Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Beginner’s Guide to Dehydrating Food

61W1aVDsFkLThe Beginner’s Guide to Dehydrating Food – How to Preserve All Your Favorite Vegetable, Fruits, Meats, and Herbs
Written by Teresa Marrone
Published at Storey Publishing

About the book

This essential companion for putting your food dehydrator to work features instructions and techniques for drying all the most popular fruits and vegetables, along with meat and herbs. You’ll learn to dry fruits and vegetables at their peak, giving you an easy and economical way to stock your pantry with apple rings, mango slices, banana chips, dried soup beans, tomatoes, and much more for year-round enjoyment. In addition, drying guidelines for specialty items like meat jerky, fruit leather, dried herb and spice mixtures, backpacking meals, and even baby food round out this friendly handbook.

My Thoughts

We have purchased a stackable-tray dehydrator a few years ago.  Our goal was to be more versatile in storing food and explore the possibility of dehydrating food.   We didn’t know how to do it properly and got discouraged…  We kept the dehydrator and used it sporadically when drying nuts which make them crunchier.  But when I stumbled on this book my interest in using the dehydrator more often and for a variety of food got sparked again.   I was delighted to receive this book to review and was not disappointed with what it had to offer.

The book is divided into three parts.  Part One will introduce you to the techniques for drying food at home and the different methods and equipment that can be used. Part Two will show you how to dehydrate the fruits and vegetables, the herbs and spices as well as meat and poultry.   This section will go through detailed explanation for each food included like mangoes, or watermelon, asparagus or peas and so on.   For each food item presented in this book, you will learn how to prepare it, how to verify if the dehydration is done, how much it will yield, how to use it.  You will also discover which drying methods are the best for the food in question.

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The third section of the book will encourage you to make the most of your dehydrator.  You will learn how to make leather or candied fruits.  You will also have a whole chapters with recipes using the food you have dehydrated.

You do not need a dehydrator to make this book a great reference in your kitchen.  Why?  Because the author also gives instruction on hos to dehydrate using your beloved oven or in the case of herbs, how to dry them in the air.

I wanted to try something new – no nuts this time…   A friend had given us some rhubarb and there was quite a bit of it.  I quickly checked in the book and rhubarb did have some instructions.  So I followed the instruction on how to cut my rhubarb stalks.  And programmed the dehydrator to dry it.


It took between 6-10 hours to dry the pieces of rhubarb.


Once dried, you can store it in jar for future use.  You can rehydrate them for sauces, pies, or other cooked dishes by simply pouring boiling water using the ratio suggested in the book.  


What I particularly like about this book is that for each food item presented in it, you can visualize the before and after because a picture is include for each.    That way you know exactly what to expect when drying your food.   It is a great book to own if you like doing these kind of things.   I think it has tremendous potential for any household.   I am looking forward to use this book more often during the fall season.   It can be very useful as well if you decide to purchase riper than usual fruits and vegetables from the market at a reduce price.   We often take advantage of this for peppers or avocados.   Having this book opens up new possibilities for us.


Disclaimer: Thanks to Thomas Allen for sending me the above mentioned book for review purposes. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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