Tag Archives: Dehydrating

Texas Heat Superstar: Growing Malabar Spinach

by Tammy Taylor~

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I love fresh spinach & I’m sure to plant it every year in my edible landscape garden.  It’s beautiful, leafy-green and makes a lovely border.  Oh, and you can EAT it!  What’s not to love??!  But in our part of NE Texas the window of opportunity in enjoying fresh spinach is short.  In no time our spinach bolts and becomes bitter.  But I’ve recently been introduced to a completely different kind of spinach.  One that grows vigorously in a vine.  In the heat! Malabar spinach!

Malabar Spinach - Texas Heat-Loving Superstar! Dark-green heart-shaped leaves that grow in a vine even in the Texas summer heat. Beauty, edibility and heat-loving staying power. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Dehydrating Fresh Spinach To Enjoy All Year Long!

by Tammy Taylor~

I love fresh spinach, and I love that during early spring it produces so prolifically.  We like to eat as much spinach as we can while it’s fresh and crisp but I also want to preserve that delicious, healthy spinach to enjoy later in the season – way after the plants have bolted and are gone.  I experimented with dehydrating fresh spinach this year and I loved the results.  I wrote this piece for one of my favorite publications, Mother Earth News. C’mon y’all – check it out!

Mother Earth News Post - Dehydrated Spinach. I dehydrated fresh spinach to enjoy later in the season - I loved the results! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Mother Earth News: Dehydrating Cubed Potatoes

by Tammy Taylor

D’ya ever eyeball that big honkin’ bag of potatoes, compare the price to that small overly-expensive bag of potatoes and have a hard time making the economics make sense?  Me too!! As empty nesters there are only 2 of us here at the Taylor Household these days, but dang it just doesn’t make sense to pay more per pound for a small bag of potatoes.  So I’ve been buying that big bag & dehydrating the excess potatoes for pantry storage.  I’ve shredded them for dehydrated hash browns and we love them this way, but now I want to cube them up like I’d use in a stew and although there’s one simple important thing you must do before successfully dehydrating them – it’s super easy to do!  I recently wrote about it for Mother Earth News, check it out.

Dehydrating cubed potatoes for the pantry, an easy way to preserve the excess! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: Use Residual Heat To Dehydrate

by Tammy Taylor

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OK by now y’all know I’m a dehydrating fool!  I bought my dream appliance, an *Excalibur 9-tray dehydrator and I think I’m in love!  I’ve put that thing through the paces, dehydrating all kinds of fruits and veggies – even Italian-flavored tomato leather to just roll out and plop on my homemade French-Bread Pizza – no rehydration needed!  I think it’s safe to say I’ve been bitten by the dehydrating bug.

I use many dehydrated veggies in my wintertime simmering Endless Soup and I use most of my dehydrated fruits as replacement for raisins in my Homemade Pumpkin Granola.  But I’ve also been dehydrating veggies to grind and use for my own homemade powdered seasoning.  I hate to pull out a large dehydrator to dehydrate such small portions and it almost seems even my other small household model is a bit much.  Check out today’s Homestead Hack, I’ve found a way to quickly dehydrate small amounts of food for FREE!

Homestead Hack: I make my own powdered seasoning using dried veggies, but I've found a way to quickly dehydrate small amounts of food for FREE! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Preserving The Harvest: Dehydrated Cinnamon/Sugar Apple Chips

by Tammy Taylor

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Today I’m continuing on with my series on Preserving Fresh Apples.  My aunt shared many bushels of apples from her tree this year and I’m making sure to get them all preserved, I certainly don’t want that apple deliciousness to go to waste!  I’ve been busy making and canning apple pie filling, apple butter, applesauce, etc. but one of RancherMan’s favorite ways to enjoy these apples is for me to sprinkle apple slices with with cinnamon & sugar and dehydrate them into sweet apple chips.  Check it out!

DEHYDRATED CINNAMON/SUGAR APPLE CHIPS - A Crispy Delicious And Healthy Snack For Your Family. Preserve The Harvest! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Preserving The Harvest: Dehydrating Onions

by Tammy Taylor

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Gardening is a fun hobby, but c’mon there’s lots of work involved too.  From planting seeds or tender seedlings to standing under that hot summer sun watering, weeding and harvesting.  Seeing that basket of fresh healthy produce is enough to make it all worthwhile of course, but oftentimes your harvest comes all at once as feast or famine.  After putting in all of that tender loving care to your precious garden it’s important to make sure none of your hard works goes to waste.  For instance I harvested my onions when their growing time was up, but how to make sure a whole garden full of onions can be enjoyed instead of being sat aside deteriorating until they’re only compost worthy?   You can bet your hat I won’t be letting my hard work go to waste!

Preserving The Harvest: Dehydrating ONIONS. Don't distress over that glut of onion harvest, preserve it for cooking! See what I did. #TaylorMadeHomestead

 

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Dehydrated Salsa In A Jar – Great Gift Idea!

by Tammy Taylor
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So, y’all know I’ve been virtually a dehydrating fool since I got my  * Excalibur Dehydrator earlier this year – so much fun!  I love to have all those dehydrated veggies in my pantry, their pretty sparkling glass jars lined up smartly on the shelves.  I’ve been using those dehydrated goodies in my simmering soups when I make endless-soup lunches for RancherMan & me and of course I also often rehydrate and use them in dishes I’m cooking.

I love that my healthy garden vegetables take up so little space now and no additional energy is needed for them to stay preserved.  Recently I diced fresh tomatoes from my garden and dried them – I’ll use these tomatoes the same way I’d use canned diced tomatoes, a common item on my grocery list.  But as I bundled up those pretty red dehydrated diced tomato jewels into a glass jar I got to wondering – wouldn’t it be cool if I could make salsa where all you do is add the boiling water, stir, rehydrate and eat?  I sat out to experiment.

Dehydrated Salsa Jar - What A Great Gift Idea. Healthy Goodness From The Garden, What's Not To Love?? #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Preserving The Harvest: Dehydrated DICED Tomatoes

By Tammy Taylor

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This summer has been pretty weird, garden wise. After suffering 3 consecutive years of gripping drought we got a little rain this year. Oh don’t get me wrong, we’re STILL in the drought and suffering from below-normal rainfall but at least rains have come sporadically this year. But here’s the crazier weird thing: we had hordes of grasshoppers the likes I’ve never seen before.  They swooped in like a plague, sweeping through in clouds of flying hoppers & stripping each & every leaf off of most of my garden and then devouring any sprouting leaves that try to recover thus killing the plant entirely. Even my apple trees were stripped completely bare of leaves as well as many bushes in the yard and almost all of my garden. But for some reason the grasshoppers didn’t eat the tomatoes, so that blessing coupled with at least a little rainfall meant my tomatoes produced like gangbusters.  I only planted two tomato bushes (of course my favorite heirloom San Marzanos) but they’ve produced even more heavily than they usually do. I’ve frozen them and cooked them into tomato sauce and canned pasta sauce. I’ve dehydrated the skins for tomato powder and even made tomato leather for pizza. But what about dehydrating them into diced tomatoes to use for my endless soup this winter? Hummm…

Preserving The Harvest: Dehydrating DICED Tomatoes. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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MYO Italian Seasoned Tomato Leather

by Tammy Taylor

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My garden was practically decimated by the grasshoppers this year for some reason – I’ve never seen an infestation like this!  They descended upon my garden and ate every leaf off of every plant in the pepper section including dulce peppers, pablanos, as well as most of the rest of the garden.  But for some reason they passed completely by my tomato bushes.  And surprise of all surprises I’ve not even seen the dreaded tomato hornworm that I usually battle each summer either.  Add to that the fact that the weather this summer has been odd, unusually cool and with timely rains – not at all what I’m used to seeing for summer gardening here in NE Texas.  The result has been the perfect storm for my tomatoes.  Although I only planted two tomato bushes this year they were my favorite heirloom San Marzanos and they always produce more than we can eat fresh and also plenty for us to preserve.  This year is my first attempt at making a tomato leather in my dehydrator.

I've read you can make tomato leather and use it for homemade pizzas. I decided to give it a go. Check out how it did! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Preserving The Harvest: Dehydrating Plums

by Tammy Taylor

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I recently acquired two different varieties of ripe plums that totaled about 30 lbs.  Now I love fruit, and plums are some of my faves – so sweet, so juicy!  But I’m going to have to preserve some of these plums if I’m going to keep them from going bad before they’re all consumed.  I love plum jelly but I’ve made so much jelly lately including apple butter, blueberry jam and even honeysuckle jelly that I don’t need any more in my stockpile.  Even though I like to stock my pantry with jellies to sweeten my homemade yogurt, with only two of us at home these days I don’t want to make more than we can use.  What else can I do with these delicious plums?  Hummm…  I like to sweeten my homemade pumpkin granola with dried fruit and I recently used the last of my dehydrated jujube fruit, so maybe I can dehydrate these plums into raisin-sized chunks to naturally sweeten my granola?

By making my own dehydrated fruit instead of purchasing it, I've not only saved money but added no packaging to the landfill. Win/Win! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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