Dehydrating Garden Harvests
Raised on Okanagan fruits and vegetables, Dave and Lillian Brummet love sharing their passion for gardening, fresh produce and cooking.Today they will help us reduce food waste in our kitchen, extend our budget, and make a difference for the planet.
Owning a small dehydrator can avert a great deal of kitchen food waste, and you’ll never have to pass up people offering you their garden extras again. Also, leftovers from meals can be easily dehydrated and used later for on-the-go situations like backpacking or snowshoeing.
After dehydrating any vegetable, use a blender, or grinder, to create a fine powder, and store in separate jars. Every year we dehydrate at least one jar each of chopped sweet peppers, hot peppers and ripe tomatoes. If any recipe calls for chopped chilies or peppers, fresh or ‘sun-dried’ tomatoes, we can easily substitute with a dried version. We also have a jar of mixed vegetable powder; using a few teaspoons of this mixture in homemade stocks for more flavour or to help thicken and enrich stews and soups. Simply reconstitute powders by covering in a little boiled water for a few minutes. (Reserving any excess water to use as stock.)
Adding tomato powder to hamburger patties or meatballs makes for an entirely different, delicious experience. It also works as a fantastic thickener for salsas or tomato sauces that are a little too watery. Also, in a pinch, 1/4 cup of reconstitute tomato powder can be used in place of a small can of tomato paste.
Try rehydrating a few tablespoons of dry product with a small amount of water, making a paste to rub onto chicken breasts or roasts before cooking. Alternatively, add a little to store bought chicken coating mixes. In our latest release, a recipe collection of over 300 delicious, nutritious meals (From One Small Garden) we have a great recipe for making your own mix.
By cooking with fresh nutrient packed locally sourced produce you can live a better life. How we eat has an impact on our world – it affects the health of the land, the purity of the water and air – and of course your own personal well being. The Burmmets From One Small Garden cookbook encourages gardening and composting amongst more than 300 amazing food recipes. This book shows the value of getting every little bit of flavour and nutrition out of your well earned groceries.So, next time you see a great sale during peak harvest season, or a neighbour threatens to give you another box of vegetables, bring out the dehydrator and get it going!