Back story. I’m planning a multi-day hike across New Zealand later in the year. Going on a hike isn’t new for me but typically I do one day hikes. Multi-day hikes, particularly in regions where all the food you need must be packed beforehand, requires different gear. And a different mindset. You have to be conscious of what you bring since you’ll be toting everything on your back for many hours a day.
When talking with friends who routinely do multi-week hikes, they mentioned that dehydrating your favorite foods beforehand can keep prevent what some people refer to as GORP overload. GORP = good ol’ raisins and peanuts. Its a good hiking standby but not good enough 24 hours a day for 4 to 5 days.
I liked the idea of dehydrating. Removing the water makes everything much lighter which is a serious consideration when you’re already looking at lugging around 30 pounds. You can dehydrate food in the oven but I decided to give a dehydrator a try. Besides, you can never have too many kitchen gadgets. American Harvest Snack Master was the one I purchased, since the hiker set seem to use this one the most. I liked that the temperature range went from 100-160 degrees and the trays are stackable so you can purchase more (comes with 4) should you become obsessed with experimenting with your new toy. Not that I would know about that, nope.
I hit the farmers market and bought a butt load of tomatoes. Then I decided to season them up Indian style.
- 1 Buttload Tomatoes (4-5 pounds)
- 1 T Sweet Curry
- 1 t Cayenne Pepper
- 1 t Salt
- 1 t Black Pepper
- 1 t Garlic Powder
Cut the tomatoes into 1/4-1/2 ” slices. Mix spices then sprinkle on top of tomato slices. Load up the trays in the dehydrator then set on 135 degrees for 9 hours.
Goooood flavour, however some testers claimed a little too heavy on the curry. Boo hoo hoo hoo.
I wanted more of a tomato crisp but ran out of time. 9 hours at 135 will buy you a significantly dried tomato but its going to be more like a sun-dried tomato; a little chewy. Next batch I will try 140 for 12 hours.
I was impressed with how quiet this machine was in operation. There is a slight fan sound but nothing compared to other kitchen equipment.
The racks are fairly easy to clean. A sponge, soapy water and about 2 minutes for the lot.
The base has a small lip around the perimeter to contain anything that might drip. This did occur with the tomatoes but not to any significant volume.
I did refrigerate these tomatoes since they were still a little juicy, however they still taste fresh after almost 3 weeks!
I’ve dehydrated bananas, strawberries, kiwis, apples, carrots, mint, basil, lemons and cantaloupe. So far, so good. Next time I will write down the recipes and post.