Dehydrating fruit

I had an idea to try dehydrating some citrus fruit.  We are finally coming to the end of all our citrus fruit from the garden but have a few oranges left.  I've never dehydrated citrus before but thought it sounded a nice idea.

And so I sliced them thinly, and added some apples and a couple of strawberries at the same time - might as well fill the dehydrator.


I dried them until they were crispy - and all of them are delicious.


It's great to eat the whole orange - peel as well and because its sliced so thinly, it doesn't taste too bitter.

I had great plans for these crispy snacks - creating something more than just dried fruit - but we ate them before I could finish the plan! I'll have to do some more and not leave them out to be eaten!!

This really is the easiest way to
preserve apples and when our harvest starts later in the year, I know I'll be doing plenty more. You don't have to peel and core the apples - just slice using a mandolin, no need to add anything to them (so unlike bought dried apples, no sulphur or citric acid) - and then just put them in a dehydrator and forget about them for a few hours.

Easy Peasy!  Roll on apple harvest!
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A Strawberry Birthday cake

Strawberries are just perfect right now. And so they were my inspiration for a birthday cake for my hubby.


There are a few strawberry fields nearby and their fruit is just heavenly.  But these fresh, unpreserved strawberries go off really quickly, so I decided to use some for the birthday cake and then dehydrate the rest for later, and for decoration.  I already had the dehydrator on for something else, so it was easy to add a couple of thinly sliced strawberries.


The recipe for the cake was a new one for me.  It came from La Tartine Gourmande - but I made a few changes.  For example I halved the recipe, didn't use butter, didn't use buttermilk, didn't use cane sugar, nor eggs.... but you get the general idea!!



Having fresh strawberries in the cake itself made it a very moist cake - you didn't need anything to go with it.  The dehydrating concentrated the strawberry flavor in the strawberry slices and gave a nice crunchy texture to the cake topping.  I'll do that again - and next time, with more than just a couple of strawberries, as they'd make a lovely snack.



The strawberry cake finished off a birthday dinner just nicely.
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Lemon Raw Chocolate

I'm making dessert for a friend's dinner party tomorrow.  The theme for my dessert is lemon as we still have loads on our trees and I love making food with our own produce!  I've made a nice little dessert - gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free etc, , but wanted a little something to go with it.


So I decided to make some lemon raw chocolate.  hunting around in my cupboard, I found some dehydrated lemon peel that I had dehydrated some time ago. Perfect! Adding anything liquid or moist to chocolate is dodgy - so dehydrated peel is much better than fresh zest.

The photo shows it in the process! More later when its set.

I calculated the cocoa percentage - and its around 65%.  The chocolate is raw too so full of lots of nutrients.  Sugar free as well!  I think a little taste will pair beautifully with the dessert.
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Zucchini chips

Oh goodie - a delivery coming my way... I wonder what is inside the truck?


Slow down, let me see....


Ah - yummy zucchini chips.  I see there aren't many in there.  Obviously lots of other people have been eating them as they are so good for you!



They are dehydrated zucchini - or courgettes for the Brits reading this.  Just slice the zucchini to about 1/8 inch thick - you can do it in rounds or ovals and then put in the dehydrator at 125 degrees for about 5 hours. They come out crisp and tasty.  All the goodness and enzymes are still in the zucchini as the dehydration doesn't denature them as the temperature is low.


This is definitely my favorite way of eating zucchini.  Hope you'll give it a try.

Wonder when the truck will return with more???



PS the little truck is a wonderful way to serve nibbles, as you get to wheel it around to everyone! Get creative in how you serve your food and then if it's something new, people will be more intrigued to try it.
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