Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dehydrator Recipes - Mango & Pineapple Fruit Leather

Today I want to share another family favourite - Mango and Pineapple Fruit Leather

For this recipe I generally use one Pineapple and one Mango.

Chop the pineapple.

Chop the Mango

Place the fruit in a blender and blend until smooth.

Pour the liquid onto the Dehydrator trays, lined with the silicone sheets.

Dry until the leather feels like leather, and is not too sticky to touch.
The leather should come away from the tray with ease.

Wrap in clingfilm and store - if you can get it that far, ours is usually gone once dry :)

We would love to hear from you if you tried this recipe.

See you soon.
Natalie and Stefan
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Wordless Wednesdays #3

The last snow of winter perhaps?
Thank you so much to all of you who linked up with us last week :)
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Friday, February 22, 2013

Dehydrator Basics - Drying Carrots

Today I want to show you how to save storage space and to offer you an easy way to store your veggies without having to freeze or can them.

First peel and slice your carrots into even quarters.

You want the pieces to be as even as possible for the best possible drying possibilities.

Blanche the carrots in boiling water for 4-5 minutes.

After blanching, place the carrots in a container of cold water to stop the cooking procedure.

Drain and place evenly on the dehydrator trays (All my carrots filled 3 trays)

Dry at 50°C for approximately 4-5 hours, or until the carrots are shriveled and dry.

They should look like this when done.

The carrots now fill less than a quarter of the same space, allowing me to put about 10 carrots into this jar :)

This jar holds roughly 10 large carrots

I keep my carrots in a handy jar to add to all my curries, stews and soups.
Before I add them back into my meals I leave the carrots in a bowl covered with water for a couple of hours before I need to use them.

They will taste the same as fresh carrots if done this way.
Do join us next week for another dehydrator recipe :)
We would love to hear from you,
Have a super weekend.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday #2

Weekend Sledding
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Berry-Apple Fruit Leather - Dehydrator

 Today I want to share with you a simple, healthy Fruit leather recipe that I make in the dehydrator.

In South Africa we call them "Fruit Rolls" and they are loved and available in many forms and variations.

As they are not available here at all, I have become inventive and started to create a variety of fruit leather recipes depending on what fruit I have lying around that needs to be used up in one way or another.

My dehydrator is perfect for this purpose, and now with the new Silicone inlays, it has just become that much easier :)

As I mentioned earlier, I have a couple of these recipes and will share them with you as I get around to making them.

With these recipes I would suggest you use them as guidelines - feel free to add any extra fruit you have that needs to be used up, creating your own concoctions! 

So for Berry-Apple Fruit Leather you will need the basic ingredients of:

Berries (I had some organic frozen berries in my freezer)
and Apples (these were given to me by a neighbour a while ago and I wanted to use them up before I had to throw them away :))

Begin by peeling and coring your apples and placing them in a pan.

 Add a drop of water and steam until they are soft and mushy - "apple-saucey" :)

 Mash and then add the berries.

Keeping on the heat, wait until the berries too are mushy.

 At this point I taste my mix.
I decided to add a little something as the mix was rather on the sour side....

 I added a pack of Vanilla sugar.....

and some over-ripe bananas.

Taste again and then if it is to your liking, whiz until smooth.
If you find it is still not sweet enough, you can add honey to keep it nice and healthy.

The mix should be smooth for the best fruit leather, you can leave it lumpy but the final product does not look as appetizing I can tell you :9

Spoon out on to the silicone sheets in each dehydrator tray.
I leave enough space on each side that it is easier to remove when finished.

Allow to dry until the leather is - well like leather, not really sticky to touch and rather dark.

It should come away quite easily.

Roll in some clingfilm and store.

I cut mine into small portions which I can add to the lunch boxes for school.

A nice healthy variation of getting your 5 a day ;)

Do come back for more dehydrator recipes soon.


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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wondrous Wordless Wednesday

If you would like to, feel free to link up your image below, we would love to see some of your wondrous pictures :)
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Monday, February 11, 2013

What Are You Reading? Gardening Books

We have started our collection of gardening reference books.
On my nightstand at the moment there are these three garden books:

All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew
The New Self-Sufficient Gardener by John Seymour
Companion Planting by Dale Mayer

I am thoroughly enjoying the Square Foot Gardening book at the moment.
I will write more when I am done reading.

On Stefans' nightstand:

EM by Franz-Peter Mau

Which books do you take to hand as reference books?
Which gardening books are you busy with?
We would love to hear from you.

Please feel free to link up your Gardening Book posts below.

We look forward to learning about many more great resources which we can add to our library in the future.
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Friday, February 8, 2013

Cinnamon-Apple Crisps Recipe

Here is another dehydrating favourite of ours:

Cinnamon-Apple Crisps

We used to be able to buy a packed dry apple pieces in the form of crisps, I used to love them so much and couldn't get enough of them. 

Then suddenly they were no more :(

I decided I would not be beaten and created our own similar recipe for the dehydrator.

Not only are these a delicious snack, but you can regulate how much of what goes on to the fruit you are drying.

To make these crisps you will need:

Sugar mixed with Cinnamon 

I used 2 apples for this recipe, and it filled up 3 trays of the dehydrator.

First, slice the apples to a mediocre fineness - I use my nifty mandoline.

Slice one apple at a time.

I don't peel my apples or core them, I just use them as is, you can of course peel and core them if you want to :)

Sprinkle with the sugar, cinnamon mix, and make sure to coat the bottom apples with a little too, they really like to stick to each other at this point :)

Once coated lay the apples out evenly on the trays. I use the silicone inserts for the first hour or so, it helps them not stick to the trays straight away.
If you do not have silicone inserts, then it is advisable to turn the apples a little more frequently.

I dry them at 50°C, but that is my preference, you can dry them at a warmer  temperature if you prefer.

I turn my apples over after about 2 hours, but every 45 minutes I re-stack the trays - bottom tray comes to the top of the pile and they all move down a layer so-to-speak.

After 1 hour they look like this:

After 2 hours I remove the silicone inserts and continue to dry them.

After 3 hours they should look something like so:

And they are ready to devour!!!

Hope to see you soon.

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Introducing our Dehydrator (Review)

Today I want to introduce our Dehydrator.
We have a Stöckli - Dörrex, a Swiss made dehydrator.
I have been using this dehydrator for many years now and it is still going strong.

The Dörrex comes with many useful accessories and is very easy to use.

It comes with the white hard plastic trays (3 of them in total). 
I have accessorized and have bought 2 sets of the silicone inserts, as well as a wire-mesh tray that I will be using to dry my herbs in the spring/summer.

To cover it all it has a hard plastic lid.

The fan of the Dörrex is at the bottom and is well covered by a hard plastic outer shell.

Here is a video I made to have a look inside :)

The recipe for the Cinnamon Apple Chips will be posted on Friday 8th February.

Do come back for more in the dehydrator series where we will be sharing various recipes and methods with you.

Do you have a dehydrator?

Which dehydrator do you use?

See you soon.
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