Dried food is so right on and righteous. What could be better? Drying doesn’t necessarily require intensive energy use, it provides a simple way to preserve local produce for the months when the fields are stark, and it concentrates flavors with a chewy succulence unlike anything else.
Drying in the sun leaves the least-detectable carbon footprint of the three basic methods you can employ. But dependable solar dehydration often requires 3 to 5 consecutive days of 95-degree weather and low humidity. So for the rest of us not living in hot, arid climes, we are left with our ovens turned low and dehydrators. But not to worry, even these methods are conservative with energy use. For more detailed information, see TLC's tutorial on drying food.
The possibilities for all the lovely things awaiting transformation are seemingly endless, here are some favorites.
For the Apricot Fruit Leather pictured above (an image that wafts of fruit, summer, and the feeling of sticky fingers), visit These Days in French Life.