Tales of a busy dehydrator: CeleryPosted by Fiona Nevile in Kitchen equipment, Vegetarian | 17 comments
Well the Westfalia Food Dehydrator finally arrived from Germany. It took two weeks rather than the ten days stipulated on the website but it is the cheapest dehydrator on the market and I’m thrilled with it.
OK it’s a very basic model with no temperature control. It’s marketed as being perfect for the beginner. More advanced dehydrator folk run machines built like tanks and called Excalibur.
I hadn’t even considered home dehydrating until I read about them on various American websites. Dehydrate2Store.com has loads of web videos and advice. The more I thought about the benefits of dehydration the faster I moved away from thoughts of pulverised pot noodle eaten on a damp mountainside.
I suppose the scales fell from my eyes when I realised that I drink dehydrated tea everyday. It’s the word dehydration that’s off putting. Drying food would mean freedom from being overwhelmed by gluts, it would enable me to store food that is on offer and in season. My passion for Fenland celery could be fed all year (rather than just the few months when it’s in season) by drying heads of celery for use later. In fact celery is what I want to talk about today.
Apparently dried ground celery is a good substitute for salt. As Danny suffers from high blood pressure this could be the answer for him. So the dehydrator whirred like a small salon hair drier and reduced a bulky head of celery to a small pack of green leaves and celery pieces small enough to serve in the dolls house. This is another benefit of dehydrating food – it takes up far less space in the larder. We ground these minute dried pieces fine and produced a tasty seasoning.
I also ordered a well reviewed book Mary Bell’s Complete Dehydrator Cookbook.
This is packed with ideas and recipes fom trail mix to beef jerky. It even has a recipe to make your own vegetable stock powder – homemade ‘Marigold’ without the palm oil! You can dehydrate fish too but I’m sticking to vegetables and fruit at the moment. Meanwhile I’m off to town to buy some more Fenland celery to guzzle and dry for slow cooked casseroles and soup over the winter.
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