Apr 042016
 

Last month, for my birthday, I received a new kitchen appliance and it’s been running almost every day since.

I’ve been wanting a dehydrator for some time now. Being able to store food in a way that takes up less space was very appealing. I love dried fruits and being able to make my own was also a big selling point for me. And while I haven’t made jerky yet, I’m anxious to try my hand at it. I’m just waiting for a good sale.

dehydrating-potatoes

Potatoes were one of my first forays into dehydrating. On my first try, I decided to see what would happen if I didn’t partially cook them first. They turned out hard as a rock and were inedible as they were, but I was able to use them in a recipe that called for potatoes.

dehydrating-tomatoes

My terrible tomato picture. Sorry, I’ll do better next time. 

Tomatoes were one of the things I was excited to dehydrate. We’re planting several tomato plants this year and I wanted to be able to store them for later use without taking up so much space.

After dehydrating, the flavor was intensified. I used some on homemade pizza. It worked wonderfully and didn’t add extra liquid to the pizza like adding fresh tomatoes would.

dehydrating-kale

I’ve baked kale before to make kale chips, but after trying dehydrated kale chips, I’ll never go back to baked. Dehydrated kale chips are crispy, just like baked, but they have more flavor. They even retain more color. 

I made the dehydrated kale chips the same way as baked, tossed with olive oil and spices. 

dehydrating-cabbage

Dehydrated cabbage surprised me. It didn’t taste much like cabbage anymore. It had a slight sweet flavor. I found myself munching on it as a snack, but I used a little in some soup I made. 

Pictured is a quarter of a rather large cabbage after dehydrating. It took up only about a third of a sandwich bag.

dehydrating-strawberries

It doesn’t look it in the picture, but these half strawberries are completely flat. They tasted like they were sweetened and reminded me of a fruit roll. I added some to my oatmeal and they plumped back up.

dehydrating-apples

The apples were especially delicious. I dehydrated three different kinds and all were so sweet they tasted like I covered them in sugar. The granny smith retained its tartness and the red delicious was tangy, but the macintosh was the sweetest. I couldn’t stop snacking on these every time I entered the kitchen.

dehydrating-bananas

While I knew bananas wouldn’t turn out like commercially dried bananas, they were the one thing I’ve tried that didn’t like at all. They didn’t taste much different and the texture was rubbery. I was more interested to see what happened when they were used in something, but they disappeared in overnight oatmeal. It’s like they were never there. Not even a taste of banana remained.

dehydrating-fruit-leather

I tried my hand at making fruit leather, too. They’re like Fruit Roll-ups. I made them for my grandson, so I never got the chance to try them, but I’m hoping my daughter will let me know how they were. These were half strawberry, half applesauce. I didn’t know at the time that he doesn’t care for strawberries because of the seeds, but I’m hoping the seeds won’t be as big an issue for him with the leathers.

I’ve also dried carrots and onions, but I failed to get pictures of them. I used the carrots and onions in the crock pot with a roast. The carrots didn’t plump all the way back to normal size, but they absorbed more of the flavor of the meat, as did the onions. 

So far the dehydrator has been a big success! 

Jan 082016
 

This is a nice base recipe that you can add almost anything you like. I haven’t added nuts and fruits yet, but I will post how much I added when I do.

Try using a nice flavorful tea. I split the recipe in half and made half earl grey and half black dragon oolong. I’m trying spicy earl grey and chai next time!

I like to freeze these and thaw just one when I’m ready for tea. I tend to eat less that way.

Tea Cookies
Yields 48
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 4 tablespoons loose tea leaves
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  5. 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  6. 2 cups butter, room temperature
  7. Optional: Your choice of any of the following; chopped nuts, dried fruits, lemon zest, etc.
Instructions
  1. In blender (or food processor), blend together the flour, tea, and salt, until the tea is spotted throughout the flour. Pour into large bowl.
  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and butter to large bowl. Using hand mixer, mix until a dough is formed. (You can also use the food processor for this by adding the listed ingredients into the flour mixture and pulse until the dough is formed.)
  3. Place dough on a sheet of waxed paper, and roll into a log, about 2 1/2-inches in diameter. Twist each end to close.
  4. Chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. Slice the dough log into 1/3-inch thick cookie rounds. Place cookies on parchment lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake until cookie edges are light brown, about 12 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Notes
  1. I didn’t use the blender at all, so I wound up with large pieces of loose tea leaves in my cookies. I actually liked them that way. They had a small crunch without having any nuts. That’s why there are large black spots in the cookies pictured. Next time I’ll try using the blender or food processor and see how I like it.
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/
Sep 062014
 

I made this a few days ago and thought I would share my experiences.

The oats turned out yummy, but I added a cup of raisins and a cup of dried cranberries before baking. The cranberries plumped up, they deflated again later, but the raisins burned. So now I have chewy and kinda hard burnt sweet pieces of something that looks black and scary in my granola. I suggest adding the fruit after baking to avoid burning it.

Granola
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Ingredients
  1. 3 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  2. 1/2 cups chopped nuts
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 5 teaspoons syrup (for flavor)
  5. 5 teaspoons vegetable oil
  6. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  7. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  8. 1 cup dried fruit (optional)
Instructions
  1. Toss ingredients together and spread on a cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees until golden brown, approximately 25-30 minutes. Store in a lidded container or equivalent.
Kryson's Kreations http://krysonskreations.com/

Granola

Jun 132011
 
1 or 2 quarts rum Baking powder
1 C butter 1 Tsp. soda
1 Tsp. sugar Lemon Juice
2 Large eggs Nuts
1 C dried fruit
  1. Before you start, sample the Run to check for quality. Good isn’t it?
  2. Now go ahead. Select a large mixing bowl, measuring cup, etc.
  3. Check the rum again. It must be just right. To be sure rum is of the highest quality, pour one level cup of rum into a glas and drink it as fast as you can.
  4. Repeat
  5. With an electric mixer beat 1 cup butter in a large fluffy bowl
  6. Add 1 seaspoon of thugar and beat again
  7. Meanwhile, make sure that the rum is of the fines quality. Try another cup.
  8. Open second quart if necessary.
  9. Add 2 arge leggs, 2 cups fried druit and beat till high. If druit gets stuck in beaters, just pry it loose with a drewscriver.
  10. Sample the rum again, checking for tonscisticity.
  11. Next sift 3 cups of pepper or salt (it really doesn’t matter).
  12. Sample the rum again.
  13. Sift 1/2 pint of lemon juice.
  14. Fold in chopped butter and strained nuts.
  15. Add 1 babblespoon of brown thugar, or whatever color you can find.
  16. Mix wel.
  17. Grease oven and turn cake pan to 350 gredees.
  18. Now pur the whole mess into the coven and ake.
  19. Check the rum again and bo to ged.
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