Monday, April 12, 2010
How Does My Garden Grow?
L'Equip FilterPro Dehydrator is a great addition to your kitchen tools. This is the season for fabulous fresh veggies from the garden and abundance of fresh fruits. There is nothing like fresh tomatoes, ripe strawberries or later this summer sugary peaches off the tree. I find myself eating more than I need to get my fill of the fresh produce. I have made many attempts at gardening and usually grow the $50 tomato! I spend lots of time and money to prepare the garden bed only to get lots of green plants that produce only one or two tomatoes. :)
I have concluded, a gardener I am not, so I enjoy the produce from all you wonderful gardeners. The next question would be how do I preserve or extend this bounty past the summer season? Do I have a story to tell you! :) Let me suggest....boldly encourage you, to consider dehydrating your bounty. Our family is hooked on fruit but you will probably be much better at preserving your veggie bounty along with the wonderful fruit.
We have three options to preserve foods: canning, freezing or dehydrating. With canning, you lose 60% of the nutrients. However, with freezing or dehydrating, you only lose 20% of the nutrients. So let's look at the how-to's of dehydrating...
What do you look for in a dehydrator? You need to be able to control the temperature. The L'Equip Filter Pro dehydrator has this feature. When doing herbs you need 98 degrees; for most veggies and fruits you need 125 degrees; and for meat jerky, you need 165 degrees. You also want good air circulation, as this is how the food is slowly dried...yes, the L'Equip Filter Pro dehydrator has this as well. :) An important feature is the solid state motor...yep, you guessed it...the L'Equip Filter Pro dehydrator has this as well.
So what is involved in dehydrating? You simply wash the produce, cut into the shape you would want it to be as a finished product, put it on the tray, turn on the dehydrator and let it dry!
How long?....well, this depends on the water content of the food. Watermelon is going to take 2-3 days!! Go figure! :) Most items take 8 to 12 hours. This means you don't want to put your dehydrator in the center of the kitchen. It will also be warm. I usually keep ours in the utility room out of the way.
This leads me to another eye-opening thought!! The L'Equip Filter Pro dehydrator is the only dehydrator on the market which filters the air that flows over your food. Imagine the dust and pet dander in the air being pulled over your food! When I think back of all the years I dehydrated without the filter, it is rather sickening. This is the purest dehydrator you can buy!
Another suggestion: those wonderful tomatoes can be pureed and then poured on fruit leather trays. You have now made your own tomato paste to use for the winter! Another fun thing our family likes is dehydrated cucumbers! Who would have thought they would be good?!
How many trays can you do at once? You can stack the L'Equip Filter Pro dehydrator 24 trays high! That is a lot of garden produce being preserved for winter. Let your imagination go, you will love it.
Start dehydrating today!! Check my web site (www.paulasbread.com) for sales on dehydrator.