Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Using the dehydrator *Originally written late summer 2010*

So far i have dried about 4 pounds of frozen peas, 3 pounds of frozen corn and about 3 pounds of frozen, sliced carrots.  I really get a kick out of how much room it saves.  Each vegetable in quantity fits in a quart jar. The peas filled the jar completely, the corn only filled about half and the carrots shrunk so much they actually went in a pint jar.
I made some yogurt taffy yesterday afternoon. I simply took two containers of Yoplait yogurt and made dollops of it (like cookie dough) in the 2 Paraflexx sheets that the machine came with.  I think it dried for about 6 hours at around 115*.  My kids loved it.  The strawberry flavor seemed to dry faster than the blueberry flavor,  and the strawberry tasted better i am told.
So, now i know what to do with the yogurt that just sits in the fridge waiting to expire.  My kids love yogurt, and sometimes we go without it for quite a while, and then we buy it by the dozen....  at those times it will get eaten 3 cups a day for a few days,  then they tire of it for a bit and the last 5 or 6 containers linger on in the fridge and end up expired.  Other times we will try a different brand with a better price- but the texture on some of those is not too pleasant.  I think making them into a taffy seems like a great solution.

I was going to make jerky this weekend, but i have lots of tomatoes coming...  I have to use some to make fresh salsa, but i think i'll dry much of them that are left over from this.
Watching the Dehydrate2Store videos, i learned that you can dehydrate thin slices of tomato and then powder the slices in a food processor or blender, then use the powder to make a sort of instant tomato soup- herbs and spices added as well.
Speaking of herbs, i have basil, rosemary, peppermint and sage that need drying. So, there's plenty of things to be using the dehydrator for!

The dill and the cilantro i planted a couple weeks ago has come up nicely,  i don't know how fast they will grow.  The spinach seeds don't seem to have been viable,  at the very least i was able to eliminate another packet from my Ridiculously Large Seed Stash.

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