Prepping Food: Blanching, Steaming, Spraying – Easy Food Dehydrating Video Newsletter

Prepping Food: Blanching, Steaming, Spraying – Easy Food Dehydrating Video Newsletter

October 30, 2019 0 By Jose Scott


Hello and Welcome to Easy Food Dehydrating’s Video Newsletters! Welcome to Step 2: Preparation – in the food
dehydrating process – by Susan Gast. Hi folks! Today I’m going to go over spraying
certain fruits and veggies with lemon juice. I’ll also go over blanching, and steaming
methods too. You can see the fruits listed in the bullet
points. They are apples, bananas, peaches, and pears and we spray those with ascorbic
acid. Now don’t worry – if you don’t have any ascorbic acid on hand – then we use fresh
lemon juice. It’s the commercial dehydrating plants that
use ascorbic acid to prevent oxidation which we know as browning. The only vegetable that I use lemon juice
for are carrots and it helps keep their vibrant color. We can also steam carrots for the same
reason and I’ll go over steaming shortly. For easy spraying I use ReaLemon™ juice
brand and it’s already in a plastic bottle. I save my spray top from a previous bottle
– see if you can do the same thing too. Next up in the prep process: Blanching! This step consists of simply dipping small
amounts of fresh foods in small amounts of boiling water. The reason I say “small amounts”
is because it takes too long to bring the water back up to a boil if you use too much
food – and too much water! The blanching helps break the tough skin’s
outer surface creating tiny cracks so that the dehydrator’s warm air can properly penetrate. Air penetration is very important. In order
for our foods to dehydrate properly to their cores, we have to make sure that case hardening
doesn’t occur. Yes, the case hardening is when the food gets a tough outer skin and
then that will block the attempts of the air to pass through to the centers while on the
dehydrator … and if you go storing foods with “moist” centers, then you’re asking for
trouble! It leads to bacterial growth which is something to avoid at all costs! Having said that, some fruits, such as plums (prunes), they
tend to be moist so you don’t need to worry about that, but it’s the fruits and foods that have
tough skins, such as berries and cranberries, they need to be blanched. Vegetables that need blanching are broccoli,
cauliflower, and green beans. All you need for steaming is a pan of boiling
water and a suitable submersible basket – you can see my pan of butternut squash there on
the left. The bottom pan holds the water, obviously! and the pan on the top nests inside.
Obviously the top pan has holes in it that allows the steam to enter it. While steaming, I do move the food around
a little bit in the top to make for even steaming … and like the blanching time: just a few
minutes is good enough. Out of my site’s top 14 fruit, the only fruit
I steam is rhubarb. The vegetables to steam are butternut squash, fresh corn, peas, and
zucchini. Surprise Food Prep Step! Yes, I have a surprise
food prep step for you which is you can dehydrate FROZEN fruits and vegetables! When you dehydrate
frozen fruits and veggies, the manufacturers have already completed one of the three prep
steps necessary for us and it’s a great time saver! So frozen peas, corn, and hash-browns are
among my favorites to dehydrate. You can wear latex gloves when handling frozen items so
that the items don’t stick to your hands when you smooth them out on the dehydrator trays. In the next video I’ll go over the process
for dehydrating fruits, vegetables, and cooked meats. I’m looking forward to telling you much much
much much more about food dehydrating and sharing tips and tricks on safe food dehydrating
that I’ve learned along the way. Also you’ll learn about storing your food
safely for long-term food storage … so please join me here again at Easy Food Dehydrating
Video Newsletters! Bye for now!