Welcome to Sue Hosking via Bloglovin.
Yesterday morning found me in the kitchen early, preparing fruit to dehydrate. Apricots were halved, stoned, halved again into quarters, dipped into a mixture of equal parts lemon juice and water, excess flicked off and laid, skin side down. We nabbed a bargain 2 mangoes, they were also peeled and thinly sliced.
After the lemon treatment, they went in. 3 1/2 trays were used at the beginning and we ended up with 1.5 trays. The garden yielded just one strawberry so that went in for a trial dry. I also wanted to do mushrooms but have no idea if the scent of each thing transfers during drying, they'll be done tomorrow instead.
There are many helpful blog's and video's around but in the end, I settled on one blog that suggested beginning drying at 145F for the first hour, then turning the dehydrator down to its normal setting.
The timer was set for the first hour. It was put back on for 5 hours for testing the strawberry, then was reset for the mango, and finally the apricots.
I cannot begin to describe how lovely the whole house smells, a heavy base scent of mango with a nice top note of apricot!
Here was the first tray after being prepared and soaked in lemon/water juice:
Here are the mangoes stored in their jar:
More vegetables might be done although at the moment, my main interest is mushrooms and tomatoes, which intensifies their taste. Elaine Collier has dried some chard leaves the other day and whizzed them into powder. I'm hoping to do the same with some of the above. Very little powder will result but apparently, you use it as a seasoning and it adds a huge amount of zing to dishes.
Then there are the herbs, Rosemary, Sage, Oregano are the main ones in my garden to try. I've also looked up recipes for raw energy bars that are partially dried.
The main aim for us in dehydrating food, is to try and store things that are not readily available commercially, such as greengages, gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries, as well as fruit and vegetable powders which I have never seen. We don't want to keep buying everything so will be looking to grow and dry some of what we need. Watch this space!