Monday, May 25, 2015

Dehydrating: Drying it out!

 The season's bounty of fruits is just beginning...but the season is ever fleeting and before you know it, the local strawberries and blueberries will be gone for another year.  This year, I've decided to preserve a bit of the riches and try dehydrating to preserve these goodies in some form for a later day, maybe just to snack on or sprinkle over my granola.

If you buy in bulk, most local farmers will give you a big discount on the price.  It's a bit tedious to slice the fruit into thin slices, but then, a couple of hours in a dehydrator and you've got some delicious dried fruit on your hands.  I even dried some not so local mangoes that were on sale at WholeFoods.Four quarts of strawberries sliced filled up the five strays of the dehydrator and took about 2 hours to dry.  They then all fit into the jar in the picture!    Even though I blanched the blueberries until their peel/skin split, it still took about 12 hours for them to dry. I don't think I'll do that again.  The mango tood about 3 hours.

While I should have bought the dehydrator at a local shop, I opted to buy a slightly scratched new dehydrator at a discount on Amazon. What I'm not so sure about is the energy efficiency of the dehydrator, but for now I'm enjoying it immensely!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Local Green Goods: Electric bikes, Ugly Fruit Juices and Online Garage Sales

Being green and buying local is getting easier and easier here in DC.  Here are just a couple of things I've learned about in the past week.
Misfit Juicery was started by two Georgetown students late last year.  There's a lot of noise about food waste out there, especially as we learn that some 40 percent of food is thrown out BEFORE it hits the supermarket shelves.  Eating ugly fruits and veggies is becoming all the rage. These guys are using uglies to make yummy juices like "Kale + Stuff", "Off Beet" and a couple more varieties.  Buy this good juice locally at Glen's Garden Market, Sticky Fingers, FreshFarm Markets at Foggy Bottom and on H St NE as well as a few more locations.  Yum!

Love to cycle, but not so crazy about the hills?  Check out Riide, a DC made electric bicycle!  While their Kickstarter campaign is over (they've raised all the funds they needed), this video gives a great overview of the bike.  With a battery that will last for 25 miles (don't forget that you can still pedal it, too) and a charger that can be plugged into any electrical outlet, there's a lot to love about this bike!

Finally, at least for now, maybe I'm the last person to know about Wallapop, an app that allows you to buy and sell things locally.  Think Craigslist with pictures.   It's searchable and now in DC. It uses your location and offers items that are close to your location. You can contact the seller and even go look at the item before deciding whether or not to buy it.  Pretty cool!

Enjoy, be green.  Recycle! Freecycle.