Dehydrating your own foods...

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Hoosier nurse

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Apr 18, 2013
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Just started dehydrating my own foods with some success- mushrooms, green beans,carrots, celery and kale have all done well.

Current project is bananas, which were only.29lb last week.

How about you? What has worked well, what hasn't?
 
I've dehydrated bell pepper (red, yellow, orange and green) with great success. The bad part is munching on them afterwards...they are a little like candy. Hubby does hot peppers and those are awesome and after ground up the powder goes in everything we cook.

I dehydrated some pie pumpkins and ground them afterwards but haven't cooked with the powder yet so I don't know if it is worth it. I have a few recipes that I hope to try SOON.

I'd love to do mushrooms. I could have mushrooms in everything. Did you just get a good deal or do you grow your own?
 
I got a decent deal - a $1/lb and they dried beautifully. I have the same munching problem with the bananas - they are soo good.
Potatoes are a pain to do, bc of the peeling, blanching and chopping, but I do love the vidalia onion chopper, which helps. I may try sweet potato chips next.
 
Ooooo...sweet potato chips! I have slips started so we'll hopefully get sweet potatoes again this year...we have such a short season...we didn't get nearly enough sweet potatoes for my liking so it was painful to save a select few for slip starting!

How do you prepare your dehydrated potatoes?
 
I've just started with fruit - apples, pears and strawberries. All have done well, though some apples do better than others ( green seem better than red ), and there was a lot of hit & miss when I started - slice size was a huge factor. We are in autumn ( fall) now, so fruit is a lot more expensive. Will try meats next ( jerky ).
 
We did duck jerky last fall and that worked out well. We had raised the ducks for that purpose. Very yummy.

The problem I have with dehydrated fruits is what to do with them except just munching on it...then we eat too much of it.
 
Just started dehydrating my own foods with some success- mushrooms, green beans,carrots, celery and kale have all done well.

Current project is bananas, which were only.29lb last week.

How about you? What has worked well, what hasn't?
With bananas being only 29 cents a pound, I would too. To reconstitute, use equal parts of water and bananas. They tend to be very soft, limp, and sweet, even have a dark color of very ripe bananas, but they are great for baking, also a great snack while still dried.
 
Ooooo...sweet potato chips! I have slips started so we'll hopefully get sweet potatoes again this year...we have such a short season...we didn't get nearly enough sweet potatoes for my liking so it was painful to save a select few for slip starting!

How do you prepare your dehydrated potatoes?

Sweet potatoes - Wash and then either grate, slice or dice. Peeling is optional. Blanch for about 3 minutes. Dry them and then throw into the dehydrator. The potatoes will be tough to brittle when completely dry.

Potatoes, as in white or red, are a little different. Wash and slice in 1/4 in slices. Peeling is once again optional. Blanch for 5 minutes and the soak in 1/2 cup lemon juice and 2 quarts of cold water for about 45 minutes to prevent them from oxidizing during drying time, which turns them off colored. When dry, they are brittle.
 
I havn't dehydrated anything yet, but my friend gave me chocolate dipped persimmons that were home-made which were absolutely delicious.
 
Today I am trying out some spaghetti squash. Pierce with fork, boil about 25-30 minutes. Remove seeds then scrap out "spaghetti" with a fork. Lay on trays to dehydrate. This is a first for me since it was the first year I grew the stuff. Think it may just have to be a spaghetti night. . . :) while hunny is eating it with his pasta, I'll be using these instead.
 
Spaghetti squash process was super easy, but had some difficulties getting off the trays. I'll need to use a liner next time. Had to take a small spatula to scrape so only half stayed like pasta, the other half turned to powder. Powder won't go to waste though as this can always be added to soups and breads. Always a learning experience trying something new.
 
Peeled and sliced up my butternut squash. Boiled till tender in a sugar syrup. Took out and boiled down sugar mixture to about half. Brushed on squash and threw on dehydrator racks. Brushed every couple hours till syrup was gone. Sprinkled brown sugar, ginger ,nutmeg, and cloves. So good once dried.
 
I want to try some carrot chips. I will try par boiling in a syrup first to add a little more sweetness. Anyone else tried dehydrated carrots?
 
When I have done carrots, informally just peel, slice, & blanch for a couple minutes. Blot dry then dehydrate. Bet it would be good with a sugar glaze. I use most he as a side dish & not actually chips for the eating.
 
I'm hoping to make stuff to mix together to make trail mix that's a healthier alternative. I ended up using sugar and cinnamon. We will see if they turn out edible or not. They are drying as I type here. I tried beets once and they were terrible. I guess if you don't try new things then you'll never know if it could have been your new favorite!
 
this might sound as a silly question,but can you dehydrate strawberries??
I think you can dehydrate just about anything! I bet strawberries would be pretty good. The carrots I just did are ok. I'm not sure if I will ever do any more of them, but they are edible. I think if I made a sweeter glaze for them they would taste a little better.
 
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Ok folks, the freeze dryer is running with its first load of tomatoes. It says it's freezing for another 8 hours or so.

Danil54grl - I'm impressed with these people. They called today to make sure it got here ok. And it did. We read the instructions (no matter that I never do that) and it did its test run fine.

Seems to be well built.
 
Ok folks, the freeze dryer is running with its first load of tomatoes. It says it's freezing for another 8 hours or so.

Danil54grl - I'm impressed with these people. They called today to make sure it got here ok. And it did. We read the instructions (no matter that I never do that) and it did its test run fine.

Seems to be well built.
Glad to hear cause you to know I've been waiting for results. Keep me updated especially maintance issues cause that is what I have heard the negatives on. I would really love one in the future.
 
Glad to hear cause you to know I've been waiting for results. Keep me updated especially maintance issues cause that is what I have heard the negatives on. I would really love one in the future.

Okay. The first real test just finished.

We did 3 trays of tomato halves. It took pretty much 24 hours.

They turned out great. I pitched one into water for a minute and it tastes just like a tomato. Looks like a tomato and had the texture of a tomato.

From reading the instructions, the vacuum pump oil needs to be drained after each use, filtered and refilled. I'll do that tomorrow.

So far, so good!
 
What kind of power is required on the label? Also, how much tray surface is there?
 
I ran the thing through a kil-a-watt thing to get usage. It cost about a dollar for it to run a cycle.

For size, we have a small one. It has 3 7x14 trays.
 
I ran the thing through a kil-a-watt thing to get usage. It cost about a dollar for it to run a cycle.

For size, we have a small one. It has 3 7x14 trays.
Is it just a 120v plug or 240? Also, with your tomato slices, did you prep them in any way or can you just preserve them as is?
 
There is no doubt that freeze drying is the best way to preserve food. Both for flavor and longevity. I am wondering if it came with a good chart or directions for lots of different kinds of foods?
 
Is it just a 120v plug or 240? Also, with your tomato slices, did you prep them in any way or can you just preserve them as is?

120. There are 2 parts, the dryer and a vacuum pump. The dryer controls the pump, so it plugs into an outlet on the back of the dryer.

The tomatoes were cut in half and put in the dryer trays. Nothing else.
 
120. There are 2 parts, the dryer and a vacuum pump. The dryer controls the pump, so it plugs into an outlet on the back of the dryer.

The tomatoes were cut in half and put in the dryer trays. Nothing else.
Have you looked at meat preparation yet?
 
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