Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Hunt for Drying Spinach

I love how hunts often yeild so much more than expected. I was on the hunt for preparation instructions for drying spinach leaves. As in dehydrating. And that has lead me to Sharon Astyk's blog. She is the author of Depletion and Abundance which is quite worth checking out. It is purportedly about taking a more purposefull approach to preserving our bounty, planning rather than haphazardly preserving willy-nilly. Since I am taking this winter to plan my first real vegetable garden, I think it will be a good read for me.

On to drying spinach...The Baklava Queen has a great overview of dehydrating fruits and vegetables, very general directions, but I'm on my way...

Okay, so I also found directions for blanching spinach, specifically I wanted to make sure I didn't over cook it, so I wanted to know how long it should be in the boiling water. Beyond Wonderful is, well, beyond wonderful!

I also experimented with simply taking the soaking wet leaves and laying them out, one at a time, on the parchment-covered baking sheet. Alternatively, I took the last half of the spinach and squeezed it into a ball to get the excess water out, then tried to separate it in some manner for drying on another sheet.

By far and away, laying out each individual leaf was well worth the effort! It was a cinch to grind with my mortar and pestle, and you could still see the wonderful color and it didn't get all hard and nasty.

Not nasty is a good thing, don't you think?

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