Dehydrating sweet peppers is a fantastic way to provide your family with the best quality nutrition and save money at the same time, all winter!
During harvest time bushels or half bushels of sweet peppers are extremely inexpensive compared to buying them in the middle of winter. At our local Farmer’s Market we found half bushels of perfectly ripe sweet red Sheppard peppers for only $15, that works out to about .75 cents per pepper and they are beautiful, big and tasty!
Wash peppers, remove cores and seeds. Chop into bite size pieces and dehydrate on natural parchment paper in your dehydrator. Feel the peppers to make sure they are completely dry. Cool completely. Pack into clean dry glass jars. Store in a cool, dark cupboard.
Need a Dehydrator?
Here’s my favorite, dehydrator with steel trays = awesome!! This one has five trays, for home dehydrating. The upfront cost of a dehydrator will be returned quickly as you purchase food in season at its cheapest and preserve it for use all winter.
There is no end to what you can dehydrate, any fruit or vegetable, or combination as in fruit leathers, chop vegetables really tiny for soup mix, jerky and fish. This year we have so many hot peppers we chopped them small, with a sharp knife and fork, and dehydrated them all together for a hot pepper blend, with Jalapenos, Yellow Banana, Tiny Mexican hot peppers, super Chilies and who knows what other kinds are in the mix! Another thing we learned last year was to dehydrate Roma tomatoes in three pieces, with skin on, center and seeds removed. When you need tomato sauce or pizza sauce, there’s no need to go to the store or use canned sauce (with msg and calcium chloride!), just take a handful of dried Roma’s, soak in a bit of water, then blend. More water for Spaghetti sauce, less water for pizza sauce. For pizza sauce we add oregano and salt = yum!
When the snow is piled up outside and you’ve got five layers of clothing on just to take the dog out, there is nothing better than sticking your nose into a jar of dehydrated peppers and breathing in the sharp peppery smell of summer sunshine.
Red Pepper Hummus
You can use canned chickpeas in a pinch, but wash them very well to remove any trace of calcium chloride, a compound found in most canned beans and peas. For dried chickpeas, soak overnight in cold water. Drain and rinse, then add fresh cold water and cook over medium high until peas are tender. Rinse in cold water. For more detailed directions, see Soaking Beans and Peas.
2 cups cooked Chickpeas
Juice of one fresh lemon
1/8 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
3 or 4 tablespoons of good quality flax or hemp oil
1 tablespoon Tahini (Sesame Seed Paste)
2 cloves of chopped fresh garlic
Handful of dehydrated Sweet Red Peppers, rehydrated in a bit of water, or use one large or two small jarred Roasted Red Peppers
Generous pinch of unrefined sea salt
Add just enough Red Pepper water for hummus to blend well
Put chick peas in a blender or food processor, add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.
Spoon into your serving dish and serve with thick angled slices of cucumber and baby carrots, serve on belgian endive leaves, carrot or cucumber slices, or serve with fresh or toasted, pizza-cut organic whole grain gluten-free pitas.