Ode to my Dehydrator

Dehydrator ~ a haiku

helping feed my soul

jerky and cookies galore

a plain black white box

Ha Ha just kidding. But seriously, have I told you about my love affair with my dehydrator? Well. I should. This was one of those big ticket purchases that I, true to form, waffled over for weeks. I really wanted the nice one, but it was expensive so I’d take the smaller (who really needs 9 trays? 5 is plenty, right?) with no nifty make-my-life-easier features (like a timer…pshhh, I have one on the fridge! I can be organized!). Then I asked my husband to just go ahead and order me one with the above good but not extravagant specifications. The love of my life, very true to form, ordered me the biggest, most be-whistled model they had, with the non-stick liners! Nine trays, 24-hour timer, and an actual temperature control instead of just high and low. I am in love. The dehydrator rocks my socks off too.

IMG_5978

[As a blogger, I’m ashamed of my lack of foresight in photo documentation. I only have 3 actual pictures of the stuff I’ve made. So because I’d feel guilty swiping pictures off the internet, I’ll be annoyingly clear which pictures are mine and which are not and where they came from, because I also couldn’t post with only 3 pictures. It’s against my religion.]

My Excalibur Food Dehydrator might be the most highly utilized kitchen gadget I own. Well that and my blender that runs on a more powerful motor than my husband’s car. Or my food processor, that is only more beautiful because of it’s war wounds. I drop it a lot, ok? Anyways, its spiffy and I use it for everything (including an extra shelf). Here is a list of what I’ve done with it in the last month:

  • Beef jerky: so nice to make jerky I could eat because it was sweetened with pineapple juice! (silly diet changes that I’ve made) And it tasted better than store bought! When our rabbits come and then the babies come, jerky is going to be something I’ll get good at because apparently (thank you oh wise internets) the belly flap bit of meat is very thin and not good for much else other than jerky but since rabbit is so lean, it’s a dreamy combination.
  • Yogurt: easiest thing in the world ever! Husband milks goats, strains milk into quart jar, I add bacteria, shake shake shake, in the dehydrator for 24 hours and voila! plain delicious yogurt my kids will eat straight.
  • dehydrated strawberries (and soon to be apricots): There are a few months of the year where my kids diet reduces in variety to a few things. One of these is strawberry season and one coming up is apricots off of Grandma’s tree. They are both excellent fruits for dehydrating.
  • Raw carrot cake: With all these dietary changes I’ve made, I’ve been revisiting some raw vegan recipes I used to do because they 1) don’t use grains 2) lots of fruits and veggies and nuts 3) I can use any sweetener I want, including honey and dates. These wouldn’t taste good if you are coming off of for-real carrot cake, but for me and husband guy who have been off sugar of any kind (besides fruit) for weeks now, it’s heavenly.
  • raw lemon cookies: these just make me smile. add in some homemade strawberry jam and they make me swoon.
  • Fruit leather: My kids love peanut butter and jelly. It’s a tad difficult when I’ve outlawed most things that even resemble bread. But to my joy and elation (squee!) they love fruit leather PB&J rolls. The awesome thing about fruit leather is that a handful of kale or spinach disappears under the banana and strawberry flavors. Tricksy Mommy.
  • Granola: I’m still undecided about whether I prefer it dehydrated or baked in the oven. My current favorite is in the oven, but I need to explore more recipes in the dehydrator. What’s a hippie without a killer granola recipe?
  • Stuff that I’ll be doing soon: apples and oranges in the fall (I’ve done both before and they are yummy), herbs (again, I’ve done it before, but I’m excited to do it with herbs from my own garden), I also use it to get bread to rise (not that I’m doing a lot of that anymore, but it is one more reason I love my dehydrator), and greens (you dry green leafy anything then blend it into powder which can be added to anything…brilliant!)

IMG_5980  IMG_5981

You are not allowed to say this looks un-appetizing until you’ve tried them. Besides, strawberry jam makes everything awesome. Thus ends my pictures and here is kind of what my other stuff looked like…mostly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerky

http://www.anediblemosaic.com/?p=490

http://wholenaturallife.com/2012/09/20/how-to-make-gaps-yogurt-in-your-dehydrator/

http://www.adashofcompassion.com/2011/10/dehydrator-basics-a-story/

Next time I’ll remember to take my own pictures. Thanks for letting me gush about one of my favorite foodie hobbies!

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Filed under Animals, Food stuffs, Garden, life the universe and everything

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