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Gardening IX

Gardening IX

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Published by Oxony20

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Published by: Oxony20 on Dec 29, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Fruits & Vegetables 
A Pacific Northwest Extension PublicationIdaho • Oregon • WashingtonPNW 397
  2 n d E d i t i o n
Introduction1Drying Methods2Selecting Foods for Drying4Preparing Foods for Drying5Pretreating Fruits and Vegetables6Drying in a Dehydrator10Packaging13Storage14Making Fruit Leathers15Drying Guidelines for Fruits18Drying Guidelines for Vegetables20Enjoying Dried Foods23Recipes24Questions and Answers28
The authors—Marilyn A. Swanson, former Extension Food Safety Specialist, School of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Idaho.Revised by Sandra M. McCurdy, Extension Food Safety Specialist, School of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Idaho, in collaboration withextension specialists at Oregon State University and Washington StateUniversity.Cover photo—Dishes prepared from dried fruits and vegetables (top tobottom) are Tangy Golden Fruit Snacks, Dried Vegetable Quick Bread, andTangy Stewed Fruit.
Drying foods yourself allows you to choose the best, tastiest varietiesyou can buy or pick fresh from the garden. Home drying also lets youenjoy dried fruits and vegetables the grocery stores don’t carry. Driedberries make wonderful additions to winter muffins. Dried tomatoesperk up a pot of baked beans. Backpackers let lightweight dried veg-etable mixes simmer into tempting soups. And the foods you dry your-self cost a lot less than the ones you buy.Microorganisms and enzymes that spoil food need water to be active.Drying works as a preservation method simply by depriving them of  water.Unlike canning, in which you follow precise instructions for packag-ing and processing times to keep the food safe to eat, food drying isflexible. Decisions about food-piece sizes, food mixtures, pretreatments,and packaging are yours. Drying time is determined less by the clock than by simple tests you perform. Almost any food-safe packaging will do for dried foods. And, unlikecanned foods, packages can be opened and closed again and again.High-quality, moderately priced electric dehydrators are widely available. Easy to use and needing little care, they produce a consistently top-quality product. For these reasons, most people buy or borrow electric dehydrators rather than use their oven or the sun. Whateverdrying method you choose, the principles in this guide will apply.

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