Tag Archives: Dehydrating

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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Using It All: MYO Tomato Powder

by Tammy Taylor
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Recently I had a large quantity of tomatoes to preserve so I first made quite a bit of tomato sauce with them, then I turned much of that tomato sauce into pasta sauce  which I subsequently canned so we can enjoy it all summer long.  I’ve gotten quite a bit of mileage from those tomatoes already but am I through with them yet?  Hummmm…  In the process of making my sauce I removed most of the seeds and tossed them into my compost before I even cooked the tomatoes down.  When the tomatoes were cooked I put them into my jelly-sieve ’cause, you know, that’s what I had handy.  I used that sieve to separate the cooked tomatoes from the skins so I would have smoother sauce.  Now I read somewhere that instead of throwing them away you can dehydrate the skins and grind them into powder to use to thicken soups or make your own tomato paste.  Oh yeah, I’m *SO* gonna do that!

Instead of throwing away tomato skins, dehydrate & ground them into powder to use to thicken soups or make your own tomato paste. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Preserving The Harvest: Dehydrating Cabbage

by Tammy Taylor

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Early spring is a great time to pick up cabbage, and I came by quite a bit of cabbage this year.  Cabbage keeps reasonably well in the fridge and of course if you make sauerkraut  you can preserve it for longer.  But I don’t care for sauerkraut.  So I cooked with this fresh cabbage for quite a few nights by sauteing onions in a small amount of olive oil and then cooking cabbage sliced into strips until crunchy-tender.  It was delicious.  But you know even if something is delicious you can only force serve it to your family for supper for so long before there’s a rebellion in the household.  I found that I really liked the taste of cabbage dropped into my endless soup and I used some each week there for a while as well, but now the time had come to preserve it for longer term.

Preserving The Harvest: Dehydrating Cabbage Is An Easy Way To Preserve! #TaylorMadeHomestead
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Preserving The Harvest: Dehydrating Bell Peppers

by Tammy Taylor

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I’ve planted many bell pepper plants in my garden this year.  But it’s still too early in the season for them to be producing.  So I stumbled upon a great deal on bell peppers at the store recently.  Yeah, I mean like 15 peppers for $0.99 kinda great deal!  After I fainted and before I could catch a breath I grabbed up about 5 of them.  Oh I suppose I could have grabbed more but I only wanted to buy what we would use.

Other than stuffed peppers (which RancherMan absolutely LOVES) I tend to go light on bell peppers since he doesn’t really care for the taste of them.  Once I got home I found that I still had stuffed bell peppers in the freezer.  Maybe I can just freeze them to use as an ingredient in my cooking?  Hummm… my freezer room is pretty tight so there’s no room to chop & freeze them for later.  What to do?  I know – I’ll dehydrate them!

DEHYDRATING BELL PEPPERS - They Take Up VERY Little Room & Are Easy To Use For Cooking! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Using Dehydrated Apples In Granola

by Tammy Taylor

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I’ve really been on a roll this year with my dehydrator.  I’ve dehydrated carrots & potatoes, celery and squash, green beans & tomatoes along with many more veggies.  Recently I fell upon a great deal on apples and I picked up about 10 lbs of sweet red ones.   RancherMan doesn’t eat many apples and although I love to eat them raw there’s no way I can consume that many apples before they go bad.  So I set out to preserve them.

I Used My Dehydrator And An Abundance Of Apples To Find An Alternative To Something Purchased. See How I Used Them! #TaylorMadeRanch

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Fairy Godmother For Ugly Carrots

by Tammy Taylor

Have you ever noticed when you go into the store that there are rows & rows of identical produce, all perfectly shaped & sized.  But if you grow a garden or stroll through a farmer’s market you’ll realize that perfect produce is just a fairy tale.  Real produce has variation in sizes and colors.  Some produce isn’t very pretty so the stores (and even some farmer’s market vendors) don’t like to sell it due to consumer-perceived imperfections.  Such a sad waste!  But I’m here to tell you that the fairy tale has a happy ending when I play fairy godmother.

Don't Waste Food! Produce doesn't have to be beautiful to be delicious. See how I play fairy godmother to some less-than-beautiful UGLY carrots. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homemade Dehydrated Veggie Granules

by Tammy Taylor

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Last season I was trying to preserve as much garden excess as I could.  I hated for any of it to go to waste so we ate fresh from the garden every day, then I shared with family, friends & community, then I preserved as much as I could either by freezing, canning or dehydrating.

I guess I was bitten by the dehydrating bug because the more I dehydrated those veggies the more enamored I became with the whole process.  I was amazed at the small amount of space my dehydrated shredded potatoes took up in the pantry.  I loved my dehydrated jujubes sprinkled in my homemade granola.  I really enjoyed tossing dehydrated garden veggies into my never-ending soup.  But now I’m experimenting with yet another way to use them – salt-free veggie granules.  OH YEAH!

Dehydrated Vegetable Granules made into bouillon utilize garden produce & provide a delicious, nutritious product for my family. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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