Dehydration Project: Fruit and Vegetables

A food dehydrator can produce not only some absolutely sublime fruit and vegetable dishes but also some great trail food.

Fruit

Is easily prepared. Slice your fruit into thin slices, place on dehydrator tray and dehydrate until you have fruit chips. (This can take longer than you think).

Fruits that works well here include: banana, strawberry (but try and gets ones that taste of something in the first place, raspberry, blackberry, apple, pear, peach, plum and so on.

I tend to take a while bunch of mixed, dried, fruit and mix them together in a large Aloksak. This I use as a snack as I walk and desert in the evening …

… and I tell you what, sprinkle some on your porridge in the morning (or add to muesli) and you really will have improved the taste of your breakfast.

What you end up with is a wonderful mix of tastes with little nuggets of red fruits simply bursting with flavour in the mouth.

You will probably end up doing this right through the year and not simply waiting until there is a backpacking trip. Far, far, better than any commercially dried products — even those from health food shops

Vegetables

These can be prepared in much the same way. Carrots ad other root vegetables work well. Cauliflower is unbelievably good. You must blanch your vegetables for a couple of minutes in boiling water before you slice and add to a dehydrating tray.

A vegetable mix is great to have in a pack pocket to munch on as you walk.

Dried, mixed, vegetables can also simply be added to carbs for a quick meal, either for a quick lunch (with couscous) or in the evening. Chillies, peppers and onion work well here.

Fruit Leathers

These are amazing things. You simply spread out a fruit puree onto a baking tray and then dehydrate. You end up with a leathery-kind of product which is very concentrated and taste gorgeous. Simply break off a bit and chew.

Some soft fruits can simply be blended together and then dried. Other fruits such as apple and rhubarb work well but need to be cooked first (and you may need to add some sugar). Apricot is a good base for a leather

I also find that fruit and yogurt smoothies work really well too. Simply blend up your mixture and then dehydrate. Comes out like a leather.

Vegetable Soups

I’ve added these because they can also be lovely. Ingredients need to be chopped quite small but in many ways the simplest thing to do is to simply liquidise them. Drying then proceeds as for potato.

Leek and potato, lentil and tomato, pea, brocolli (surprisingly good) and mushroom all work well.

Remember to use milk for taste rather than butter or other fats. TRy and keep oil to a bare minimum when sweating leeks or onions (or simply simmer them in water first).

Comments

  1. We tried blueberries. The taste is so intense that they are best sprinkled into porridge to dilute the explosion!

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