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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We are busy. We are overbooked. We are traveling. We are unmotivated. We are tired. We are agitated. We are unproductive. We are overweight. We are unhappy. We are why. I'm a pharmacist, I travel regionally for work and have been all of these things. What elevates me from these emotional ditches? Good health. My nearly 100 year-old Italian grandmother "Nana" said a long time ago: "If you don't have your health, you don't have nothing." Considering she still rakes leaves and gives me hell for, well, just about everything, I think she's pretty damn sharp and fit. On the other end of the spectrum: My dad died at 65 from a heart attack. He was a diabetic, a previous smoker, a recovered drug addict, a food addict, hypertensive, arthritic, immobile nearing amputation and, simply, wasn't living. For all intensive purposes, I'm fit and healthy. Armed with degrees in biology and pharmacy (read: loans) and these two family stories, you'd think staying on track is easy. Newsflash: it's not. Traveling / Working / Fathering / Mothering / fill-in-the-blanking are obstacles we all have to overcome. So, how do we do it? Suitcase Fitness was born from the hope that by sharing my small health and fitness victories while traveling, others may be inspired to find new ways to stay engaged with their health. My vision is that others will use this venue to share their "baggage" and small steps taken to overcome health challenges. I get by with a little help from my friends. - The Beetles The things that last, never happen overnight. - Slaves

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