As most of you all know, I purchased an Excalibur Dehydrator! the One i got was the nine tray model which we sell in our store for dehydrators and books on the subject. Here is the link Preserving Foods!
I tried to do canning (and I still will do canning for certain things) but dehydrating seems to be the way to go for me. There are some things that need to be pre-prepped before you dehydrate them but, for the most part, you can dehydrate most vegetables and keep them for up to 25 years if stored properly!
As far as I know, you can't do that with canning. So, dehydrating foods for me is going to be the way to go:)
Thus far, I've tried to dehydrate green grapes, onions, and bell peppers. But this blog is about dehydrating red bell peppers so let's get to it:)
|Check the numbers:)|
Right now my bell pepper plants are at the end of their growing season and we will not be getting much more out of them. We wanted to try to dehydrate a good amount of bell peppers so my wife and I went to a grocery store called Sprouts. Sprouts sells more organically grown non-GMO produce than most stores I can think of.
Here's a chart showing how you can tell if produce your buying is non-GMO and organic.
|So sweet tasting!|
We were walking around Sprouts looking for produce to dehydrate and noticed that these large red bell peppers were on sell. Three for a $1!!! Nice!!! Of course we grabbed up a bunch of them, (12 to be exact) took them home, and (you guest it!) started preparing them for dehydrating!! Aren't they wonderful looking red bell peppers?
To prepare them we simply cut the tops off, cut them in half, and cut them in small enough slices to fit in the dehydrator!
Fortunately for us the Excalibur Dehydrator came with a book called Preserve it Naturally - The Complete Guide to Food Dehydration - Third Edition. The book came with my Excalibur which you can purchase HERE!!
The step-by-step in the book says two things to keep in mind when dehydrating peppers.
- Wash peppers. They can then be diced or left hole. Peppers that are diced will have better color and aroma because the drying time will be shorter. When cutting peppers, wear rubber gloves to protect your hands (if your drying hot peppers).
- Dehydrate chili peppers/peppers at 125°F/52°C until leathery.
Note: After dehydration, hot peppers may be ground to make paprika, cayenne pepper, or chili powder.
The book also shows the humidity in my area on the map at this time of year. That is important to know for drying times. It took these peppers 6 to 7 hours to dry out completely:)
Not too bad of a wait considering they can last (if properly kept) for 25 years!!
Here is the finished results! Doesn't seem like too much does it? If there cooked in your meals they reconstitute within 5 to 10 minutes and add the greatest flavor ever!!
I would highly recommend dehydrating foods because you can take advantage of sales in your grocery store, you can dehydrate just about anything, it gives your food's major flavor by concentrating it, the foods keep for up to 25 years if stored properly, and you can even make foods raw to get the most nutritional value out of them!
You can also dehydrate all that produce that people bring to church from their gardens to give away for free! I always notice that people won't take that much produce because it will go bad if they don't eat at all right away. Dehydrating will eliminate that problem:)
Thanks for reading and like always God bless!!