The Dehydrator Bible

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-03-01
  • Publisher: Robert Rose Inc
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The comprehensive handbook for dehydrating foods at home.Dehydrating is one of the most effective ways to preserve food for maximum nutrition at very low cost. Sales of dehydrators are soaring as many cooks reject the suspect ingredients in commercially prepared foods. Dehydrating with the recipes in this book is one way to control all ingredients and please the whole family.Recipes for dried ingredients include herbs and seasonings, fruits, fruit leathers, vegetables and beef jerky. These nutritious ingredients are included in delicious recipes such as:Beef and potato stew Chicken pot pie Vegetable lasagna Zucchini and red pepper fritters Dried tomato and basil polenta Mushroom, herb and white wine sauce Strawberry rhubarb tarts.These recipes appeal to a wide array of tastes, feature contemporary ingredients such as whole grains and work equally well in a home kitchen, on an RV, on a boat or at a campsite. Recommendations for buying a dehydrator and storing dehydrated foods are also included.Easy-to-follow instructions with specific time guidelines and best practices and the latest data on food safety make this the ideal dehydrating guidebook and cookbook.

Author Biography

Jennifer MacKenzie is a professional home economist specializing in recipe development and testing.

Jay Nutt is a chef and owns a gourmet food store.

Don Mercer is a professional engineer and associate professor in the Department of Food Science at the University of Guelph, Canada.

Table of Contents

Dehydrating Foods
Everything You Need to Know About Dehydrating Foods
Dehydrating Fresh Produce
Making Fruit and Vegetable Leathers
Dehydrating Beans, Tofu, Grains and Dairy
Dehydrating Meat, Poultry and Fish
Cooking at Home with Dehydrating Foods
Using Dehydrated Foods in Everyday Cooking
One-Dish Meals
Side Dishes
Salad Dressings, Sauces and Fillings
Baked Goods
Cooking on the Trail with Dehydrated Foods
Everything You Need to Know About Camp Food
Main Courses
Side Dishes and Accompaniments
Snacks, Baked Goods and Desserts
Other Uses for Your Dehydrator
Pet Treats
Appendix: Dorm Room Cuisine
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.


IntroductionLong before there was a refrigerator (or two) in every home, a deep-freezer in the basement and supermarkets full of pretty much anything in a box, package or jar, making food last between harvest seasons required a great deal of ingenuity. Early civilizations discovered that food left out in the sun was still edible after it was dry. With the advent of fire, drying and smoking became useful tools for food preservation between successful hunts and sustained ancient civilizations by providing a more consistent source of food. Today, we have the benefit of refrigeration, globalized food production, shipping and commercial processing, so we don't have to preserve our own food at all. But as the saying goes, everything old is new again.Welcome to the new-old world of food dehydration. Whether you grow your own food, buy it locally from farmers' markets or farm stands, hunt for your own meat or even buy your food from a regular supermarket, seasonality still affects the price and abundance of food. It just makes sense to take advantage of food when it's abundant (and less expensive) and preserve it for times when it's not as plentiful, or not available at all. Drying food is a wonderful way to do this. Dried food storage is space-efficient, and individual dried ingredients can be used in a huge variety of ways, a bonus that other preservation techniques don't always offer. And when you're cooking with food you dried yourself, you know exactly where it came from and what's in it.Modern appliances designed for food dehydration make this ancient preserving technique faster, more efficient, reliable and easy. We no longer have to worry about wild animals stealing food set out to dry or a sudden downpour ruining days of drying. A simple appliance with trays, a heat source and a fan takes away the elements of surprise and essentially allows you to put fresh food in and take dried food out. Of course, drying food does take some know-how and a little trial and error at times.Cooking is a blend of science and art. Dehydrating food and turning it into delicious meals is an excellent example of that, and our team of authors has combined their expertise to maximize both aspects. Don Mercer is a professional engineer specializing in food science , with years of experience perfecting the technique of drying food in a lab and in practical settings (including his own backyard). Don teaches university food processing courses and has done work on food processing and drying around the world, helping developing communities implement the science of dehydration to sustain their food supply. Don has taken the guesswork out of drying foods so you can jump right in. Jennifer MacKenzie is a professional home economist with a bachelor of science in Foods and Nutrition. Through her expertise in recipe development, testing and writing, she knows both the science of how food works and the art of making it taste good -- and how to write her techniques down so you can get the same results. Jay Nutt is a chef with years of experience cooking in restaurants and teaching cooking classes. He and Jennifer co-own their own restaurant and gourmet food store. Jay s flair for creating fabulous food that dazzles customers and keeps them coming back for more is incorporated into the recipes in this book, so you'll get the most out of your dried foods while making tasty dishes your family will love.We've integrated the latest food safety information into our techniques (we've learned a few things since the earliest days of dehydrating), and have provided easy-to-follow drying instructions and time guidelines to give you the tools you need to preserve your own food safely at home. Once you've mastered the science of drying foods, you can explore the culinary art of cooking from your pantry full of preserved food. We've included recipes that use a mixture of dried and fresh ingredients, as well as recipes that primarily use dri

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