9/8/21

From my Instagram: I've been dehydrating again... Dehydrating Lime Peels, Whole Limes and Cabbage (UPDATED)

THERE IS A SMALL UPDATE ON MY DEHYDRATOR AT THE END OF THE POST (1/22) 

I (like most all of you) are so so so busy lately that I never find the time to pop in to post - even though I obviously cook and bake daily.  Three or more times a day.  But I often don't bother to take photos - or I start to take them but forget to take a 'finished' product picture - or I do take photos and then they live in my computer files and never see the light of day because.... too busy.

A couple weeks ago I was doing some dehydrating.  I had limes leftover from a weekend of guests, and I didn't want them to go bad before I could get around to using them.  So, I juiced the limes to get the juice for my favorite chicken marinade and then used the peel to get a nice little bottle of dried lime peel.  I like to keep dried lemon peel, lime peel and orange peel on hand for baking and cooking.

I also had extra cabbage on hand - which lasts forever - so I didn't need to hurry really, but there have been times when I wanted cabbage and we didn't have any so I decided to dehydrate a head of it so I'd have it ready in the pantry for beef stew and boiled cabbage, etc.

 
 
There really is no recipe for drying cabbage.

You don't have to blanche it or do anything to prep it. 
Just slice into thin strips or small pieces, place them on your dehydrator trays, and let them dry until the pieces are dry, small and ready to put into a mason jar or container of your choice.







For the limes I used half of them to make dried lime peels for the pantry and then used the rest to dry 'whole' and grind up into dried lime powder.  You can buy dried lime powder and dried lime slices online but they are sooo simple to make yourself!  

For the dried peel, just peel the zest off your lime (the green part) and lay them out to dry on your tray.  When they are brittle, you can pop them into your container, or chop them a bit first, or spin them in a small food processor first to chop them quick and easy.

To do the lime slices, just wash your limes well and slice thin.
Lay the slices out and dry until brittle.
They will turn quite dark.
You can use them as is to cook with (laid under chicken and fish is nice!) but I grind mine up and use the dried lime powder in marinades.

  



I just reuse old spice bottles and repurpose them to whatever I need at the time.
This one now holds dried lime zest.



This is a close up of whole dried limes ground into powder.




Notes about my dehydrator, the one I plan to buy next and some items related to the post you might be interested in, available through Amazon:


I've mentioned a few times in the past 10 years of posts that I have a super cheap, basic dehydrator.  My husband found one on clearance at a hardware store for $50 and brought it home.  The thing is, it's been a great dehydrator, it's been fine for pretty much everything I've needed it for.  No, it has no bells and whistles, I can't adjust the temperature all over the place and it didn't come with fruit leather trays or anything.  Yet, I've managed to make everything from beef jerky to dried lime peels, fruit leather (fruit roll-ups), dried vegetables, dried fruits... it's a good affordable, first time buy.

Mine is a little basic model similar to this one:


Weston 75-0601-W Dehydrator 

 

Having said that, mine has finally, after 10 years, gotten a cracked lid.  It actually happened when it got smashed and pressed down - so it was user error so to speak - but after 10 years I'm sure the plastic is getting a bit brittle anyway.   It still works perfectly of course, and the trays are sturdy, but it got me researching for 'new' dehydrators.

Part of the reason I'd like to invest in a new one is I'd like to be able to control the temperature, and I personally like the square trays better than round.  No particular reason other than my quirky OCD type issues!  Ha.  But after a lot of research I decided I probably will get the Cosori version (unless they stop making it before I can come up with $150 to buy one).

COSORI Premium Food Dehydrator Machine(50 Free Recipes), 6 Stainless Steel Trays with Digital Timer and Temperature Control for Beef,Jerky,Fruit,Dog Treats,Herbs,ETL Listed/FDA Compliant 

 

 

I also like the similar Magic Mill.....

Magic Mill Food Dehydrator Machine (10 Stainless Steel Trays) Digital Adjustable Timer | Temperature Control | Keep Warm Function | Dryer for Jerky, Herb, Meat, Beef, Fruit and To Dry Vegetables 

 

 

Nesco and Presto are loved by many... and I considered them as well as I have both Nesco and Presto appliances that I LOVE so I know I trust the brand.

NESCO Gardenmaster Pro Dehydrator, FD-1018A, White

Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric Food Dehydrator, Standard 

 

 

 

Amazon also has a LOT of food dehydrating books if you are interested!

 

The Food Dehydrating Bible: Grow it. Dry it. Enjoy it! 

 

 

The Beginner's Guide to Dehydrating Food, 2nd Edition: How to Preserve All Your Favorite Vegetables, Fruits, Meats, and Herbs 

 

 

UPDATE 1/22

I posted this in September of 2021 and mentioned above I was hoping to buy the Cosori dehydrator at some point.  I never TOLD anyone this though - it was just my quiet wishful thinking.  But surprisingly, my husband bought me this exact model for Christmas!  He had NO idea it was the one I was looking at but he based his research on reviews and affordability. 

My husband bought me this  Cosori Dehydrator for Christmas and I've been using it constantly since. One important thing to note is the ability to change the temperature has been a game changer for me for many items!  CABBAGE (this post) is one of them.  By being able to dehydrate the cabbage on a lower temperature, it keeps it a more vibrant, brilliant green and I don't get 'burnt' or brown pieces like I did with the basic, cheaper model.  The round, basic model is at the higher temperature because so many people buy them primarily to make beef jerky - which needs that temperature. 

I've found my lime slices, cabbage, celery and onions are drying beautifully with the Cosori as I can dry them around 125 degrees.  LOVE IT.   

 

 

 







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