Friday, January 3, 2014

Dehydrating Daily

I received a Nesco dehydrator for Christmas from my Mother-in-law.
And I've been using it every day since. It's so much fun.
I hate buying herbs and spices that I hardly ever use and just sit in the cabinet. And there's preservatives, it's not fresh, etc. I'd been toying with drying stuff in the oven, but it never worked out the way I wanted it. I tried kale chips that were ok. I dried onions and garlic with mixed results.
I also received a coffee grinder, which sets me up to make some really interesting things.
One of the first things I dried was bananas. But they weren't great. I think I need to salt them or something. I have a lot of bananas in a produce basket that I needed to use, so I tried it. I'll try again with salt tomorrow or so. I ended up making a ton of banana bread, but I'm out of flour now ;)
Also in the basket are usually onions and garlic, which I tried next. I dried them both, then ground them in the grinder. So now I've got onion powder and powdered garlic, then I did more onions and left them as flakes. I'm very pleased with those things.
I have some dried cilantro leaves that I can't wait to use for salsas, soups, taco stuff, etc.
I found a homemade ranch dressing mix recipe that calls for a lot of ground stuff and flakes and that may be the ultimate goal, providing it tastes good. Maybe for gifts? Is there a market for that?
Today I did more garlic, some green onions and some sugared oranges. I feel like these oranges will turn out better than my previous attempt. I tried to do candied citrus peels/sugared limes earlier and they didn't turn out well. I think the peels themselves were not good quality.

Random citrus/peels
green onions

I tried potato chips, but they are as greasy as they look here in the picture. Also, too crunchy. Not sure how to fix that. Even after a few weeks, they are still hard as rocks. The zucchini chips turned out really good. I made some parmesean green beans, but I let them go too long and they didn't look good. Tasted really nice, but were all shriveled. I'm going to keep working on it. It'll be great if my garden produces a ton of stuff and I can just experiment with those things.
So tomorrow - carrots, more bananas and . . . fun stuff.

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