Friday, March 13, 2015

Weird Uses for the Dehydrator

I adore my dehydrator and use it extensively for dehydrating garden produce and bargains from the grocery. However, it is not useful just for making apple chips and jerky. There are lots of fun things to use your dehydrator for. Here are some of my favorites.

* Revive stale chips, croutons, crackers, cereal etc. When these items go stale, you can give them a second chance by popping them in the dehydrator for 20-30 minutes. They will crisp back up and taste just as good, or better than they did when you bought/made them.

* If it is too humid to air dry bread crumbs or stuffing mix without molding, use the dehydrator set on low to dry them up quickly.

* Make veggie powder out of whatever you have a surplus of. Simply chop and dehydrate vegetables. Once fully dry, powder them in a food processor, blender or coffee grinder. I sift mine and run the larger pieces through the blender a second time. This is perfect for adding to all manner of recipes: stata, omelets, casseroles, enchiladas, breads, stuffing, meatloaves, etc. Good veggies to include: tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, sweet peppers, greens, onions, garlic. This is also a perfect use for commonly wasted produce such as radish or carrot leaves, beet stems and leaves, etc.

*Make green powder. In a similar vein, make a veggie powder of just greens. Use surplus greens from the garden, the CSA box or if you buy too many greens at the market to eat before they go bad. Dehydrate, then crumble and store, either as a mix or individually. Add these to recipes to pack a nutrient punch, or add a few heaping spoonfuls to smoothies. This could also be a great way to use wild greens such as dandelion, plantain, nettles, etc.

* Dry flowers for displays.

* Make potpourri. Dry orange peels, flowers, and apple slices or peels for a nice potpourri mix. You can personalize your mix, or just use whatever you have around that smells nice.

* Make teas. Whenever you have a surplus of an herb that would make a good tea, toss it into the dehydrator to save for later. Mints, lavendar, rose hips, lemon balm and chamomile from the garden, or red clovers or red raspberry leaves that you forage are all great for teas.

* Dehydrate citrus peels for use in syrup making or adding to tea blends. They can also be candied or rehydrated and used in baking. The candied peels can be dipped in chocolate.

* Make medicine. If you are interested in herbal medicine, you can make your own herbal supplements or teas. Dry herbs that you grow in your garden, or that you can forage. Dandelion roots are something wonderful that grows profusely in pretty much every yard, and are best harvested in early spring. Harvest a year's worth, dehydrate, crumble lightly and store in glass jars til you need it.

* Use to dehydrate extra water kefir grains to store in case you kill your current batch (or want to give some to someone else later).

* Use as a humidifer in winter when the air is dry. Just place a bowl of water in the dehydrator and turn it on. It'll blow warm moisture into the air. If you have a Nesco, you can't fit a bowl in it, but you could put your leather trays onto the tray and pour water to fill.

Do you have any non-traditional uses for your dehydrator?

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The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

1 comment:

  1. I need to try a few of these ideas.

    God bless.

    ReplyDelete

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