Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Seasonings: dehydrated vegies

Making your own seasonings:

As I am cooking, I go through seasonings like there is no tomorrow! Especially garlic powder, onion powder, dried onion, and garlic pepper! We are garlic fans! Haha! I have found, though, that the flavor just zings! if I add my own dehydrated vegies to the mix!  Whether they are fresher and haven't sat on a shelf forever, or what, I don't know- but making my own dehydrated vegies into seasonings is wonderful! And soooo easy! Dehydrated vegies do not lose their nutrients, and if stored in a sealed jar (I store mine in a Ball jar)  or in a closed recycled seasoning jar stay fresh for weeks!

On this particular batch I dried 2 yellow onion, a bunch of green onions, Fresno chilies, garlic, and carrots. (Bell pepper, tomatoes, any chilies, any onions, celery, basil, parsley, spinach, and kale work wonderful too!)

 In dehydrator set at 135F for 8 hours, then after cooled I tossed them into the food processor, and pulse until they came out small enough to use for a recycled seasoning shaker. If I have made enough I sometimes store it in a mason jar. Either way- amazing on meats! Great for addition to bone broth for quick soup! Fresh and no preservatives! No MSG.  
 So easy- it becomes fun to experiment with! Invent your own soup spices: add pepper, add sea salt, add cumin or chili spices! What ever your fancy! Invent your own unique combos for healthier foods.

If you do not have a dehydrator:
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cover with slices of vegies  (about an 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness.) Place the baking sheet in the oven. Heat the oven to lowest setting below 140f. Perfect range: 135-140°F. If you have a convection setting, use it, it will speed up the process and help dry out the vegies in half the time.  Let dry in the oven like this for as long as it takes for the vegies to dry out and crisp; so about 6-8 hours, check at 6 hours for thin vegies and smaller pieces.When you can pick it up and snap it between fingers- it's ready. Cool. and process.

For idea for making real tomato flakes as seasoning try: Using the whole Tomato

Or making Tomato Bark: Tomato Bark

Regarding long term storage: With gardens beginning to produce, this is perfect way to save vegetables and not create waste! Mine never last too long.  However, being dehydrated and if sealed properly and stored in a cool dry place they could last years. Excellent for small mylar bags with oxygen absorber to create long term storage. Healthier than alternatives with preservatives and better consider you have the ability to create mixes that are personalized to your taste! Yay!

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