Daily Archives: August 8, 2014

Drying Peaches and Nectarines – Things I Have Learned

So, as-you-know-bob, I bought myself a dehydrator last week.
Yesterday was its first run, and… it did okay.
What I did was take a heap of peaches (enough to fill one tray, so let’s say “8-9”) and a heap of nectarines (roughly twice that number, since they filled two trays), and cut them up in to chunks.
Yeah, that was, I suspect, my first mistake.
See, here’s the thing. In a different house – and possibly with a different dehydrator (one that didn’t need to have its trays rotated every 3-4 hours) – leaving your dehydrator to run through the night might be a totally fine thing to do. But I don’t entirely feel like that would be the wisest course of action in our wee, previously-quite-neglected apartment building. So I’m currently only running my dehydrator while I’m awake.
Chunks of fruit have a lot of volume to get through before they’re dried all the way through. After 11 hours, even the nectarines weren’t totally done. O.O
So, yeah, I turned them off for the night, bagged up the fruit and put it in the fridge. And of course there’s condensation on the bag in the morning, because the fruit isn’t dried all the way through. Which is fine. I’ve basically made Fruit Candy and will throw some of it in with the pork tonight, and probably pack the rest up to be Snack Food for me and my lovely wife when we go on our adventure tomorrow afternoon (I think we’re borrowing someone’s car and picking up extra Bike Parts, but I could be wrong). So no harm done. BUT:
Next time I do this – most likely with tomatoes – I’ll be slicing my fruit/veggies so that they’re no more than one centemetre thick (idelaly closer to half that), and fairly uniform.
That should make things dry both more evenly and a lot faster, even though it’ll also make for a fair bit more clean-up in the long run. My hope is that the learning curve on this will be an easy one, and that I’ll have the hang of it quickly enough to be able to whip up a batch of kale chips for-the-heck-of-it every now and then, and make good (store it at room-temperature good) use of it for tomatoes, peaches, pears, plums (… etc) during harvest season. 🙂

Chocolate-Chili Peanut Butter Cookies

So I spent yesterday cooking and cleaning, like you do (the work room is now actually workable – go me!) and trying out my shiny new dehydrator. I’ll do a separate post about that experience (it was fine, but I learned a few things) shortly. For now, though, I want to post this handy-dandy recipe I came up with yesterday.
Note: Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of “healthy cookies” – stuff that, while still chock full of sweet stuff, was made with a mixture of relatively-high-nutrition flours (whole wheat + ground almonds + whole cooked millet, for example) and relatively low-glycemic-index sugars (like fruit butter rather than refined, granulated straight-up-sugar).
Readers, these are not that kind of cookie.
I made them because I’ve been wanting peanut-butter cookies since last week[1] and I finally had the time to sit around and just get them made. 🙂
Here’s the recipe: Continue reading