad quickly.  So dehydrating the bananas makes it much easier for him to munch on a healthy snack as he is traveling.


Another favorite dehydrated snack is apples.  They taste incredibly sweet, and slightly chewy, and again make an excellent snack for when you don't want to pack a whole apple, you can just take 8 of these slices, and there is the whole goodness of an apple in a little baggie!



I have also been experimenting with soaking wheat and then dehydrating it. This breaks down the hard shell of the wheat into a more digestible form.  Then, I will take the dried wheat, and grind it into fresh flour to make homemade bread.

This pint-sized jar holds 2 bags of frozen veggies! There is one bag of frozen peas, and one bag of mixed vegetables.   I just took the frozen veggies, put them on the dehydrator trays, and dehydrated them, and then popped them into the jar for storage.  We are trying to free up space in our freezer for the venison that we hope to fill the freezer with this fall! This is a great space saver, and preserver!


This is a whole package of frozen broccoli, again dehydrated and fit into a pint sized jar - amazing.  It is better to store dehydrated food in jars, as they will last longer, as ziplock baggies allow some air into the package.  Another option (which I haven't tried yet) is to place them in Food Saver vacuum bags.

Another great way to save all that zucchini and squash that mass produce in your garden - dehydrating it preserves it, and you can eat this zucchini right out of the jar, it is so sweet and chewy - an amazing snack!



I got a good deal on all these peppers at the grocery store, and decided to hydrate them instead of keeping them in the refrigerator until they go bad (which is what usually happens, as I use a few, and the rest usually go bad).  This way, I can use them as I need them.  This is how the peppers look when I first put them on the tray.  They are currently dehydrating as I write, so I don't have a picture of what they look like when they are done....  yet :)


One question I always wondered about was how to go about re-hydrating the food you have hydrated. Hydrating vegetables is very easy - you can either pour some boiling water over them to re-hydrate, or cook them in a soup or stew, allowing for extra liquid to be absorbed by the veggies.  You can also do the same for fruit.  I picked up a book at the library called "The Dehydrator Bible"  (here it is on amazon).  This book has a huge amount of great tips on how to dehydrate, and then also tons of recipes to use your dehydrated foods in. The manual that came with my dehydrator is also very helpful  in determining how to prepare vegetables, fruit, and herbs to be dried, how long to dry them, and also how long to store them.

Dehydrating is a great way to space save on your veggies and fruits that take up a lot of room in your freezer, or cupboards after being canned.  Since we have great anticipation for the upcoming hunting season, I am working away at my freezer, trying to hydrate things that can be hydrated, to make space for meat.  It is definitely a work in progress!




6 comments:

  1. So do you store the jars on the shelf? veggies and all? Also my dehydrator has spaces that would seem to let the peas fall through? Love your pics and all your ideas. Can't imagine how you have the time. That big kitchen helps I'm sure. g

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    1. Yes, the jars can be stored on your shelf, away from heat and light is best. My dehydrator regular trays can't hold peas either, but the dehydrator came with a mesh liner that fits on top of the dehydrator tray and keeps the smaller pieces from falling through. You can also use parchment paper cut to fit your dehydrator trays to place the smaller pieces on.

      Dehydrating actually isn't that much work, and it is kind of fun, especially knowing that I am freeing up space in the freezer, which is a priority right now, lol!

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  2. Thank you for leaving the sweet comment on my blog. I'm glad you did, for it brought me here and I'm very interested in dehydrating food. In fact, I had just been talking to my husband about this yesterday, so I feel this is very timely. I'll look up The Dehydrator Bible. Thanks for the recommendation. I've been browsing through your posts and smiled when you said your Walmart is 45 minutes away. Here where we are in Northeast Oregon there are no big box stores at all. Not in the entire county. Many people here drive to Lewiston, ID and shop at Cosco. We haven't done that yet (we just moved here last July and are renting until we build our own very small home), but I'm sure we will soon. Anyway, sorry this is so long. I'm following you through Bloglovin' and look forward to more of what you share. Hugs, Nancy

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    1. Wow - no box stores in the county! We can't say that here. Although we live in a small county, there is still a Wal-Mart. I have learned to do bulk shopping though, to save trips, and lots of extra $$ buying things at the local more expensive stores. I look forward to reading about your journey building your own home - we are in a very similar process! Thanks again for sharing your thoughts :)

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  3. You have sure been busy! I have a dehydrator but have never tried it. I bought it a couple years ago with good intentions, of course!

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    1. Brush off your good intentions, and the dust covering your dehydrator, and try it out. It is pretty amazing what it can do! :)

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