Friday, September 5, 2014

BOOKSHELF: The Dehydrator Bible

There's a lot more to do with a dehydrator than dry herbs and make jerky! Preserve your harvest economically and create your own dry mix meals with the simple and hearty recipes contained in this tome of dehydrating knowledge!

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THE DEHYDRATOR BIBLE: Includes Over 400 Recipes

By Jennifer MacKenzie, Jay Nutt and Don Mercer

Although dehydration is an ages old method of food preservation, it's become a lost art for the most part with modern technology like refrigerators and freezers. But, what if we want to preserve more than will fit in our electric units, or we are travelling and won't have any access to electricity? This book will give you all the answers!

The book opens with a discussion concerning the history and advantages of  dry food preservation, the basic equipment you will need to get started, drying techniques, and storage of your products.

Perhaps the most important portion of the book comes next, where you will find a detailed manual as to how to properly dry each individual herb, vegetable and fruit, as well as different types of meat. Proper drying method and time is essential in creating a viable final product that will store and reconstitute well. I've referred to this section of the book several times since I've had it.

The book goes on to offer recipes for everyday meals, various types of jerky, portable dry mix camp meals, and other crafts and gifts like dried flowers. You can even use the dehydrator to make pet treats! It's actually quite convenient to use dehydrated vegetables in place of frozen in soups and stews. We store them in the pantry in glass jars, rather than taking up valuable freezer space, and there is no "freezer burn" to be concerned with for long-term storage!

I found the dry mix trail meals to be of particular interest. They can be mixed and carried in a backpack in ziplock baggies, or put together ahead of time and stored in mylar bags or mason jars with oxygen absorbers. Just add boiling water, and you're ready to eat!

BOTTOM LINE: 5 of 5 Stars. From beginner to expert, this book has a little something for everyone. It's an invaluable go-to reference book! Highly recommended for anyone interested in using dehydration for food preservation.