Dehydrators…not only for meat?!

Hey gang,

In an effort to make my previous post re: An Ode To…Beef Jerky a bit more fair and balanced, I’ve taken a stab at dehydrating fruits and vegetables.  My sister, “Bratski”, and her husband, “Dos Equis”, have been vegetarians for a few years now.  While Bratski does’t really miss the entoxicating aroma of a grilled steak, Dos Equis has cravings for beef jerky like any man would.  Can’t blame the dude.  So, this post is dedicated to the other side of the fence, which borders a pasture, for the herbivores out there.  

Veggie Jerky

For prep:
I cut sweet potato into 1/4 inch rounds and sliced a yuca into 1/4 inch rectangles.
I paraboiled the SPs for 5 min and the yuca for 10 min.  Both of which went into an ice bath immediately.  
After patting them dry, I used the same jerky approach from Alton Brown and marinated the group for ~3 hours.  
After patting dry, I dried these at 145 for 12 hours

Dried Fruit

There’s not a lot to say here.  I used 6 fruits:

Honeycrisp apple
Pear
Pineapple
Kiwi
Stawberry
Banana

At first pass, I used a mandolin to slide the apples, pears and pineapple.  For the second time, I’d do this by hand and cut them thicker.  They didn’t come bad, just not my perferred texture.  For apples and pears, I soaked them in a natural lemon water solution (1:3) for 10 min. 

Results: 

Lemon water imparts a bit of an acidic flavor when they’re done, but I liked it and the color was retained. 
Generally, everything came out like fruit “crisps” and that wasn’t exactly what I wanted.  Not bad, just not perfect.
Bananas and kiwi were hard, almost worthy of chipping a tooth
Overall, I’m happy to save my rotting fruit and have a healthy alternative.  Great with the beef jerky too!
Next time, I’ll cut thicker pieces and dry for a shorter amont of time. 

Love you, Jerky maker.

As an update, I dried some applies and pears again in the same fashion, just cutting them thicker.  Success!  They do take about 12 hours, but it’s a great paring for me with the salty and hot beef jerky.

-SF

 

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