Wednesday 1 July 2015

Just Dehydrating Stuff

I have been dehydrating food for storage for several years now, its clean easy and fuss free, why dehydrate ? firstly it frees up space in the freezer, it stores longer, if there is power cuts it doesn't effect the food, its not costing you anything to store, you can use all of your harvest and take advantage of bargains when shopping, cuts out food waste, food is more nutritious than frozen food.

 yesterday I harvested the beetroot thinning's
 Far too any leaves for me to eat and they wont keep until Martin gets home, I have put a lot of effort and time into growing veg so don't want to waste them
 Dehydrated and stored in 2 zip lock bags they can now be stored in portion size I shall use them like spinach, the leaves are too fragile to be vacuum packed.
The beetroot was boiled up I had some for dinner and the remainder got pickled, there is still loads of beetroot to be harvested, when I do I don't want to be storing lots of jars of pickles, so I shall boil them up slice and dehydrate, they can then be re-hydrated and used as a roasting veg some of the slices I will re-hydrate in pickling vinegar when our pickles start running low and will have pickled beetroot in a matter of hours.
Cucumber I will do similar with so I wont worry about using up a glut, the sliced dehydrated cucumbers make lovely pickles.
Since having the dehydrator I make the most of the harvest were before I was giving away so much veg and fruit then having to buy in when I ran out.

This week I also made Date Sugar in the dehydrator
 I chopped in half and took out the stone fro some dates that's had been sitting in the cupboard
once completely dry I turned them into powder using the liquidiser
Date sugar can be used on cereals and in baking its very sweet as the flavour intensifies when dehydrated, its also good for you plenty of fibre you cant use it in hot drinks as it doesn't dissolve.
Store in an air tight container.
 While the dehydrator was on there was 2 packs of Blueberries in the fridge that I had bought reduced for 50p each last week 
A quick dunk in boiling water then into cold water drain and into the dehydrator 
dried blueberries a fraction of the price in the shops.

So that is some of things I have done this week with the dehydrator, because it is second nature to me to use this piece of kitchen equipment I don't always think to post what I have been doing but I will make an effort to tell you.
I have a nine shelf Excalibur, I started with a cheap round one but soon outgrew it I would always advise go for the biggest you can afford.

here is a brief list of what you can do with a dehydrator
Leftovers can be dried for just add water meals
Soup dehydrated and powdered makes instant soup
Stock and Gravy dried powdered instant gravy
cereals crackers and crisp type snacks gone soft re-dry 
Make own fruit leathers and yogurt leathers ideal healthy sweet treats 
Use it for raising dough
Use it to make yogurt
Make your own savoury crackers 
Make your own dried flowers and leaves for pot pourri and wreaths
Dry your herbs for out of season use

As I said a brief list its the one bit of kitchen equipment I really love.



  1. I was watching a video this morning about the Excalibur and it looks a serious piece of kit. I may consider one if I could pick it up second hand at a good price.

  2. Wonderful! :)

    Does it give any info on wattage / power consumption?

    1. you can find info here on power and wattage being an American brand its an American site roughly 4c 3p an hour for the nine tray I dont how that converts to your currency

    2. Thanks for the link. As I suspected even the smallest model would use too much power / 24 hours ( 200 watts / hour) for our solar system :(

    3. you could always look at a solar dehydrator :-)

  3. Really interesting post Dawn! I especially like the look of the date sugar. I have just found a recipe for date paste as well, just love dates! :)

  4. I bought the same Excalibur a couple of years ago, and would never like to be parted from it! Good info about the beetroots...normally the leaves go to the pigs and chickens, but I shall follow your example and get them dehydrated. Good info about the date sugar......will be definitely be having a go at that as well!

  5. Brilliant post .... I should have read this before asking the question on the post after this one .... the perils of reading through blogs backwards ;-)


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