Sunday, January 23, 2011

Kombucha and dehydrating veggies

 This is our quart of kombucha just fermenting away.  It will turn into vinegar if you let it go long enough.  Which is what happens when you forget about it...LOL.  If you are interested in making kombucha which is tangy sweet with lots of probiotics, you need to get a scoby.  The scoby, also called mother, is the fungus looking thing at the top of the jar.  I ordered mine from one place where it had been dehydrated but even after they sent me a second one I just couldnt get it to do anything so I ordered this one off of Ebay.  Kind of strange to get it in the mail.  It came hydrated in its own kombucha liquid.  To make it you take some boiled water (chlorine is a no-no), add sugar and steep some tea (with no additives).  I used green tea but you can also use black and white teas.  The scoby will tint.  If you use white sugar and white tea the scoby will be whiter and the liquid will be clearer too.  After you have it fermenting a couple of days up to a week another baby will form on top of the mother.  I usually compost the mother and use the baby for the next batch. 

On to dehydrating.  To begin I cut up all the veggies into 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch slices and spread them out on the racks.  Here are mushrooms.  I bought them on sale at Publix when they had buy one get one free deal going on.

 Also at Publix they had buy one get one free on celery so I dehydrated them too.  I even used the leaves.  They will add a lot of flavor to your soups and stews.

Here is the same batch after dehydrating. 
Here is my dehydrator looking in from the front.  It has five racks.

And here are some onions I dehydrated.  It is amazing how little space they take up after they are dehydrated.  I put them in jars and store them in my cupboard.  I also did some peppers and carrots.  To rehydrate just throw a small amount into your soup.  For the mushrooms we use them on pizzas so to rehydrate them we put them in some hot water and let them sit for 5-10 minutes.  Dehydrating is a wonderful thing I have found and so glad I bought the dehydrator.  It has freed up space in my freezer and fridge and now things arent going bad before I use them.  I'll have to remember to take a pic of the finished jars so you can see how much I actually did.  I'm still experimenting with it.  Next on the agenda is to dehydrate some sourdough starter.  Will let you know how that turns out...

Talk to ya later!

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