Magazine article Sunset

Long-Lasting Snacks: Dried Vegetables, Fruit, Yogurt

Magazine article Sunset

Long-Lasting Snacks: Dried Vegetables, Fruit, Yogurt

Article excerpt

Long-lasting snacks: dried vegetables, fruit, yogurt

The old-fashioned art of drying makesthese contemporary refreshments. Your oven or a food dehydrator turns corn, bananas, fruit yogurt, and tomatoes into long-lasting snacks, perfect for lunch boxes or nibbling any time.

Preparation is simple. Spread liquids onbaking sheets or dehydrator trays lined with plastic wrap; lay out foods as directed in the following recipes.

Most snacks dry overnight, but time varieswith the amount of food and method used. You can use the oven, but dehydrators work faster and require less attention; just follow manufacturer's directions.

In the oven, to achieve the optimum dryingtemperature of 140| to 150|, turn the thermostat to its lowest setting and prop the door open to let air circulate. Check temperature with a thermometer placed at the back of the oven. If the lowest setting is above 150| or temperature rises above 150|, turn the oven off and on periodically for best drying results.

Corn Chips

Husk, rinse, and dry 3 large ears corn.With a sharp knife, cut kernels from cobs; you should have about 2 cups. Discard cobs. Stem and seed 2 fresh or canned jalapeno chilies or 1 fresh Anaheim (California) chili. Cut chilies into small pieces. In a blender or food processor, puree corn and chilies; scrape puree from container sides often with a rubber spatula. Add salt to taste, if desired.

Smoothly cover a 12- by 15-inch bakingsheet with plastic wrap; tape excess to underside of pan. Pour corn mixture onto plastic wrap and tilt pan so mixture flows to make a 1/4-inch-thick layer.

Set pan, uncovered, in a 140| to 150|oven; prop door open about 2 inches. Leave corn mixture in oven until it feels dry in the center and breaks into brittle pieces, 12 to 17 hours. Near the end of the drying time, if necessary, pull the sheet of corn off the plastic wrap and turn it over to dry the underside. Let cool. Break sheet into bite-size pieces. Serve, or store airtight in the refrigerator up to 2 months. Makes about 3 ounces, 4 or 5 servings.

Banana Nut Nuggets

Peel 3 large firm-ripe bananas (about 1 1/2lb.) and slice into 1-inch-thick diagonal pieces. Put 1 1/4 cups minced almonds in a 9- to 10-inch pie pan. Roll fruit in nuts, pressing lightly to make nuts adhere. …

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