Drying Produce


Nothing is better than fresh spices and produce. But as much as I love basil, I can't always use 6lbs of it before it goes bad. There are 3 basic methods for drying. 1- is to hang it in a well-ventilated area and allow it to air dry. 2- drying in an oven. 3 - Using a dehydrator. I am going to be reviewing the latter.


Equipment

Dehydrator


Process

  1. Cut/slice food into thin uniform pieces

  2. Place on one layer on a shelf of the dehydrator

  3. Turn dehydrator on (follow manufacturer instructions- the larger and juicer the item is, the longer it will take to dehydrate. Dehydrating Rosemary will take significantly less time than dehydrating a strawberry)

  4. Ensure that food is thoroughly dehydrated before storing


Storage

Store dried foods in a dry and clean container.

Canning jars, freezer containers, and bags are all good options. Vacuum packing is another great option if you have a vacuum sealer. It is best to package items in the amount that they will be used since opening the package will expose the products to moisture and air each time.

Moisture and air will contribute to the deterioration of the food. Clear containers will allow you to monitor the foods inside without opening a package. You can check for moisture and mold easily through a clear container.

Once in a proper container, keep in a dark cool location.

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