Sunday, September 30, 2012

I heart my dehydrator and canner

I love my dehydrator and canner.  I haven't  been using the dehydrator to actually dehydrate much of anything lately.  Hopefully that will change soon as I made sure to buy just a few wee things to dehydrate this past shopping day.  I also hit a sale on ground beef, though I wish I could have bought more, that I plan to can.  I can't tell you how wonderful, *wonderful*, WONDERFUL it is to just pop open a can of beef, chicken or stew meat to pull together a dinner.  Wow, oh wow.  On top of the meat that I plan to can, which will probably be about 7 quarts worth, I want to can beans.  I really need to get back to eating GAPS style, and beans is a big part of that.  Unfortunately I can never remember to soak my beans overnight.  Ugh.  I plan on soaking my beans whenever I can think of it, and then can them up the following day.  I still have to look into the need to precook them prior to canning.

As much as I love my dehydrator for dehydrating my food, I also love it for a few other reasons.  For one, it makes for a great incubator for my culturing yogurt.  I can make 2 gallons of yogurt at a time.  I may even be able to squeeze in another 1/2 gallon jar, though I try to make my yogurt in one gallon batches.  But my new found use of it has been as a thawing machine!  We got rid of our microwave a couple of years ago (at least I think it was that long ago, it certainly feels like ages ago).  The only time I ever miss it is when I need room temp butter.  So when I finally had that light bulb moment a few months ago, it's changed my life.  Alright, maybe not changed my life, but it certainly does make cooking with needed room temperature butter that much easier.

What I've been thawing the most though, is strawberries.  I LOVE strawberries in my oatmeal and on my peanut butter-banana-nuts-seeds-yogurt concoction.  But rock hard frozen strawberries, not so much.  I put a few on a plate, pop it in my dehydrator on one of the racks positioned in the middle of the unit, and put it on about 130 degrees.  A few minutes later, thawed strawberries. 

It's the simple things in life, the simple things :-)

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