~ Fit more Greens on your Trays ~
Greens and leafy herbs are very easy to dehydrate. A good wash, separating out the stems from the leafy parts, and a quick chiffonade is really all that is needed to prepare them for dehydration.
Blanching greens is not done for the most part because it changes the texture of the greens, Unless your greens are no longer tender and not woody there is no need. Washing them thoroughly in a vinegar wash will clean them well. As for color retention, if you are losing the color of your greens, turn down the temperature on your dehydrator. These vegetables do not need the higher temperatures of more dense foods.
My answer to preparing greens for the dehydrator is the simple, yet effective chiffonade technique. Chiffonade is a cutting technique that you can use to cut up any flat leafy food. No big involved deal really. It is just a fancy term for being able to slice up what can be a difficult process with flat leaves.
- It works great on things that you are going to eat fresh or dehydrate, like basil, kale, and spinach.
- Helps you cut uniform, curly, strips of food quickly and with less space taken up on your dehydrator trays.
- This also helps with space between the trays so that you do not have to take out trays to process your greens (as with the Excalibur) or end up smashing your greens between the trays (as with rounded tray units).
- Allows greens to dry faster. When you check during drying, you can just use your finger to move them around a bit to facilitate drying on all sides. You do not need to worry about a bit of overlapping.
- These strips fit nicely into your containers, allowing you to store more within less space.
4 Easy Steps!
Step 1: Take a bunch of leaves and stack them all together. They don’t have to be facing the same way, they just all have to be flat. (If you have stems that are thick, just cut them away from the leaf first.)
Step 2: Take the stack of leaves and lay them on a cutting board. Then, working your way from the top down, roll the leaves up tightly.
Step 3: With a sharp knife, begin to cut thin strips off of the roll of leaves. Use your non-cutting hand to hold the roll in place.
Step 4: The strips of food come off the roll in tightly wound bundles. Separate them by gently tossing them with your fingers and lay them out on your trays.
This is so much easier and dries faster too!
To Dehydrate, load up your tray using a mesh liner so that your greens do not fall through:
Dehydrate HERBS at 95F/35C temperatures,
Dehydrate more tender greens (like spinach) at 110F/45C temperatures,
Hardier, thicker greens (like kale) at may be dehydrated at 125F/50C temperatures.
Dry the stems as well. You can powder them for greens powder or you can throw them into a stewpot!
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