Category Archives: Cooking

Beef Jerky – Dog Treats

A while ago I purchased a food dehydrator.
One of the main reasons was to make healthy treats for our two dogs, Barley and Porter.
So many of the dog treats you can buy are packed full of lots of unlisted ingredients, so you never really know what’s in them.

My first foray into making homemade, and healthy, dog treats was dehydrated apples and sweet potato.
Both of these foods worked well, and the dogs love them.
But a treat is not a real treat, unless it is a meat treat – or so Barley and Porter tell me. Hah!

So, after instruction from the boys about their desire for some tasty meaty treats, I decided to try my hand at making some beef jerky dogs treats.

I thought Ox heart would be a good start.
It is very cheap, and they both like it, so up to the local butchers I went to buy some.
I bought a whole Ox heart so that I could try cutting it different ways, and see how the texture of the beef jerky turned out.
I was aiming for maximum chewiness for the dog treats.
I won’t bore you with a recipe, but will just say I marinated it overnight in turmeric, black pepper, and olive oil (Golden Paste).
There are loads of recipes online for beef jerky, it is just a matter of finding one that suits you, and your dogs.

The end result was good, but I did need to tweak the recipe I used a little bit, increasing the time the Ox hearts spent in both the dehydrator, and in the oven.
Recipe tweaking aside, I was happy with my first batch of homemade beef jerky dog treats. And judging by the excessive drooling as soon as the boys saw the finished product, I’d say the dogs gave the meaty Ox heart treats their approval too. IMG_4516

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Dehydrating Foods by Jeanette Hurt – Review

A little while ago I purchased a food dehydrator from Amazon U.K.
Being new to dehydrating food, I also decided to buy a copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Dehydrating Foods, by Jeanette Hurt.

It is a great book and the recipes are very easy to follow.
The only downside for us in Europe is that it uses American measurements, but it is simple enough to scribble a quick conversion chart on the inside of the cover.

I’ve been wanting a food hydrator for quite a while, and so far I’m impressed with everything I’ve dehydrated. I’m really pleased with my purchase.

Apart from dehydrating foods for my wife and I to enjoy, another reason for wanting, and purchasing a food dehydrator, was so I could make tasty and healthy treats for our two dogs.
Admittedly both of the dogs will pretty much eat anything we give them, but the dehydrated sweet potato is a favourite.

Here are some photos of my food dehydrating:

Onions, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes
Oranges and Lemons
Sweet Potato

Dehydrating Apples

For yonks I’ve wanted a dehydrator, and this year I decided to spend the birthday money that my Mother gave me, on purchasing one.
Being a newbie to all things dehydrating, I opted for a budget dehydrator, as I didn’t want to waste money on something that may end up collecting dust in a cupboard.
I ordered a Digital Food Dryer & Dehydrator, which cost a penny under £40, from Amazon UK.

The dehydrator arrived the next day, but I was unable to get dehydrating because I still needed to purchase some citric acid, which I also ordered via Amazon UK.

When the citric acid finally arrived I thought I would start simple, so I dehydrated some apples.
dehydrating apples
To start the process I peeled and sliced the apples, and then left them to soak in a water and citric acid bath for 10 minutes.
dehydrating apples
I then drained the apple slices, and placed them on the trays in the dehydrator.
dehydrating apples
I put the lid on the dehydrator, set the timer to 12 hours and the temperature to 60 centigrade, and left it to do its magic over night.
dehydrating apples
The next morning I had a look at the apples. Some of the slices still seemed a bit soft, so I put the dehydrator back on for a further 2 hours, and that did the trick. The apple slices were perfectly dry and ready to eat.
dehydrating apples
My first attempt at dehydrating turned out very well, and I will be trying various other fruits, and also some savoury foods including tomatoes and mushrooms in the next few days.

Gennaro Contaldo – Italian Minestrone Soup

Step in to my garden!’ Let the Godfather of Food Tube, Gennaro Contaldo show you how to make the most delicious, warming and hearty minestrone recipe straight from his childhood. If there is anyone who knows how to pack flavour into a nutritious bowl of soup, it’s Gennaro. Packing veg from peas to pumpkin, this doesn’t only show you the rainbow, but has such an incredible variety of textures and flavours. A show stopper!