Thursday, April 26, 2012

Food Dehydration Ideas

On Saturday, I helped at an Emergency Preparedness Fair with the Red Cross. The event was hosted by a local Mormon church. The information tables were provided by organizations and individuals. This is the second year and I have been both times. It's a great program. One table was an older couple who were sharing information on dehydrating foods and sprouting. He had made this huge dehydrator that looked like a cupboard and was nearly as tall as me. I stopped and talked to the woman when I noticed her collection of dehydrated foods. She had glass jars of all sorts of things from cheeses to vegetables to fruits to other stuff. She told me that she dried everthing. Her husband told us about her jar of vegetables that they used for soup. When items came out of the garden they went into the dehydrator and then were mixed in a gallon jar to be turned into soup and it was the best soup ever. I believe him but I was just stunned by the cheeses and the soup starters. She told me that when she has left overs such as split pea soup - she dehydrates on sheets of plastic (like you would fruit leather). She reconstitutes it later. What an amazing idea because dried foods take up less space and are so versitile. Lately I've been loving my dried oranges in my tea. I drink my first cup and then keep refilling with cool water so I can enjoy those oranges all day. Last night, I started a batch of tomatoes in the dehydrator. The woman told my husband that she dries her tomatoes and then grinds them into a powder with seasonings. When she wants spaghetti sauce she mixes the powder with water and voila - she has sauce. I can see so much potential. Ground tomato with a little water easily becomes tomato paste. More water and some chucks becomes canned tomatoes. I have 25 pounds of romas and this one batch barely touched the surface. I will can some but I can't wait to see what I can do with the dried tomatoes. I picture quick soups and sauces in our future.

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