14 March 2012

Playing with my New Dehydrator

I went crazy and bought this giant food dehydrator.  I'd been eyeing it for a while, plus the trays in my old round garage sale one just kept breaking more each time I used it.  I know I'll be using it to make big batches of crispy nuts and nut granola, but I also wanted to experiment some.  It came with this giant book of recipes.  Did you know you can dehydrate flavored yogurt and make something like fruit leather only, well, yogurt leather?? According to this book, you can.

But I thought I'd start slow.

Chickpeas (soaked overnight, then mixed with salt and garlic powder)

I tried to slice them all thin and even without breaking out the mandoline.  I salted the zucchini just a bit.  At the suggestion of the Giant Dehydrator Book I blanched the rutabaga slices in boiling water for a couple minutes.  And I dipped the apple slices in a water and lemon juice mixture to keep them from turning brown.

Then I loaded them all into the Beast.  (Actually I think I might start calling it that...)

Because the only place in the house to put it is on my desk, and it doesn't even really fit there.


Apple chips -- Tasty, but not as crispy as Bare Fruit's apple chips, which are the best things ever and I just want to eat them until I die

Banana chips -- Meh. Tasty but chewy.

Zucchini chips -- Om nom!  Just enough salt, and crispy!  They'd be great with some sort of sour-cream-based dip.

Rutabaga chips -- Completely inedible.  I mean like doggie rawhide chew toy inedible.  Either I didn't blanch them long enough, or the Giant Dehydrator Book just flat out lied.

Soaked Chickpeas w/ garlic -- Umm.... These were really tasty all throughout the drying process.  I kept checking them to see if they were done.  And then they were done, and guess what!  They're hard as rocks!  I was trying to make them crispy like crispy nuts, but all I did was revert them back to dried chickpeas.  Duh.  Sooo... I think I'd make them again, but maybe leave them chewy and keep them in the fridge.

I'll definitely make the zucchini chips again.  The next time I use the dehydrator it will be crispy nut makin' time.  But I'm also excited to try some fruit leathers!  The great thing about this dehydrator is that the trays are square, and you can buy non-stick mats that fit the trays for making nice, even, square fruit leather pieces.  Woo hoo!

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