Some months my hard-working dehydrator runs often, other months it sits tucked away. This has been a busy period for it. It’s time to fill the pantry back up, to replenish what I have used, but also to be prepared for winter and power outages.
Pasta is the item I dry the most of, outside of dried fruit.
Why? Once precooked and dried, you have nearly “instant” pasta on hand. It dries to about the same size as before, so is easy to bag up for trips. If cooking a long type, break in halves or thirds before cooking. To rehydrate, bring enough water to boil to cover the pasta. An average serving per person is 4 ounces. Add in pasta to boiling water (or cover it with the water in a freezer bag or mug), and let sit insulated/covered for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain off any remaining water (which won’t be starchy). And yes, you can do gluten-free pasta as well!
Cook pasta as normal at home, just cut off 2 to 3 minutes of cooking time (it will finish cooking when you rehydrate it). Drain, rinse and dehydrate at 135°. Check after two hours and break apart any clumps. Rotate trays to ensure even drying.
- Less fuel used (you only need to boil water, add pasta in, and let sit insulated for 10 to 15 minutes. It saves about 7 minutes fuel use for each meal.
- Smaller cooking pot. You need a lot less water to cook in as well.
- No overflowing pot or starchy water to deal with.
A fun treat for children is dehydrating mini marshmallows. It’s a lot cheaper than buying the tiny Kraft ones (if you can even find those).
Spread a bag of mini marshmallows on a couple of trays, separating as much as you can. Some brands are stickier than others. Dry at 135°, checking after two hours. Break up clumps as needed, and rotate the trays so they are evenly dried. You want them marshmallows to be dry on the outside, and preferably dry inside. The drier, the longer the storage time.
Add to hot cocoa in camp, or for kids? Let them add it to their tail mix!