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    I store mine two ways. Some of them end up with sharp edges that don’t store well in vacuum bags. Sometimes I line the bags with a thick paper towel to keep the bags from puncturing, but more often I take the sharp ones and store them in Mason jars, using the lid sealer from my FoodSaver. For the ones I use regularly, like onions or sweet peppers, I store them in regular jars in the pantry.


    I like to stock up when the local stores have their canned goods case lot sales in the fall. I prefer fresh stuff when possible, so I always ended up with lots of extra canned goods that we couldn’t use up before they got “old.” I was passing them on to my sisters who have large families, which was not really a “waste” but wasn’t helping my family out much. I realized last winter that I could dehydrate all the canned veggies that needed to be used up. WOW. How fun that was. I ran my dehydrator round the clock for weeks!

    The good news was that it all dried wonderfully except canned potatoes. The sliced canned potatoes worked fine. Slicing the baby whole canned potates didn’t. They all turned “fugly”. Dehydrating frozen veggies worked fabulously too. I got a bunch of the zip lock mylar bags from Walton feeds and filled them up with an oxygen absorber in them. (The bad news? My sister ended up with all the filled mylar bags! lol)

    I love dehydrating! I have 2 round ones but want to get a solar one to try. A friend that has a restaurant is giving me one of those huge racks with a place to put bread trays. I’m looking for someone to make me screens to slide in them. I could have FUN with that!


    You ladies amaze me with your can-do spirit! I think I need to try dehydrating. i had NO IDEA you could dehydrate frozen food or canned, thought you had to start with fresh. Also, several of you talk about using a vacume for your mason jars. How does that work? I thought you had to spend tons on just the containers they show on the food sealer commercials. Can anyone tell me what dehydrating does to the vitamin/ mineral content of food?


    If I am not mistaken, by dehydrating fruits and vege’s you’re actually sealing in the vitamin/mineral content to some extent, not to sure on how much. Dehydrating canned fruits was the easiest for me because there’s really no preparation involved only straining of the syrup and it really tastes good. I have bought fresh asparagus last year and chopped it up and placed it in the freezer for a couple months. I decided to dehydrate the asparagus yesterday and it turned out really good, what I did was blanch the asparagus by steaming it for a few minutes then I noticed how fresh smelling it was as if I just bought it at the grocers then I placed it in the dehydrator, turned out really well!


    For those of us who prefer the “dead tree” version, there is a book out called “The Dehydrator Bible”. It not only has instructions for dehydrating fruits, vegetables, herbs, cooked grains and pastas, meats, fish, etc. but it ALSO has a WHOLE bunch of recipes for dishes that utilize those goodies that you’ve dehydrated.


    I am decidedly interested in dehydrating – I will have to give it a try this summer (I don’t have the $$ to invest in a machine, so I would have to rig one of my own). My question is re-hydrating. How to and in what? 🙂

    mr bill

    Once you get the knack of dehydrating single items you can start experimenting with combining those various items in one jar for a quick fix ” meal in a jar”. Getting the quantities of each item down to how much each jar will hold when rehydrated is somewhat tricky but well worth the effort. We add boiling water to a quart jar of veggie/beef stew mix and let it sit and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Yummy! Another way to enjoy your combos is to pour the dry contents in a insulated thermos, add boiling water and open several hours later for a piping hot feast. We keep three thermoses ready for meal prep for fast food ready to eat meals.


    mr bill, the thermos idea is great. A good use for some of the extra thermoses around that we don’t use often. Thanks.


    I recommend Mary Bell’s Complete Dehydrator Cookbook for excellent dehydrating tips and recipes for how to use your goodies. I have a couple of dehydrator books (and a wonderful Excalibur machine) and hers is my favorite. I also sometimes take all the trays out of the dehydrator, set my milk that has had plain yogurt gently mixed in, and use it to culture yogurt.


    Shelli, lots of alternatives you can do:” onclick=”;return false
    You can also search on that site for solar dehydrators.
    One word of advice: don’t get dehydrating: a bug will bite you and you have yours running 24/7.
    I know….


    I also have the Nesco dehyrator. My grandmother (lives right up the road) has the same one so when I want to dehydrate a big batch, I grab her’s to and have them both going. I’ll admit that, so far, I’ve only dehydrated apples (for snacks and baking), strawberries (for trail mix and baking) and mushrooms (we use these constantly). But I’d like to expand once the spring comes (i.e. more fresh veggies and fruits).

    So far, I’ve just stored my dried items in a canning jar (no other method used to get rid of the oxygen). But I think that next time I do some big batches that I will grab my grandmother’s Food Saver and save them that way.

    I have a question… not sure if any of you will konw the answer but just a general idea will do….
    What’s the level of energy usage of running these things a lot?
    When I do the mushrooms, for instance, it usually takes about half a day. Not bad. But I’d like to start using my machine more. But then I don’t want to run up my electricity bill. Doesn’t seem to use much but not sure.. Any input?


    Rule #1 on dehydrating………..don’t dehyrate anything that you won’t eat(to look at), and, remember, some of this stuff ya gota REhydrate…somethings don’t rehydrate so well…….green beans(are horrid)when bought dehydrated, sometimes carrotts too, etc……..don’t over dehydrate.”nails” are tought to eat 😉


    Santa Loves me and gave me both excallaber and a food saver vaccume sealer for Christmas, I am obviously a very good girl 😀 I have been dehydrating at least once a week and filling all nine shelves and I am hooked. I keep jars on my frig so I have easy access and use the results regularly.


    @MzLabby wrote:

    Santa Loves me and gave me both excallaber and a food saver vaccume sealer for Christmas, I am obviously a very good girl 😀 I have been dehydrating at least once a week and filling all nine shelves and I am hooked. I keep jars on my frig so I have easy access and use the results regularly.

    Congratulations on getting “the bug.” I bought my Excalibur about the same time and love it. The only problem is now I wish I had 2! We have found that it is a nice way to deal with some of the fresh veggies that in the past may have gone bad before the two of us could eat it all–big bag of carrots, celery, potatoes, etc. I am looking forward to the summer garden produce. We also bought some nice oranges at Sam’s Club and sliced and dried them. My husband loves them.

    We have used a Food Saver for about 10 years and love it. Last night we used it to “shrink” some items we are shipping to my daughter and son-in-law for a bug out bag.

    Have fun with your new tools. They sure make prepping easier.


    Woo! I’m glad I came across this thread! I have got the dehydrating bug and I don’t even a dehydrator yet! I found about 3 weeks ago and that woman, Tammy, who owns the site is AWESOME. I am currently saving up to get an Excalibur and I can’t wait to get it. I think the things that really sold me on dehydrating is 1–I don’t have the space to store a bunch of canning jars and 2–you can dehydrate frozen food — how simple is that? Wow. I already have a foodsealer, so once I get the Excalibur, I’m going to be a dehydrating fool! 🙂

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