Sun drying

Yield: 1 Servings

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From: Althea LeBlanc <TheaLater@...> Date: Sat, 29 Jun 1996 13:26:28 -0400 I have a book called, _The Dehydrator Cookbook_ by Joanna White, nitty gritty cookbooks, and she talks a little about sun drying.

She says "You need consecutive sunny days (ideally in the 90's) low humidity, low air pollution and good air circulation. Sun drying takes considerably longer than using electric dehydrators and has a danger of the food being infested by insects. The food is placed on nonmetal tray, covered with a protective netting like a cheesecloth and placed in direct sunlight where there is good air circulation. The food must be checked frequently and rotated." I think that it would be good to have a nonmetal screen between the nonmetal tray and the food, for good air circulation.

This is tricky, because you want dry food and not rotting food! The air circulation carries the moisture away from the food and is essential in the drying process. Joanna White highly recommends building your own dehydrator, and there are many ways and resources that show you how. ( I would head over to the library.) There needs to be a fan to rotate the air and a good consistent temperature. The heating source should be on the back or on the side of the dryer so that the bottom tray doesn't scorch. There are also solar dryers, that use the sun's rays and elevate the temp. I've seen plans for such dryers and they are pretty simple. They are subject to weather changes and need frequent rotating, and Joanna advises finding a fan to speed up the drying time. Stove top method goes back to pioneer days, they used wood burning stoves. The trays sit on top of the stove and the temp needs to be monitored closely. Joanna says that this method invites less insect infestation, since it is indoors.

What to do with them afterwards (according to Joanna White) These are general for all foods that you dehydrate: 1. Check food for dryness. Pieces not uniform in size dry at different rates. Remove the dry ones and leave the others for a longer period.

2. Pasteurization: If you suspect that there might be some infestation from insects, freeze the packaged dried food for at least 48 hours before placing into storage containers. 3.Once you are sure the food is completely dry and free of bugs, store the dried foods in glass jars, plastic containers or food grade heavy plastic freezer bags which are stored in metal or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids.

4. Label with contents, date and rehydrating procedure, if you want to.

5. Store the packages in a dry, dark, cool area. The lower the temp, the longer the shelf life. Ideally, the food should be kept below 60 deg.

Store dried meat in the freezer.

6. If the food has been dried properly, it should last from 6 months to 1 year. If it is stored at low temps the shelf life can even be longer.

Rotate the dried food to insure freshness and better nutritional value.

7. Periodically, check your stored foods for mold, moisture or insects. If there is mold, throw the food out.

Rehydrating: Cover beefsteak tomatoes with cold water for 15 minutes; drain. Cover plum (or roma) tomatoes with cold water and let sit for at least 30 minutes, drain.

IMPORTANT to remember to not leave them in soaking water too long without refridgeration, due to bacterial growth.

Possible uses: Casseroles, pasta sauces, pesto, stews, salads, pizza, vegetable dishes, marinating, omelets, breads, spreads, butters.

EAT-L Digest 28 June 1996

From the EAT-L recipe list. Downloaded from Glen's MM Recipe Archive, .

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