The Beginner’s Guide to Making and Using Dried Foods

Teresa Marrone

Cover of bookDrying is a simple and easy way to preserve fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and herbs. This comprehensive guide includes everything you need to know to get started, whether you are using a dehydrator, your own oven, or the sun. Expert Teresa Marrone thoroughly covers the basic techniques, all the way through storing and rehydrating your dried foods. From apples to watermelon, asparagus to zucchini, basil to beef, you’ll find solid instructions that will ensure great results every time. Marrone also includes recipes for using your dried foods in a wide range of delicious dishes, from pies and cookies to stews and casseroles. There are even instructions for drying fresh pasta and making vegetable snack chips and baby-food purees.

Review from

Jenn Ballmann

I’ve always had an interest in different methods of food storage and it’s something I can thank my parents for. From a very young age I can remember my parents pulling out the canning supplies and food dehydrator in an effort to preserve their bounty from the garden and various hunting trips taken throughout the season. My brother and I were fortunate to be able to snack on apple or banana chips and even deer jerky rather than the junk food many of our peers grew up with. These experiences have stuck with me over the years and when my husband and I married in 2008 I decided to register for a food dehydrator.

We haven’t used our dehydrator as much as I thought we might, at best we only pull it out a handful of times throughout the year. I’m a real pro when it comes to drying apples, bananas, jerky, or fresh herbs, but outside of that I’m really in need of some direction. One of the things I loved about The Beginner’s Guide to Making and Using Dried Foods was how it was organized. It is broken down into chapters, the first few dedicated to the basics and equipment necessary for drying your own food at home. The rest of the chapters are broken down by type of food. You’ll find the expected chapters on fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, and meat and poultry, but what really makes this book useful are the chapters dedicated to uses outside the basics. You’ll find information on fruit and vegetable leathers, snacks, cereal, and pasta, even baby food and that is only scratching the surface of what this book offers.

If you don’t currently have a food dehydrator, but are still interested in drying foods at home this book covers methods for sun-drying and oven-drying, it even contains plans for building your own DIY dehydrator. Since reading it I’ve been inspired to pull out our dehydrator quite a bit more, it’s given me the direction I need and even contains a wealth of recipes to help me use the food I’ve put up. If you’ve been considering other methods of food preservation outside of freezing and canning this book provides a great deal of insight and information on drying foods at home.