Wednesday, 18 June 2014


Dehydrating.

For my birthday I was bought a dehydrator. I love dried fruits and vegetables as they maintain their nutrients and unlike the myths, do not contain more sugar (of course like smoothies you can always eat more dried fruit than fresh because they lose volume, so it is good to consume them in moderation.)
Depending on the size, thickness and type of dehydrator you own, the temperature and length of time to dehydrate varies. I recommend packing your dehydrator up to get full use as you can have it on from 8-18 hours at a time. Slice up your fruit or vegetables into smaller chunks and lay them out on the sheets, not allowing the fruit or vegetables to be overlapping. It is best to keep savoury and sweet dehydrations separate, otherwise the fruit will pick up flavours from the garlic or herbs, etc. Food at the bottom will dehydrate faster than the top, so it is best to swap the trays around once or twice or place food that takes the longest at the bottom. For example for the savoury dehydration, I placed the salmon on the bottom as it requires the hottest temperature and longest time, along with sweet potato and butter nut squash as they are thicker. Here are some examples of what I packed into a sweet & savoury dehydration, I usually set it up and leave it running overnight. After dehydrating I like to store the fruit or vegetables in a large jar, often in colour order to look pretty.

Sweet Dehydration:
Kiwi
Strawberries - delicious on breakfast
Raspberries - great with yoghurt
Apple - tasty eaten with a mixture of nuts and seeds
Pineapple - one of my favourites
Mango - another one of my favourites
Apricots
Cherries - can be used to make tea or for adding to cake recipes
Blood Orange slices - beautiful dipped in chocolate and allowed to set
Banana
Lemon slices - for tea

Savoury Dehydration:
Cherry Tomatoes - for a sun dried tomato effect
Butternut squash with a little powdered ginger
Sweet potato with a little oil & lemon pepper
Mushrooms
Ginger - for tea or cooking
herbs - sage & mint leaves to store for cooking and to use in home made teas
salmon jerky with a little lemon pepper
garlic - skins removed, whole cloves
orange skins - for making tea

Dehydration Recipes Ideas.

Sweet - Strawberry Cinnamon Oats.
I took a jar of rolled oats and added a big handful of dried raspberries and dried strawberries. I then mixed in two table spoons of cinnamon to make a jar of home-made flavoured oats.

Savoury - Sun dried Tomato & Mushroom Pesto Pasta.
I cooked up some pasta and placed it in a baking dish with 2 table spoons of pesto stirred in. I took a handful the dried mushrooms and dried tomatoes, then mixed them in adding parmesan cheese on top. I baked this for 15mins before serving with a sprinkling of pine nuts.