Chicken Coop Chatter©
I Can, freeze and dehydrate fruits and vegetables throughout the year. Vegetable Leather is great either eaten out of hand or added to soup and stew, and literally any vegetables can be made into leather or dehydrated. I do not flavor or sweeten my leathers, however you can if you choose. Just flavor to taste.
I place the vegetables in my slow cooker with a little water. Cook on high until soft. Spoon the vegetables into a food mill (or blender) and puree'. Strain if there is too much liquid in the puree'. Reserve the liquid for vegetable broth to add to soup, stews or any recipe calling for water or broth. Just freeze the vegetable broth or refrigerate if you intend to use right away.
If you have left over vegetables, just run them through the blender and dehydrate them to use in recipes. You can even mix vegetables of your liking. Dehydrate and even make vegetable powder to add to all kinds of recipes for flavor.
Though I have tray liners for my dehydrator; when doing leather I use plastic wrap to cover the trays. Spread the puree' on the plastic wrap (within 1/2 inch of the edges), dehydrate, then rather than remove the leather from the plastic wrap, I simply roll it up in the wrap it's been drying on, then store in air tight containers. This saves me the effort of removing from the drying sheets then wrapping. Dehydrate until still pliable but dried through (no soft un-dried areas). The average temperature setting is 145-150 degrees. This can take from 4-8 hours so check it every hour or so after 3 hours. If you have left over puree' just put into freezer containers or freezer bags, flatten as you release all the air from the bags. Place in freezer flat which takes a lot less room than containers or if just set in without flattening.
NOTE: I prefer the square sided dehydrators over the round. Reason? Because I can get a whole lot more into them. The round ones claim to have more even heat and circulation, but I've had no problems with mine heating or circulating properly, and they are far easier to store, wasting no storage space.
Refer to my instructions on making vegetable powder and Sun-dried Tomato powder at the following link:justfowlingaround.weebly.com/recipes-for-self-reliance/category/vegetable-powder
You can dehydrate in the oven, air dry or sun dry. Each method works, though the time factor can vary dramatically. Air and Sun drying uses no electricity, which you may find advantageous. The oven takes many hours and much electricity, where an electric dehydrator with fan has circulating heat and will take less time to dehydrate, using less power. Each of the methods has advantages and disadvantages.
Refer to the link below for dehydrators:
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