Dehydrated veggies: the power of powder

20140929_172355Dehydrated vegetables are, to my mind, things of beauty. They are a way I can build my stock of healthy, shelf stable food. They (in their pre-dehydrated form) are a terrific way for me to support local farmers. They are the building blocks for some wonderful and usually tasty food experimentation. I have jars of various dehydrated veggies – in different forms:

– carrot slices and shreds

– zucchini chips, shreds, dice

– tomatoes and skins

– peas

– celery

– peppers

– green and yellow beans

– broccoli

– cauliflower

– onions, leeks, chives, garlic

There’s some other vegetables squirreled away in the pantry, but I cannot remember of the top of my head. The point though, is that there is no shortage of options.

Yesterday I did my latest iteration of veggie powder mix. In batches, in the blender (to do it in a blender, you need a good strong one, that lets you grind), I ground together the following:

1 c dehydrated green and yellow beans

1.5 c dehydrated baby peas

.25 c dehydrated celery

.5 c dehydrated carrot slices

.75 c slightly packed dehydrated shredded zucchini

.75 c packed dehydrated tomato skins

.5 c onion powder (already made from dehydrated purple onions)

.5 c slightly packed dehydrated cooking onion slices

.5 tsp thyme

.5 tsp sea salt

I blended it all in several small batches, probably no more than .5 c per batch. After blending on liquefy (what I need to do on my blender for grinding option) for 60 seconds – in 10 send bursts, I poured out the ground veggies and sifted them through a fine(ish) metal strainer. The stuff that didn’t fall through went back in to the blender for more grinding. It’s possible to grind down to very fine powder – almost talcum powder consistency I did for some, but generally, I when for a more kids sandbox sand sized grain.

So what now? Well, it’s terrific chucked in soups and stews and casseroles for extra flavour and nutrient kick. You can reconstitute it with hot water and have a vegetable stock. It’s also pretty damn terrific as a mix for dips. I’ve also mixed it with bread crumbs and panko and used it part of breading mixtures. The even more awesome thing is I can make more – to the taste of this batch, or merrily experiment further.

I do pepper mixes, spice mixes and I also do fruit powders. Fruit powders in some of my pepper mix – shockingly wonderful. Try a little strawberry powder blended with some habanero. Just saying.

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