Last week on the Magimix blog, we talked about canning. Another great way to preserve foods– especially with fleeting summer flavors–is dehydration. Dehydrated foods are easier to store and the great part about it is that you can choose to rehydrate them later, or you can eat them in their dried form! We’ll be talking about the best types of foods to dehydrate, including fruits, vegetables, meats and even entire meals that can be made in advance, saving you time on those inevitably busy fall nights.
Dried fruits are perfect for a snack that you don’t have to rehydrate. You can even make your own fruit leather by pureeing fruits with the Bosch Mixer food processor attachment and spreading the puree out on a tray of the L’Equip Filterpro Food Dehydrator for dehydration.
Keep in mind that it’s important to treat fruit with a citric acid solution or a mixture of lemon juice and water before dehydrating to prevent bacteria from accumulating and avoid discoloration in your dried fruits. Apples, grapes, plums, pineapple, pears, apricots, berries, bananas and peaches are a few commonly dried fruits.
Try using your dried food in healthy trail mixes like these!
Dehydrated vegetables are awesome for tossing in soups and stews to give them a little more nutrition, as well as veggie chips! You can slice vegetables for both soups and chips using your Bosch Slicer Shredder Attachment. To create thin slices of things like carrots, squash and pumpkin and turn them into chips, use the slicing blade. For small chunks or strips, use the shredding blade.
Vegetables should be blanched briefly before dehydration to reduce the risk of food borne illnesses and preserve their color. Tomatoes, carrots, beets, greens, beans, squash, onions, peas, celery, corn, pumpkin and broccoli dehydrate well.
When dehydrating meat, it’s best to use precooked lean meats. You can make homemade jerky or just save it for rehydration later. You can dry any raw meat including beef, poultry, game, seafood or canned meat, but each type requires its own pretreatment. Find the basics for dehydrating chicken, beef and turkey here.
Make sure the meat you are drying is cut or sliced into very small pieces so that it can dehydrate safely, quickly and easily. It’s also important to blot off any oil during the drying process. Doing this will help to remove any sitting fat that can turn rancid over time.
Dehydrating entire meals is easy: just gather ingredients as you normally would and dehydrate the ingredients. This is a great way to pre-prepare meals and store them so you always have a go-to meal on hand. Try out some of these recipes by Trail Recipes!
Dehydrating food can be a great food preservation method and also a fun way to reinvent the same ingredients you always use! Just remember that this method will lead to loss of nutrients as compared to fresh food. Vitamin B and C are particularly sensitive to heat preservation.
As with all preserved foods, make sure to store your dehydrated foods in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, which speeds up the spoiling process.