Wanting to make full use of my food dehydrator, I thought I’d try to dry up some foods that would be good ingredients to have on hand for those days when we couldn’t make it to the store. I decided on one of my favorites: red bell peppers.
I’d only dried apples up to now, so I thought it was time for me to branch out. Besides, I like the idea of drying and storing ingredients that can be added to the rice and beans that we keep in the pantry for the zombipocalypse. (No, we are not survivalist-types, but with more and more weather events, viruses, and who-knows-what, it’s smart to be prepared, yes?)
Here’s the process from start to finish.
Prepare the peppers.
Remove the stickers and wash your peppers. Cut around the stem and pull it out.
Cut the pepper in half. Remove all the seeds and cut off any white pulp.
Next, I sliced each pepper into 8 to 10 slices per pepper.
Arrange on the tray.
Place the slices on the dehydrator tray, arranging them so that they have plenty of space for air flow around them. The instructions I found online said to place them wet-side-up, but I don’t know if it matters whether your dehydrator has its heating element in the base or the lid of the unit.
Of course, you can also dice your peppers, which, depending on how you plan to use them, might be more convenient. Here’s a pic of a tray with diced peppers. I just tossed them onto the tray and distributed them as evenly as possible, not being concerned with whether they were skin-side up or down.
Dry your peppers.
Different dehydrators will take different amounts of time, but plan for this to take a little more time than you would need for apples, because peppers consist of so much water. I believe I dried mine at 165 degrees for 26 hours.
The finished peppers are extremely crispy, so much so that they were difficult to break up when I cooked with them that night. I chopped them into smaller pieces, and vowed that the next time I do this, I’ll dice the peppers instead of drying slices.
We simmered the peppers in a curry sauce for 20 minutes, and they were a wonderful ingredient to add to our lentils.
(P.S.: When I link to stuff on Amazon I use a referral link. Because, why not?)