Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Powdered Dried Vegetables

Run out of people to give your zucchini to? Don't forget to freeze some and dry some. I tried putting some zucchini in the blender and then drying it - don't do it. It didn't work so well as it was hard to get off the plastic sheets on the dehydrator trays.

 It did powder up finer than the sliced zucchini but not worth the waste.
Slice instead and then put it through the blender to chop it up. I stored my zucchini last year sliced in ziplock bags but this time I'm powdering it and putting it in canning jars. It takes up less space that way. 
If you have a mandolin, the job is super quick. I love mine and use it almost every day during this time of year.
Some of you will recall that I like to dry vegetables, turn them to powder, and then add them to noodles, breads, and taco shells to boost the flavor and increase the nutrition level. I've done sweet potatoes, pumpkin, beets, spinach, and zucchini. I have LOVED my powdered hot pepper mix also that I don't use in noodles or taco shell but I love it in chili and Mexican dishes. No, dried hot peppers aren't in my noodles. I have yet to try them in taco shells but I should. It should be replaced this year but I've not hot peppers to do it with so I guess it will hopefully be next year. 
This year I'm doing some bell peppers dried. Just ones that I had in my bountiful basket but weren't getting used fresh. We have been on the road wa....y too much but hopefully that will come to an end soon. That has meant I don't get cooking done like I'd like and more food goes to waste, something that really bugs me. Sti...ll I'm doing my best and one can't do more than that. I'm to the point where I've thrown out most of my goals and started over. Not that the goals aren't still there, they just got shoved into next year. That includes doing a great deal of canning and freezing.  
 I am going to do quite a bit of drying of food. It is much quicker than canning. Beets are going today into the dehydrator. What a sorry crop I've had but it is okay, I've still some canned so I'll make it another year with cutting back on how much we eat of them.

 If I've learned one thing it is you should can for more than a year's use. Last year we had hail that wiped out the garden. That meant we ate the left overs jars from the year before. This year the old garden has such a bad PH problem that I planted peas three times and each time they died. That is the garden with the beets. I can see it will take a few years to get things set up like I'd like.   
This year my food storage will be pulled down to the bare bones as I use up what I have and give the old canned food to the chickens. I have a ton of green beans in bottles with a bountiful crop coming on this year. Chickens will love me this winter and in a way I will be eating those green beans through the eggs.  
When the beets are finished drying I will do scallions from the garden. Oh how I love onions dried. I've learned that despite having fresh onions in a dish, a dash of dried onion also adds a nice punch of flavor. In chicken noodle soup it is a must for a full rich broth.  I've dried a little spinach this year and I emphasize little since it was in the old garden. I'll just have to dry lots of zucchini to make up for the lack of spinach. Hoping next year will be better. I had planned on saving seed but have given up on the idea. Things aren't going smoothly in our lives and that is one of the goals that got thrown out the window for this year.
I do hope I get a decent crop of carrots. I put them in really late and it is already getting cool. We've had sixties and low 40's at night this last week. A cool September is in the forecast and I don't doubt it will be as it has already snowed in the mountains. This photo is from before it snowed. The snow has never left the high elevations. I'm guessing if I went where the snow capped peaks are I'd see the snow is pink or green - not white. Have you ever seen pink or green snow? I have a few times in the Beartooth Mountains. It is a growth of some kind that creeps across it. You find it in snow banks where the snow has set for a long time and the temperatures are high but not so high it all melts like now when it is the end of summer but snow is still on the tallest peaks of the mountains.
I've been telling the rain clouds that rain is welcome but do not turn to snow. Our acreage was covered in a thick layer of snow all winter and the soil stayed cold even after the temperatures finally started to rise. It was a very late spring. That meant my garden is really slow. The corn wasn't put in the ground until the third week in June. Usually I get beans the end of July but this year it was the middle of August. My corn is the prettiest thing, tall and lushly thick. BUT it just started to tassel and grow cobs. I'm thinking I may have to try another kind of seed. I've been traveling a great deal lately and every garden I peer at through the window has tasseled corn. The corn is skinny, rather bare with very few leaves, but it is tasseled with ears. Will mine make it before the snow flies? I'm strongly questioning it. It is beautiful but 'pretty is and pretty does'. This might end up being goat feed.
 People ask if I planted early corn? I did. The earliest I could find and it was meant for Alaska. I fertilized it twice but not more than twice, so why so... tall? The neighbors tell me I have the longest growing time up here on the hill of the whole valley but how much longer is the question? I can breathe a little easier since we have lots of frozen corn our daughter brought us from Colorado last year.
My do I keep getting off topic. As for dried vegetables, I want to use some dried bell pepper along with dried onions in tomato sauce dishes and soups. Think what it would do to chili, YUM! Yes, some fresh as well would go in but adding dried would enrich the flavor. Dried vegetables take up so little room and since my storage room is in bad need of a overhaul in the way of building cupboards, food storage needing less space is quite appealing right now.
Now that we are back on the subject, don't forget to dry as well as freeze and can. It is a great way to use those not so perfect crops. I know I'm going to be doing more potatoes that way this fall. Remember I have quite a few potatoes in the old garden that haven't faired so well. I'm thinking potato flour big time. I emphasize thinking as I really don't know what is below those shrimpy plants. I'm hoping to explore potato flour in noodles and not just bread.   Well it is nighty night and a muscle relaxer for me. I've been in bed most of the day with spasms. Life just stays wa...y to exciting for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment