I got a vegetable dehydrator for Christmas. It has an dial for adjusting temperature, so you can dehydrate pretty much anything. The theme for this year is: “I’ll use it for everything!”. The device is handy for creating small travel meals that last a long time. Come Summer, we’ll be bringing home wild herbs, berries and mushrooms.

The first experimentation was with bell peppers, celery and chili.

First step is to chop the vegetables and boil them in a hefty amount of water for a couple of minutes. Then you spread them evenly on a paper towel or a clean kitchen cloth, to get rid of excess water. After they’re done trickling, spread them on all levels of the dehydrator. If they still seem to be trickling water, gently pat them with a paper towel. It’s no use trying to dehydrate wet vegetables.

How much time it takes, is entirely related to which ingredients you’re dehydrating. It took me about half a day to get my batch ready but I suggest you consult the manual for specifics. Since mine has a dial for temperature, I’ll be using it for meats as well.

 

I chopped my first ingredients so small that some of them fell through the grid as they decreased in size. Most stayed on their respected levels, however, and after dehydration I could fit all this in a 2 dl cup: 2 big pointed bell peppers, 4 celery sticks and 150g of small chili. I bagged them and after two weeks, I used them in a stew – they “rehydrated” quite nicely, even after the chili looked like mere shells when dried up.

The experiments will continue in Spring when we’ll be heading to the Hetta-Pallas hike and Shepherd’s Week! Most of the meals will consist of self-dehydrated ingredients. Obviously some of them will be store-bought. Wild herb season is also almost upon us!

//Anne

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