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Preserving Produce by Drying
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Mustang



Joined: 15 Jul 2005
Posts: 768
Location: Sunny Suffolk
PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 11 9:17 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

And another

Try slicing veggies such as courgette, marrows etc, and soak briefly in a flavoured solution such as watered down soy sauce. Then dehydrate as normal. Gives a really nice flavour - almost like veggy chips. Try other flavours such as chilli, tomato, salt & vinegar etc.

Oh ... mushrooms. Whizz them into a mush, dry, then powder them. I use it as a really quick veggy stock / flavouring for all sorts of things including omelettes, casseroles, well, anything really.

And lemon. Slice the whole thing. Put lemon and the captured juice onto a sheet. Dry, then powder. It seems to retain a very sharp and potent lemony flavour. Great in ice-cream, drinks, etc. Great in pancake mix.

oh.... so much to try

Andrea



Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 2260
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 11 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Pureeing, then drying, then powdering always seems like an awful lot of effort, power, and washing up to me! I tried making a dried veggie stock powder once, and the effort far outweighed the benefits. Perhaps I'm not dedicated enough!

Mushrooms I really like dehydrating. Most types go soggy on rehydration so if you're not going to puree then you still need to chop them small so you get the flavour without the texture.

We had some Finns here earlier who suggested that dried Rowan berries should be ground and added to bread flour. I can't be bothered with jelly this year so I'm drying them to give it a go. They're drying like bullets, so without a food processor I'm imagining the powdering is going to be a long process!

Mustang



Joined: 15 Jul 2005
Posts: 768
Location: Sunny Suffolk
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 11 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Andrea wrote:
Pureeing, then drying, then powdering always seems like an awful lot of effort, power, and washing up to me! .... They're drying like bullets, so without a food processor I'm imagining the powdering is going to be a long process!


If you had to do it manually, then yes, a lot of effort I guess. With a food processor, it's a whizz.

You could try pulverising the stuff with a heavy garden roller

cassy



Joined: 04 Feb 2008
Posts: 1047
Location: South West Scotland
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 11 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Wow, so many interesting ideas!

I'll be giving the tomato leather a try soon I think.

Pureed garlic sounds better - the pieces *are* rock hard!

Rowan berries, lemons, mushrooms, flavoured veggie crisps ...... Too many good ideas to try.

cassy



Joined: 04 Feb 2008
Posts: 1047
Location: South West Scotland
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 11 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jamanda wrote:
Do the colours stay bright?

They recommend you keep them in a dark place to preserve the vitamin content and I guess that would help to keep the colour as well. It'll be interesting to see if they change much over time.

Went



Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 6968

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 11 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I might have missed it but how long does the process take - I realise it will be different for each vegetable/fruit but an indication of a range of drying times would be helpful - thinking about an Excalibur here as we have so much fruit and veg that could be used. Thanks

cassy



Joined: 04 Feb 2008
Posts: 1047
Location: South West Scotland
PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 11 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cassy in Drying Cupboard thread wrote:
In our dehydrator -
shallots took 3h at 145 degF
kale took 1h 13mins at 140 degF
gooseberries took 13h 20mins at 135 degF (sugary fruit takes longer than veg)

Some figures to be going on with but I'm going to add a spreadsheet when I've finished it with temperatures, times and power usage. Time obviously depends on the size of pieces, temperature and airflow. It also seems to depend on the particular characteristics of the item e.g. basil, mint and kale leaves feel broadly similar, if anything kale is tougher, but the kale dried in an hour (at 140 degF) but basil took 32 hours and mint 13 hours (at 95 degF).

My figures will be a little out as I turn off the dehydrator as the sun starts to decrease in the evening and I'm sure the process would be quicker if it ran constantly.

cassy



Joined: 04 Feb 2008
Posts: 1047
Location: South West Scotland
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 11 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Mustang wrote:
Try making thin tomato puree leather. Then use it in casseroles etc. It melts into the other food and delivers a very concentrated tomato kick.

Just made some with my first tomatoes - it *is* really strongly flavoured and brittle, so breaks easily into pieces for adding to food. Very impressed with that one, ta!

Also just dried some halved chokeberries. Very nice - fruity and sweet, a bit like a good raisin although they do look more like currants. A lot nicer than the dried blackcurrant.

I also tried to make a leather with the chokeberries but they didn't soften much with light cooking and when I put them through the mouli, the separated into juice and dry matter rather than turning into pulp. Think they need longer cooking and combining with a more pulpy fruit (apples ).

Blue Peter



Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Posts: 2400
Location: Milton Keynes
PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 11 3:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Preserving Produce by Drying Reply with quote    

cassy wrote:
Fruit with seeds can be passed through a mouli and it is worth it as the end result is much nicer to eat without all the seeds.


What is this mouli of which you speak?


Peter.

Edit: Spoolin'

cassy



Joined: 04 Feb 2008
Posts: 1047
Location: South West Scotland
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 11 8:42 am    Post subject: Re: Preserving Produce by Drying Reply with quote    

Blue Peter wrote:
What is this mouli of which you speak?

I should have called it a food mill. A hand cranked piece of kit of making purees, mushing up soups etc - like this not a vegetable like this.

wildfoodie



Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 2169

PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 11 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Really interested to hear of veg drying. The tomato leather sounds gorgeous!
We have a stockily which has given years of service, and you can buy additional trays and increase the stack up to 10 for higher yields.
So far Ive done fruit leathers using a petit fours silicon mould from demarle which works brilliantly and makes the leathers into little sweetie bites a bit like flat fruit pastils.
Mushrooms -all edible ones are just sliced thinly and layered into the trays until almost weightless and papery, but they add an amazing flavor to stocks and soups.just rehydrate In hot water for 20 mins and use as for fresh. I also did giant puffballs - produces a powdery end result which is delicious added into liquid based dishes for a good mushroom kick. Shroom soup is lovely.
Raw Apples dry fantastically. When no one can face any more purée or sauce! I fill up the spaces in the trays when doing fruit leathers with aple chips and add this to home made museli.

cassy



Joined: 04 Feb 2008
Posts: 1047
Location: South West Scotland
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 11 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

wildfoodie wrote:
So far Ive done fruit leathers using a petit fours silicon mould from demarle which works brilliantly and makes the leathers into little sweetie bites a bit like flat fruit pastils.

They sound good. One thing everyone I've forced to eat, sorry, offered the fruit leather to so far has said, is that the texture leaves something to be desired. This could solve that problem!

wildfoodie



Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Posts: 2169

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 11 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What's the problem Cassy, is it too chewy? try drying it a bit less, to a slightly more tacky consistency - you can stop the leather rolls sticking irreversibly to each other by rolling them in a bit of caster sugar.

cassy



Joined: 04 Feb 2008
Posts: 1047
Location: South West Scotland
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 11 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think you're right; it's a bit too dry and when you first put it into your mouth it's very papery, until it softens and the flavour comes. I'm probably over-drying everything at the minute. More experimentation needed!

How well does it last when it's on the tacky side?

cassy



Joined: 04 Feb 2008
Posts: 1047
Location: South West Scotland
PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 11 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

'Ere, Bloke off the Telly, now you're back, can you share with us your professional dehydration wisdom, please.

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