Sunday, 2 February 2014

A dehydrator experiment.

Normally when I peel tomatoes and cut off all the trimmings I throw the scraps into the worm farm or compost bin.Although not being thrown   away entirely I was  interested when a fellow canner Bev told me that she dehydrates all her clean  vegetable scraps  and powders them to add as flavourings and binders down the track.
So recently when I made my Zesty Salsa I kept all the tomato skins and the capsicum offcuts  and froze them so that when I returned to the farm the next time I could remember to bring the dehydrator back and   process them.

So after defrosting and drying them a bit on paper toweling  I arranged all the tomato  skins and capsicum bits  evenly over my 5 dehydrator trays, stacked them up and set it going.

I checked it after about 3 hours and it was about half dry, so let it keep going for a few more hours.
When I checked again after about 6-7 hours they were all nice and crispy and ready to grind up.
I placed them into my wonderful ancient  food processor and ground the heck out of them until they started to become a type of powder.
Some of the mix certainly become powder much quicker than the rest ,so I passed it all through a strainer to separate the finer powder and then returned the balance to grind again.
My results were mixed, some lovely finer tomato powder that will be a wonderful binder for meatballs that I want to can, instead of the usual flour that is unsuitable for canning. The rest is a much coarser mix, that will still be very usable in soups ,casseroles,stews ect as  added flavour.

Maybe my old food processor isn't the greatest at grinding and I may have had a better result with a different grinding machine, but overall I was quite pleased with the results and will certainly be doing more of it with other vegetable  bits and pieces as well.  I think the vegetable powders will be a wonderful flavour enhancement to many  recipes for me in the future.
Thankyou for coming to visit,
Until we meet again,
Cheers to all,

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