Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dehydrating Adventures

I have been having fun with my dehydrator lately. I love going to you tube and watching videos about dehydrating different things. There are some really great ones on there. Some of my favorite ones are found at . She has a series of dehydrating videos – I think 10 or so – and they are well worth watching each of them. They have inspired me to do some really nice stuff. I will keep posting as I experiment more with dehydrating. I have some fruit leather on right now, bottled applesauce blended with some bottled cherries – drop them into the food processor, then spread on trays. Yummm! Healthy fruit leather.

I bought a large bag of sweet potatoes (frozen). I cooked them, and then mashed them in my food processor. Then I spread them out on parchment paper and dried them until they were crisp. Then I chopped them up in my processor, and ran them through my wheat grinder. And I have a bag of instant baby food – sweet potatoes. Very healthy and very yummy!!!

I dehydrated a bunch of applesauce. This was applesauce that I had bottle in the past two years and we haven’t used it all up, so I decided to dry it and grind it up to make more instant baby food, or applesauce for baking. It actually rehydrated just as nice as it was originally. Here are a few of the pictures.

It rehydrates back to normal applesauce. Really nice!! One side note here, if you add sugar to your applesauce when you bottle it, then it doesn’t dehydrate as nice, and won’t powder because it kind of crystalizes. It still works though, just a stickier powder.

Then I also had some bottles sour cherries that we haven’t used up from last year, and I thought they would make really yummy craisin like cherries. And wow are they good. They are nice to eat plain, or in salads, or in muffins and baking. This year I don’t think I will even bottle the cherries, I am just going to pit them and dry them.

Pretty tart still, yet really yummy!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Gardening with no garden space

I was supposed to write a guest post about gardening a week ago, but never had the time. Sorry about that! But I did manage to take a few pictures of how I am doing my garden this year. Because I really don't have any garden space in my yard, unless I rip up my grass in the back yard, which I may do next year, but anyways.........I have planted a whole lot of stuff in pots this year. Here are a few pictures of some of the things that I have growing. First off here I have zucchini growing in pots. This was about 10 days ago.
These are what they look like today!
I am thinking that they are going to do great in pots! The only downside of pots is that they need water daily. But rains here almost that hasn't been an issue yet!

I have some squash and pumpkin that I have planted throughout my flower beds. I have never tried that but, I am thinking they will overtake the flowers, weeds, and everything else, and they should grow good. Maybe less weeding!! :) They got a bit of hail last week, but here is what they are looking like............and if we could just get some heat, they might really start to grow.

I have peppers, tomatoes, and beans also growing in pots. Here is what they look like................and again, when we get some heat, they will really take off.

And here is what my garden looks like along the south side of my house. So who says you have to have a garden to grow things. Just be creative. I also have basil in pots, and have a picture of my grape vine here too. It is just starting to come to life.
I also have at my Dad's farm a large crop of potatoes and carrots. You can grow both in pots, but I want lots and lots to dehydrate and store, so it isn't easy to grow that many in pots. If you want fresh then just google how to grow potatoes in pots, and you will be surprised, it is pretty easy.

With the crazy weather and things happening in the world and even close to home for many of us, it is wise to plant whatever we can and learn how to use it and store it. My goal for my garden this year was to plant things that I want to put away like beans and squash, tomatoes and peppers. Kind of a staples garden.

I have been doing alot of dehydrating as well, and I am working on a post to show what I have been doing. It is pretty fun, and I love my dehydrator! So coming up next...............dehydrating all kinds of things!