Dehydrating

This topic contains 236 replies, has 69 voices, and was last updated by  watcher 4 years, 8 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 237 total)
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  • #682

    Ldychef2k
    Member

    It is jus awesome to read of someone who is as sold on dehydrating as I am! Congratulations, and thank you so much for your inspiration !

    Just as you, I am seriously hooked on dehydrating. Actually, just started seriously in May of 2009, after having made the odd jerky or leather over the years. Nothing big. But now…HUGE deal! I started out with a Ronco years ago, which died. Then in May I got a round one from FreeCycle and used it day and night for almost a month before it pooped out! (You get what you pay for.) While looking for something larger and more reliable, I used the oven, which was way too expensive. Then I ran across a HUGE homemade sweetie that held seven trays which were actually 24″ square window screens. Unfortunately, the heating element burned out and I would have had to dismantle the entire box, which was made of particle board and was crumbing at the corners. So, I got rid of it in July.

    Since I live where the summers are hot, I switched to solar! I kept some of the window screens, set up an old black painted door on two sawhorses in the brightest part of the yard, covered the food with replacement window screen mesh, and just was amazed at how quickly (three hours) the food was dehydrated perfectly.

    When I ran out of FreeCycle and personally grown produce, I found frozen veggies on sale, 66 cents for a one pound bag, and ended up dehydrating 25 bags of five varieties! It’s an obsession, I tell you !

    Come September, the sun had moved and wasn’t as hot as it needed to be. My birthday was in September, and I received a few gift cards which I combined and bought myself the economy model Excaliber. I haven’t looked back.

    I dried lemon slices and sliced fresh ginger to make tummy taming tea. Dehydrated mushrooms were used to make soups in a jar as Christmas gifts, as have carrots, celery, onions, bell peppers and jalapenos. I have dehydrated spaghetti sauce, beef stew, tomato sauce, applesauce, made fruit leather and even dehydrated mashed potatoes. Best idea was dehydrating refried beans. They are just awesome!

    As of now, I have a large library of dehydrated fruits and veggies that I keep in jars in the kitchen and cook with regularly. As well, I have well over 150 quart sized Foodsaver bags filled with every manner of produce, sauce, main dish, leather, jerky, that I could manage.

    Hopefully others will be motivated to go like gangbusters on dehydrating with some out-of-the-box suggestions like you and I have !

    #56398

    Vina8
    Member

    Thanks, SciFi. I love that website and have bookmarked it. I also learned from reading about your experience and appreciate your sharing what worked and what didn’t. This is something I am definitely going to try.

    Ldychef2k, your experience with dehydrators was very interesting and timely. A link on the dehydrate2store site led me to Excalibur dehydrators that sound very good. They are expensive, but are having a sale if you order before Jan. 5. http://www.excaliburdehydrator.com/product.php?action=list&specials=yes&shopping_group=gardners” onclick=”window.open(this.href);return false Has anyone else had any experience with the Excalibur dehydrators? They have all the features that I have read are “must haves.”

    #56399

    mmpaints
    Member

    Great subject, thanks for the links!

    #56400

    Vina8
    Member

    I feel your pain.

    #56401

    mmpaints
    Member

    Ah, but if you’ve got enough sunlight for a solar dryer, you’d have enough to charge your solar electrical system. Therefore, you’d still be able to use your conventional dehydrator as it’s not a big power draw. LOL

    #56402

    kymber
    Member

    teehee to Sci’s last!

    for the rest of you – wow – what great info and what a great way to support and inspire each other. this forum rocks! and i am learning so many new tricks! i think i am gonna do some dehydrating tomorrow…oh yeah!

    #56403

    IceFire
    Moderator

    No, I don’t think Kymbers ever DOES sleep!

    #56404

    kymber
    Member

    i try to sleep…really i do…but it doesn’t seem to work for more than a few hours at a time. so lots of time in the middle of the night to check in on you guys!

    #56405

    Genevieve
    Participant

    I have found that shredded carrot and shredded cabbage dehydrate really fast and take up no space in a jar. You can get a whole shredded cabbage ( for soups and stir fires) in a quart jar easy. I have also found that a 1lb bag of frozen veggies usually equals one cup dry.

    I found a dehydrator at a thrift store for $10 this past Fall. I haven’t had the time to use it. But I plan to just as soon as the weather breaks come Spring. It has no name on it that I can find. Even the book that came with it has no name of the dryer on or in it. weird. It dries by opening and closing vents on the top and bottom of the machine. There are numbers 1-4 on it ( 4 being wide open). This is the one I plan on using for the stinky stuff like onions and chives ( boy are they strong!).

    I plan on using my greenhouse as a solar dryer this year. It’s too hot in the Summer to use it for anything to grow, so I’ll put it to work this way.I have screens that the hubby made for me for my herbs. Nice big ones. I may need to rig up a fan to help move the heat over the foods, but that should be no problem.

    #56406

    xdewit
    Member

    There were apples on sale last week so I bought a couple of kilo’s. I planned to can them for pie filling, but my kids wanted dried apple with cinnamon.. So I am now making them. I make little parts spray them with lemon juice and then cinnamon powder. I mix them with nuts and there you have our snacks.
    I dry the peels as well: make them into apple tea. If you are interested I write down the recipe.

    There are zucchinis at low price now, so I go and get a couple of kilos then I have to start again with carrots. I always use them in my red lentil soup (big hit here at home).

    I love to dehydrate, but I need to learn more how to incorporate the foods in my cooking.
    Xant

    #56407

    howison
    Member

    I recieved recieved a Nesco dehydrator for christmas this year, lost my old one in the house fire in March :(. Yesterday I dried over 10 pounds of carrots that seemed to turn out ok, I am storing them in a mason jar.
    How do you store your dehydrated fruits and veggies?

    #56408

    Vina8
    Member

    There are a series of “how to” videos on You Tube on all facets of dehydrating and storing the dried food. Here is the link for the first one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxVpIHre2ao&feature=player_embedded” onclick=”window.open(this.href);return false.

    It is some woman in her kitchen giving some helpful tips. Those of you who have been doing this for awhile may find it too basic, for some like me who is just starting may like it.

    #56409

    howison
    Member

    Thanks for the help the dehydrating site is great, she is verry knowledgeable. Looks like I will be investing in a vaccum sealer of some sort in the near future. 😀

    #56410

    xdewit
    Member

    This woman is amazing! I was dehydrating for a couple of years now, and thought I knew something, untill I saw those videos’. I am now of to buy a vaccum sealer mine isn’t as good as it should be (it is 6 in the morning and the shop is opening at 6.30)
    I WANT THOSE CLOSETS!!!:)
    I have some questions but I am pretty busy at the moment, will drop in later again!
    Maria
    ps kale, brocoli, zucchini, potato’s where on sale this week, you know what will be on the shells soon….

    #56411

    Vina8
    Member

    Yes, I was happy also when I found her videos. I still have several to watch this weekend before my dehydrator gets delivered. I am a total newbie to drying. Wish me luck!

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