A few weeks back, I was introduced to Dehyrdrator2Store on Facebook and its owners, Tammy & Steven Gangloff and September Ferguson. These three amazing folks collaborated to produce what quickly became one of the most valued books in my library. It is called The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook and today I want to tell you why I love it, what you can hope to gain from it, and why I recommend getting a hard copy rather than the e-book. Before I get into all that, just let me say that I was given a copy of the e-book. I read the first two chapters and was so impressed that I ordered it . . . and paid for it myself. It was not a “freebie” given to me just to get me to say nice things. I am genuinely excited about this book – as I always am about anything I recommend to my readers! When I am done telling you all this ….
We are giving away a hard copy of The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook to ONE lucky winner!
Could be you, so be sure to read on!
Don’t have a dehydrator yet? Then when you are done entering THIS giveaway, be sure to pop over and enter this giveaway for an Excalibur Dehydrator!
— This post contains affiliate links. See this page for our full disclosure. —
I have been dehydrating much of our harvest (and what I buy at farmers markets) for three years now. I am getting pretty good at it, but I am a far cry from being an expert. Just like with canning, fermenting, and curing … there is always more to learn about dehydration techniques especially if you are serious about getting the most value from your food investment while ensuring that nutrients are not lost in the process.
Now I am not going rewrite the content of their book here, but I can point to numerous examples of things that I just did not know even after three years of dehydrating. I mean, I “thought I knew,” but hey, sometimes you just need to read a book! That said, I will give you a perfect example . . .
The very first MAJOR thing I learned was on page 16. Yes, that is as far as I got when I started facepalming. You see, I started out with a small round dehydrator that I quickly burned up/wore out. In my experience, if the dehydrator is made such that liquid and food particles can drip down into the motor/fan and you cannot take it apart to clean it, you are just asking for trouble. That was what I had and I don’t even want to think about how nasty it got down in there. So I upgraded to a 9 tray Excalibur 3900B — the one without the timer, figuring I could save a few bucks. I have often complained (in now-outdated blog posts that I need to revise) that I wish I had gotten one with the timer! Well, I stand corrected. Unbeknownst to me, you do not want a timer and for good reason. The authors explain on page 16:
“Some dehydrators offer a timer as a feature. To that I say, ‘Just say no.’ Even if your dehydrator has a timer, do not use it. A steady and constant airflow is good for your dehydrated foods; it moves moisture out and away from your food. The timer will automatically shut off your machine while you are away, allowing moisture from the air to seep back in. This moisture creates a fertile environment for bacteria and will result in spoilage of your food.”
My first *facepalm.*
This means two things. 1) My timer-less Excalibur is perfectly fine. 2) I have quite a few blog posts that now need to be corrected! DOH!
Since it is the season for both planting next year’s garlic and dehydrating this year’s garlic, I quickly looked up “Garlic” in the book’s very extensive index to verify that I was doing at least that right before I start the next batch. Much to my relief, I am doing it right and I will show you that process in my next post — remember? The post where you can win an Excalibur of your very own! (That starts on Wednesday, Oct 15, 2014 so be sure to check back, read about how to dehydrate garlic and enter to win the dehydrator.)
BUT … let’s not get the cart before the horse! You need this book first –BEFORE you start. And you need to pay special attention to first three chapters — 25 pages of easy, enjoyable, plain English reading with plenty of timesaving tips, troubleshooting sections, and references of other places to look in the book for related reading. Once you have done that, you can begin to use this book as your standard, go-to reference for specifics on dehydrating particular foods for particular purposes. For example, you treat bite size chunks of carrot intended for soup or stew differently than you treat carrots you plan to puree and use as baby food. The book explains in detail:
- What pretreatments you may need (for example, soaking in brine or lemon juice, blanching, outright cooking, or nothing at all)
- How long and at what temperature
- How to tell when it is done
- How to package & store it
- How to rehydrate & use it
- How to incorporate it into simple, delicious recipes (my favorite part! … EATING)
There is more, but what more could you possibly need? How about a good close up look at the back cover:
So, if you have all these dehydrated, delicious, nutrient dense foods at your disposal and are not sure how to ACTUALLY COOK with them, then yeppers, you need this book! All that hard work will finally start to pay off!
Why do I recommend the hard copy instead of the e-book? Because 1) unless you have a computer or tablet sitting on your kitchen counter, then the book cannot possible be where you need it when you need 2) you will want a highlighter pen, some post it notes, and … well, if you are like me, you will want to write in the margins. It is just one of those books! BUT, of course, it is up to you.
NOW FOR THE BIG MOMENT!
Time to GIVEAWAY a hard copy of the Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook!
Winner must have a US mailing address and 18 or older! Giveaway runs from Saturday, October 11 through Friday, October 17, 2014 at midnight EST. Winner will be notified by email and publicly announced Saturday the 18th by noon EST BOTH here on the blog and by announcement on our Facebook page (so mark your calendar for the 18th after 12PM EST & check back). Winner will have 24 hours (by Sunday at noon EST) to respond or a new winner will be drawn.
GOOD LUCK! I just know you are going to LOVE this book!