Monday, September 29, 2014

Making Paprika

Paprika Peppers

Last Fall I read somewhere online about how to make paprika.  I didn't realize how easy it was.  I really didn't even know that a "Paprika Pepper" existed.  Come to think of it, I guess I thought paprika was a blend of peppers.  So...when ordering seeds last Winter / early Spring, I found some paprika pepper seeds at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.  I grew 2 little seedlings and planted them in the garden.  They were so easy to grow and are still producing peppers.

To begin with, I collected ripe red peppers over a couple of weeks, storing the peppers in an airtight plastic bag in the refrigerator.  This kept them fresh and firm.  Once I had a good amount, (I didn't weigh them or count them, but you can see there are quite a few)  I decided it was time to dehydrate them.

Paprika pepper slices ready to dehydrate

If you have sensitive skin, you may want to wear gloves while working with the peppers as they do have a little heat to them.  Remove the stems, core and seeds and slice into thin pieces about 1/4 inch wide.  I had about 4 trays of pepper pieces.
Place on dehydrator trays and dry at 130 degrees for about 16 hours, until dry and crispy.

Crispy little paprika pepper strips

Once your pepper pieces are thoroughly dry, put them in your blender or food processor.  The Vitamix dry blade container works perfectly for this.

Nearly filled the 4 cup container

Blend or pulse for a few seconds at a time until a fine powder forms.  It really only took about 10-20 seconds to turn the crispy peppers into a fine powder.

Depending on your blender or food processor, you may need to pulse or blend a little longer.

About 10-20 seconds later

A fine powder of paprika has formed.

We have paprika seasoning now instead of paprika peppers

Next, using a wide mouth funnel, pour your paprika into a jar.

Into the jar

Seal with an airtight lid, label it and store in a dry pantry.

Fresh, homegrown paprika seasoning ready for use

It's really that easy!  Now you can enjoy fresh paprika in your recipes or sprinkled over deviled eggs and potato salads.

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