I’ve been busy again in the kitchen, this time I’ve been playing with my dehydrator. The truth is, I really really wanted a dehydrator after attending a raw food workshop a couple of years ago and perusing a few raw food recipe books....I'm very impressionable! Well, the benefits of raw food seemed to make sense to me and I do like a challenge so I dropped lots of hints and my husband got me one that Christmas.
Well…yesterday I went up into the loft to bring it down. Yes, I admit, it’s not something I use a lot. It lives up there and is brought down when I fancy a play. There are three reasons for this: time, noise and yield.
-The time issue is that preparing the food for dehydration is not quick because you want to fill the dehydrator to make it worth your while. This means a lot of peeling and chopping....then a 8-12 hour wait while it dehydrates!
-Secondly the constant whirring sound that the dehydrator makes is hard to ignore. It manages to reach every room in our little house. I tend to put it on overnight with as many closed doors as possible between it and our bedroom.
-Finally, yield. It’s unbelievable how much those big juicy pieces of fruit shrink down. You could almost fit a bowl full of fruit in your pocket by the time it’s finished with!
Having said all of this, I still love to do it and here are many reasons to get into it.
-Firstly, any excess fruit or veg you have can be dehydrated and preserved so that they keep longer. As a result, this reduces waste and saves you money.
-The snacks you can make are perfect for taking out on long walks or camping trips where you need snacks for energy but don’t want to be lugging packed lunches around with you.
-Also, it’s nice to have a cupboard full of healthy, ready to eat snacks. Most of the vitamins and minerals are retained because the foods are not exposed to high temperatures.
I’ve added a few before and after pictures of my latest efforts. All fruit this time, I used mango, apple, orange, banana and kiwi. (I pre-treated the apple pieces with lemon juice to prevent browning.)
I left the dehydrator on overnight for 9-10 hours and in the morning they were nice and shrivelled. I really like to dehydrate kiwis which go really tangy and banana slices, which are nice and chewy. The mango was a first for me and it was just perfect, really sweet and soft.
Well, these are all are now stored in my kitchen away from light in airtight containers ready for when I need them.