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Quick dryness check: Put your dehydrated vegetables in a mason jar, put a lid on and wait for a day.

There should be no condensation on the underside of the lid.

Remember, thinly sliced veggies will dry faster, and if you get all the pieces roughly the same size, they will dry in roughly the same amount of time. If I'm going to spend weeks growing beautiful veggies, I can take a few more minutes to dry them correctly.

Most vegetables should undergo a pretreatment, such as blanching or dipping, before dehydrating. Blanching is briefly precooking food in boiling water or steam.

Up to 90% or more of the moisture is removed from vegetables when they are fully dry. This may take longer than listed times, depending on the humidity levels.

Being weird, I’ve found, is not just fun; it’s addictive. I thought I could never give up my microwave, but it turns out it was a lot like going vegan — I used it less and less over time as it became less appealing, and eventually it was just a matter of making the decision to go all the way. After reading Tim Ferriss’ late last year, I got a hand-crank burr grinder and an Aeropress, and it’s the only way I’ve made coffee since. It’s got a pinkish hue, and we keep it in pinch bowl. I bought a pair of faux-leather shoes from a discount shoe store (they sell them because they’re cheap, not because they’re vegan-friendly), but I hated them. They’re small and packed with quick-digesting carbohydrate (just like energy gels), only they’re whole foods and completely natural. Get fresh ones instead of dried; they taste way better and they’re kind of like gummies. From nut butter to dried beans to pizza dough (with some buckwheat flour, also weird enough that I wouldn’t serve it to guests), we’ve gone down a road of making an increasing amount of food from whole ingredients instead of buying it in packages. Tofu and avocado make for deliciously creamy cupcake icing and mousse, and black beans, of course, work amazingly well in brownies. But when we moved last year (more on that in a bit), we got rid of so much stuff, and we haven’t gone back. It’d be really weird if we kombucha and had our own SCOBY, like my buddy Jeff Sanders does, but we’re not there yet. But we do it, usually with beans and lentils, because it takes even less effort than cooking them and makes them into something more vegetable than bean. To us, and you, I’m guessing, they’re familiar — tempeh, quinoa, hemp seeds, spelt, tamari, miso … And the best part of it all is that to many of you, so much of this will seem completely normal … Discuss this information with your own physician or healthcare provider to determine what is right for you.

And yet, in a way, they’re all tied back to that fundamental choice to be different from 98 percent of the rest of the world in our food choices. Since I got heavy into cooking six or seven years ago, it’s been a steady progression from the normal, processed salt to kosher salt to sea salt to real salt. I stopped wearing leather shoes (technically, I stopped leather shoes, and the ones I owned wore out). I’ve never been able to stomach energy gels, but now that I’ve discovered dates, it’s not a problem. I’d feel like a phony to call myself a minimalist, because we still have a bunch of kid toys and dishes and beer and wine glasses and stuff like that. A lot of the items I’ve listed so far have already been weird-ish foods, but I don’t want to overlook the obvious — we eat so much food now that I didn’t know existed before we went vegetarian. The information presented on this web site is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

It stops enzymatic reactions within the foods, which slows down decomposition.

Blanching shortens drying time (skins are softer so water gets out easier) and kills many spoilage organisms.

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