The Art of Drying Food

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When Weston Products offered to sponsor a giveaway on our site of their 6 Rack Digital Dehydrator I was excited, but when they said they were going to send me one to try out and review I became nervous. What if I didn’t like the thing? I mean I have 4 dehydrators that I use regularly so it had to measure up. Well, turns out I had no reason to be nervous as it is a great little machine. When I opened the box and started reading its features I had to try it right away. The first things I dehydrated were tomatos and mushrooms. I prepped them as per the instructions, placed them on racks, set the temperature and time on the front panel and walked away. When the timer went off I checked the finished product and it was dried to perfection. Does this mean my other dehydrators will be going to storage? Not anytime soon as it is too small for when I’m doing major dehydrating in the fall, but for day to day dehydrating it will be my go to machine.

You might think jerky making is the main use for a dehydrator, but that isn’t the case – at least not in my house. I dry everything from mushrooms to carrots for convenient storage for later use. If you follow the directions that come with your dehydrator, the rehydrated product will retain more flavour in my opinion than its frozen counterpart when talking about vegetables and fruit. Dried fruit is also great as a snack without rehydrating it as it will remain soft and chewy and the flavour is concentrated.

My favourite use for the dehydrator is in creating what I like to call my magic flavour powders. I dry things like mushroom stems, asparagus stems, tomato cores, etc which you normally don’t eat because they are too fibrous . I blitz them in the blender and then sift them through a fine screen strainer so I remove the fibre that doesn’t break up. I then use it while cooking to give a flavour punch to dishes.

The dehydrator is a versatile indispensable tool that should be considered for your kitchen arsenal.

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