Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dehydrating food!!

Have you ever wondered about how to dehydrate food?  How on earth do they get all the water out of it?  It's so easy!!  Or better yet, how do they make jerky?  Jerky is so expensive to buy, but so inexpensive to make!!  With all the food allergies that I have (and so many others suffer with), I found that many foods I use to enjoy I was unable to purchase anymore.  I am starting a page on dehydrating!!  Many dehydrated foods contain sulfates/sulfites (discussed last night in allium allergies) or even food colorings.

Why dehydrate food?  Well, to preserve it for one, to make snacks such as fruit roll ups or jerky for another and to be self-sustaining lastly!  If you have an abundance of a food and you don't want it to spoil, it is a good way to keep it from going bad.  There are a few tools you will need to dehydrate food, most importantly a dehydrator.  The least expensive way to get one is at a garage sale, a second hand store or through trades such as Craig's List.  Secondly you can go to an on-line site such as Amazon.com.  You will also need some basic kitchen items such as a cutting board, mixing bowls, measuring cups, measuring spoons, etc.  Then you're off!  One of the easiest things to make is a fruit leather (aka fruit roll-up!).  I love making strawberry - guava!!  So, so yummy!

Strawberry-Guava Fruit Roll-up

1 container Strawberries, hulled and cleaned
1 small Guava, peeled and chopped
1 tsp lime juice (helps preserve them)

Put in a food processor or blender and puree until liquid.  Place on fruit leather tray of dehydrator tray.  Set temp of dehydrator to140 degrees F.  When it is about 1/2 way dry (about 2 hours though may vary depending on the wattage of your machine) loosen from trays (turn machine off of course!) and you can 'roll' in things like nuts, coconut, etc. if you like (optional!)!  Place back on trays and continue to dry until fully dry.

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