When you cook a lot of food, you often end up with a lot of waste.
It's just the nature of the beast.
A few left-over carrots from a salad.
A half of a tomato from that burger.
A handful of spinach from that stuffed chicken.
One stalk of celery from your dressing.
It ends up tossed in the fridge never to be seen again, until it is an unidentifiable gooey mess that you ultimately toss out into the trash or compost.
It doesn't seem like that big of a deal does it?
But think about it...
Over the course of a month, a year, a lifetime. Thats a LOT of waste of perfectly good fruit and veggies!
I used to just toss the veggie remnants into a freezer bag and collect them until I had a good sized bunch and make a big pot of soup.
This worked great!
But... I do a LOT of batch cooking and my freezer space is very valuable to me.
So, I decided I was going to figure out another way to save these odds-n-ends to use later with out using up freezer space.
Enter my trusty dehydrator!
You know.. that one you bought when you watched that infomercial at 3 am that night you couldn't sleep and just knew you'd make tons and tons of beef jerky to lure the Man-of-Your-Dreams into your awaiting arms because of your beef mastery? Yeah.. that one.
Got a few leftover carrots? Slice em up and toss em in the trusty dehydrator!
Store them in a jar and use them in any soup or stew!
They rehydrate great! As you can see, I didn't even bother to peel these!
Or, my favorite, I call a "soup mix" it's nothing more than some diced carrots, spinach leaves, celery, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, peas... anything!
I add to my "Soup Mix" jar consistently, then toss a handful (or more) of it into stews, soups, even meatloaf and spaghetti sauce! (AWESOME way to sneak some veggies in on those picky kids!)
You name it.... it can go right into the pot!
I even sprinkle it on the top of a pot roast.... it makes a great topping and the veggies rehydrate as you cook! How easy is that?!?
When you dehydrate things they shrink so much and are so light and easy to store that you will be shocked!
I dehydrated 8 entire bunches of celery, and it filled ONE quart jar! (celery is a great substitute for salt too!)
Don't even get me started on how many dehydrated blueberries I have on hand!
Soak these babies in some warm water to rehydrate, they you have blueberry pancakes, blueberry muffins, scones, cookies, you name it!
Dehydrated fruits are GREAT to toss in to oatmeal.
I have to use a electric dehydrator. (I bought the BIG Kahuna of dehydrators after I killed my second $19.99 special, I use it THAT much!)
But some of you might be lucky enough to live in a low-humidity area and can just set your veggies on a wire screen in the sun to get em good and crispy.
You'll be glad you did!
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