Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Dehydrate, Powder and Enjoy

 I think most of us have tried our hands at dehydrating of some sort.  I have a relatively cheap dehydrator (around $30-$40), but it works.  You can get a super expensive and fancy one with timer and heat adjustments or you can even use your oven on a very low temperature.  Many use the sun and air like back in the days of our ancestors.

I have been drying tomato skins and scraps for years.  I dry and make a powder which is great in my seasoning mixes and it is good to add extra flavor and nutrients to things like soup.  I dry my herbs (mainly air dry those).  I have even dried those big old bottom cabbage leaves that most people trash.  I dehydrate and powder them and then add to soups for extra nutrients.

There truly isn't much that can't be dehydrated and turned into a powder.
WHY?  you may ask.  
Well it is a good way to not waste anything.  It is a great way to add flavor to things.  It is a great way to get fruits and veggies into those who won't eat them fresh or cooked!

Tomatoes - dried.  I use a coffee grinder to pulse into powder - then keep in a sealed glass jar. (This batch was done in the oven)

You can dehydrate not only veggies of all sorts but fruits as well.

FRUITS - any berries - berries work great for turning into powders.  You can dehydrate ALL fruit and use in various ways.
Use powdered berries/fruit with oatmeal, yogurt, in milk or over cereal.  Make a fruity flavored salad dressing (those are pricey to buy), use in sweet breads and muffins, cakes, cookies and even pancakes and syrup!  Use over ice cream or pudding.
Make fruity cream cheese dip, your own fruit sugars, use in tea, smoothies and even cocktails.
Make your own flavored gelatin - use unflavored gelatin and whatever dried fruit powder you want.
You can just make so many fun and nutritious goodies.
                                                             (not my picture)


VEGGIES - Anything goes.  Tomato skins, greens of all sorts, onions and scallions, mushrooms, garlic, broccoli stems, absolutely anything you can think of.
You can add to smoothies and soups and casseroles.
You can make your own seasoned salts (onion salt, garlic salt).  Make your own dips and flavored cheese balls  
Add to anything that is savory
HERBS - add to dips, soups, seasoning mixes.  Things like lemon balm and mint can be added to teas and smoothies as well

I have even drained and dehydrated older homemade  pickles and peppers that I have canned (and no longer crunchy).  Blend them into a powder and you have great seasoning to add to dressings and dips.  
I also dehydrate extra large okra from the garden - dry and grind - it makes a fantastic natural soup thickener without adding any taste. 

FIRST you want to dehydrate and dry completely!!!!!!   IMPORTANT
Use a coffee grinder or blender to grind to a powder.  May need to do this a couple times.  
You want to store in glass or plastic JARS that are airtight.  
To be extra sure they last well - add a desiccant pack to each jar to absorb moisture.
You can also mix in 1 teaspoon of arrowroot powder to each pint (no taste change) to keep things from clumping.
Most fruit and veggie powders last a year if kept tightly sealed.

This can be such a fun project.  Just think about everything you grow and buy in the produce arena - and then dehydrate some of it.  Nothing goes to waste.  You have a great new seasoning.  You are getting extra nutrients and vitamins into your diet.
 
Use your imagination - have fun and waste not!

18 comments:

  1. Cheryl, a quick question on drying fruit. I've seen some instructions on dehydrating fruit that call for sulfering them first. Do you do this? If so, can you shed some light on the process? I've stayed primarily with dehydrating herbs, but would like to add dehydrated Michigan fruits to my pantry -- dehydrated strawberries, blueberries, maybe some dried sweet cherries and the like. Plan to dehydrate my Roma skins this summer, when I can tomatoes and do my spaghetti sauce and salsas.

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    1. No I have never done that. I usually just dehydrate as is. Fruit, like apples or bananas or things that darken I will dip in lemon or orange juice first. That is all I have ever done.
      Sorry I can't help with that.

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  2. We dry all types of things too. We like to dry greens and powder them to add nutrition to almost any dish we are making. Same with tomatoes. I like to do apples for chips too. So much healthier than potato chips.

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    1. Apple and banana chips are so tasty. I just love making powders - so many ways to use them.

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  3. I love to dehydrate! You will laugh at this--I tried dehydrating all sorts of stuff. I wondered what would happen if I put white/green grapes in to dehydrate. I was ecstatic when I got raisins!

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    1. YUM! Good for you on dehydrating so many things.

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  4. I always dry herbs from the garden but never thought about drying out anything else. I need to give this some thought.

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    1. I started with just herbs as well. Next I did mushrooms and they turned out so well I got going on other things

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  5. Dehydrating is a great way to use it all up, not waste a thing! Have to dry my herbs this year.

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  6. thanks for all the ideas! Never thought about the okra!

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    1. It works great for thickening. (no slime)
      I don't raise okra but every few years - it usually lasts me a while, but there are those pods that get too big over night!

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  7. So many great ideas, Cheryl! Do you just use the parts of the tomato you cut off and don't put on your sandwich? Also, if you dehydrate, then pulse, chives or green onions, you could sprinkle that on a baked potato! Yum! Plus, you don't have to waste any when they start to go soggy. You've got me thinking :). Thanks!

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    1. When canning - I keep the peels and dehydrate. You can actually dehydrate slices of tomato is you have too many.
      Yes - onion and chives great topping and good mixed with salt or any other seasoning combo.
      There are tons of things we can save this way.

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  8. I am going to try more of this this year.

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