This time of year the dehydrator stays busy at HA. For the last couple of weeks it was drying apples and making apple leather. This week it has been drying peppers. Dehydrating is a great way to preserve both sweet and hot peppers.
Our summer and fall weather is too humid to successfully dry any vegetables outdoors, so indoor drying of some kind is necessary. Peppers usually get moldy before they dry if left outdoors. While you don’t need a dehydrator to dry peppers, it does speed up the process and makes for a great end product.
I normally cut the sweet peppers into slices or small pieces for drying, and either cut the hot peppers in half lengthwise or leave them whole. We typically use the hot peppers to flavor bean dishes, soups and entrees, and leaving them whole allows them to be easily removed after cooking. They can also be cut into pieces before drying, which certainly speeds up the drying time. The dried peppers can also be ground up to make chili powder or paprika.
The dried sweet peppers are great on salads, pizzas, and other dishes where the concentrated pepper flavor is desired. They are also tasty just eaten as is!
We have found that the dehydrated peppers keep fresh longer when frozen. We usually vacuum seal them first with our FoodSaver sealer. Dehydrated and vacuum sealed, they take up little room in the freezer.
Our first frost is forecast by the end of the week, so I will be busy getting all the frost-sensitive crops harvested. There are more peppers and tomatoes out there, and some of them will likely wind up in the dehydrator. After a busy season, it won’t be long before it’s time to put it away. And I’m just about ready for some rest myself!