With an interest in eating healthier, many people have decided to plant a garden and harvest their homegrown products. I have a small garden, but I also get fruits and vegetables from our local farmer’s market and produce stands. I love cherries, peaches, and nectarines, but being that they are seasonal, I have to preserve them yearly. I just use to freeze the fruits, but they always end up with freezer burn. This year I’ve decided to dehydrate fruits and veggies, so I have them all year around. I’ve come upon an awesome resource book, The Dehydrator Bible, which will walk us through the process of dehydrating.
Part 1: Dehydrating Foods
Part 2: Cooking at Home with Dehydrated Foods
Part 3: Cooking on the Trail with Dehydrated Foods
Part 4: Other Uses for Your Dehydrator
I tried dehydrating many years ago, but the dehydrator I had wasn’t the best; it dried foods unevenly. I’ve recently got an awesome dehydrator that I will talk about in another post. Needless to say, I gave up on dehydrating until now thanks to the right products and resources.
The Dehydrator Bible contains 150 recipes for dehydrating herbs, seasonings, fruits, veggies, meats, fish, and more. It also shares more than 250 scrumptious recipes that include your dehydrated foods as part of the ingredients.
Part 1 share ‘Everything you need to know about dehydrating foods.’ Dehydrating means removing the moisture from the foods, leaving them dry and compressed. A list of essential equipment is given, so you’ll want to get these ahead of time. There are four key factors that will affect the success you have with food dehydration, time, temperature, air speed and raw material preparation. If you follow the instructions in this book, you have a successful outcome. Storing your dehydrated foods is equally important. Factors that have a negative impact on their storage life are exposed to moisture, air, heat, and sunlight.
This section continues with dehydrating fresh produce and herbs. I had no idea you can dehydrate cauliflower, fennel, broccoli, beans, tofu, and grains. I love fennel, but end up throwing much of it away before I can use it all, so this is good news. Some veggies need a pre-treatment before dehydrating, so read the step carefully so your foods taste good and preserve properly.
Part 2 goes right into cooking at home with dehydrated foods. It offers oodles of recipes for breakfast, soups, side dishes, dressing, sauces, desserts and so much more. They also have a section for ‘One-Dish Meals.’ We are big on casseroles, and these fit nicely with our family favorites and our meal personality.
Part 3 is for the traveler. Here you’ll learn to make and plan out your camping or traveling meals. Tips for planning, packaging, storing and transporting your foods are included in this section. A complete menu is provided for both a light and heaving camping trip, including all the recipes to make them. They’ve taken all the guesswork out for you; I’m amazed.
Part 4 is interesting. You’ll learn to use your dehydrator for other uses from pet treats to tea making to wreath making. I like the idea of making my own pet treats, then I know there are no toxic ingredients. The recipes are also included in this section.
The Dehydrator Bible is such a versatile book. It offers an abundance of recipes and how-to instructions. There are some vivid images that show you the end product. All in all, it’s a great resource for the beginner dehydrator.
Disclaimer: I received product to facilitate a review. All opinions are my own, yours may differ.