Saturday, October 22, 2011

How To Make Your Own Red Pepper Flakes

Don't you love growing hot peppers? The plants produce so many peppers, and those bright colors look so gorgeous on the plant. Every year I plant six or eight plants with hopes of making tons of my own salsa and hot sauce. Well, once again, life got in the way, and I never got around to it. But that doesn't mean the peppers have to go to waste.


This year, for the first time, I made my own red pepper flakes. I dried the peppers on a paper towel in my kitchen for about two weeks, removed the green tops, then chopped them up tiny in the food processor. I found these Weck glass jars that are perfect for dry storage at Glen Ellyn's new kitchen store, Marcel's Culinary Experience (go if you haven't yet!).

We've already used a lot, sprinkling it on pizza and pasta dishes. And I think it tastes so much better than store-bought red pepper flakes. You get both heat and flavor.

I just ordered a dehydrator using some banking points I've accumulated, but they are cheap in the store too. That will reduce the pepper drying time to one or two days. I'll also be able to try lots of other dried food recipes, like trail mix with dried fruit, kale chips, even beef jerky.

Post Produce Day is hosted by Daniel Gasteiger at Your Small Kitchen Garden. Check out his blog to see what he and other veggie gardeners are up to!

What's your favorite fruit or vegetable to dry?

3 comments:

  1. I love having homemade pepper flakes on-hand... but four weeks of drying would be logistically challenging in my household, so I second your interest in a dedicated dehydrator. Sounds as though you'll keep one very well exercised! The Weck jar is adorable.

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  2. My first thought was "drying your own pepper flakes? Great idea!" My second was "where did she get that great jar?" Apart from oven-drying tomatoes and hanging up the occasional herb I haven't delved much into dehydrating. Maybe next season.

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  3. Thanks cityslipper and shady character. Shady - you push me to can next season, and I'll push you to dehydrate. Deal?

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