Archive for the ‘Dehydrating’ Category
Summertime is such a great time to not only grow your own gardens with vegetables but also herbs to use in your kitchen! I have a pretty large herb selection in my garden as well. I store all of my bulk herb that I dehydrated in quart sized mason jars. I have them each labeled with chalkboard labels so that I can change them out… Then this year, I found the new BALL Herb Jars… (I found mine at my local ALCO store – But they are also online at AMAZON – link to the left)
I FELL I LOVE ALL OVER AGAIN!
I still have all of my bulk herb jars in my pantry, but now, I have my little jars filled and labeled by my stove in a drawer. This makes it so much easier than searching for the big jars!
Herbs are REALLY easy to dehydrate (And you DO NOT need a dehydrator to do it) If you live where there is low humidity, you can lay your herbs out on trays and they should be dried out within about 24 hours. You can also use your oven set to the LOWEST temperature. You will need to flip the herbs over at least once while they are in the oven.
So, You want to have fresh and/or dried herbs from your garden for your cooking? What herbs do I have in my garden?
- Dill – I use in my potato salad, on fish and when I can my pickles
- Cilantro – Think Mexican food – Cilantro is a staple here – in my guacamole, hummus, mixed with re-fried beans, taco meat and I even have a cilantro lime dressing that I make every week.
- Parsley – I use mostly fresh to bring out the flavors and meld together other herbs. Tastes great with fish, chicken and veggies.
- Lemon Balm – Use in my tea, to season my green salads, poultry and fish . The herb has a lemon taste with a hint of mint.
- Chives – I use chives in my salads and on veggies. They have a slight onion taste.
- Basil – this is another herb that I CAN NOT live without – Brescetta with tomato/basil, pesto and I love when I mix it with butter for toast with dinner!
- Oregano – My basic Italian seasoning – oregano is best in italian dishes, in chili, with vegetables, soups.
- Mint – in yogurt, with fresh fruit and dried for teas.
- Rosemary – in potatoes, with roast
I do mix all of my herbs in my bread doughs for an added artisan flavor.
Having an organized pantry is important in your kitchen. It allows for less time during meal preparation and a much better feel in your kitchen. I know that I feel a whole lot better when I walk into my kitchen and know exactly what I have in my pantry.
We do dehydrate a TON of veggies and herbs from our garden that I use in a variety of cooking when I do not have fresh available. I know that if I bag them up in zipper bags, then I can’t always find what I was looking for when I need it. We also store all of our mixes in gallon sized jars.
In my pantry, I use mason jars in both pint and quart and recycled gallon size pickle jars work great for mixes and bulk food.I don’ t loose anything this way!!!
I also use chalkboard labels so that I can change the label on them if I need to (There are many out on the market. I posted a link to the least expensive that I found on amazon.com.) The changable labels come in handy with our homemade instant oatmeal container. The kids always know what flavor is available!!
It does not take a ton of money to make your pantry be usable. (Yes, those are milk crates as extra shelves as well!)
We have been recovering from upper respiratory infections and stomach flu… ARGH! It’s the pits when all 8 in our house get sick!! I have missed posting on my blog and other sites and am trying to get caught up finally!!!
There are a few things in my kitchen that I can not go without (at least now that I have them). They are my Excalibur Dehydrator and my Vitamix. Home-made fruit leather is so easy to make and there is no added sugar or dyes in them when you make them from scratch at home. (we even made home-made soup in my Vitamix yesterday for lunch – the Vitamix even “cooks” it for you!!!
I add fruit into the Vitamix (KILLER BLENDER if you ever want one and MADE in the USA!) I added 8 pears, 1 pint of blackberries and 2 bananas along with juice from 1/2 of a lemon and a tsp of cinnamon… then blend until it is just pulp. You can choose any fruit that you like. Applesauce make YUMMY rolls too as does strawberries.
Then, just pour the contents onto the non-stick sheets and spread out evenly. Turn on the dehydrator for about 14 hours… and there you have it… Fruit leather!! I cut them into strips so now the kids have HEALTHY fruit by the foot! Store these in either jars or zipper bags