A pilgrimage to resource efficiency 

Dehydrating

We are in the process of finishing up our firewood gathering for the year, so just a short post for today on one of my favorite Fall pastimes, dehydrating. 


Dehydrating is a wonderful way to preserve bumper crops for winter time and beyond. Besides hanging herbs to dry for use in the winter months, I often dehydrate large quantities of onions for soups and breads throughout the winter, and into the summer as we await our next harvest of onions. The smell in the house, once get past the crying part, is wonderful. It makes the house so warm and cozy, a true signal that fall is in full swing and winter is on it’s way. Of course the house seems to empty out when it is time to slice all of the onions to be dehydrated, but no one minds the wonderful aroma as the onions are actually dehydrating. 

Also, apples are great to dehydrate. As you can read in previous posts, we usually end up with more apples than we know what to do with. But through dehydrating, we are able to put up a healthy snack that also lasts us through the winter and well beyond. And it’s as easy as using your peeler/corer and then slicing the apples, placing them on the dehydrator racks and awaiting your tasty treat. 
My family also enjoyed having banana chips on hand, which are as easy as peeling and slicing a banana and placing the slices on your dehydrator rack. 

Of course there are almost endless possibilities with a dehydrator. If you are a meat eater you can make wonderful homemade jerky, less the chemical preservatives.Or you can try your hand at homemade fruit leather, which was another favorite winter treat in my house. 

I hope that if you haven’t tried dehydrating before, that you do soon so that you discover how fun and delicious this method of food preservation can be! Also, don’t be afraid to try different ways to dehydrate. I had an electric dehydrator that I loved dearly, but also a stove top dehydrator that my husband found at an antique store.We haven’t ever seen another one like it, and I haven’t been able to date it either. It was made of tin and inside had several racks made of wood and a thick screen similar to window screen. It was designed to sit outside in the hot sun, or a top a wood burning stove, which is how we most often used it. It worked best for me as my onion dehydrator, while my electric dehydrator made perfect fruit leather and jerky. 

We carry several models in the dehydrator department of our store. If you are interested in dehydrating, take your time to look through and decide which dehydrator would best fit your needs. I would be more than pleased to help you discuss the advantages to each and share a few of my favorite recipes to get you started! 

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