Allotment Gardening Advice Help Chat

Eating and Drinking => Kitchen Natter => Topic started by: New shoot on June 14, 2014, 09:23

Title: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: New shoot on June 14, 2014, 09:23
We are awash with strawberries, so the 1st batch of strawberry slices of 2014 are in the dehydrator.  The house smells wonderful and I have that glow of satisfaction that squirrelling always gives me :D

Homemade dried strawberry slices are a great winter treat for cereal or just munching out of the jar  :D
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: mumofstig on June 14, 2014, 09:25
MMMMmmmmmm dried strawberry slices  :)

Lucky you  ;)
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Annen on June 14, 2014, 09:26
Ooh! I'm looking forward to that, my strawbs are just going yellow. It will be another week here, I guess.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: tosca100 on June 14, 2014, 09:57
Mmm they sound lovely NewShoot. Our strawberries are finished but I quite like dried mulberries (the only way they have flavour) so I might get some from the roadside.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Beetroot Queen on June 14, 2014, 10:00
How long do you do them for we have another 4lb in the fridge but my dehydrator is in the roof as I just cant work out when stuff is ready. The toms I did last time looked done but within a week they were mouldy. Gave up after that.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: New shoot on June 14, 2014, 12:13
With strawberries I do fairly thick slices as they dry to nothing otherwise - 3 or 4 per fruit.  My dehydrator has a temperature control so they get 55 degrees until they are totally dry and crisp. I do tomatoes the same way, so the slices are completely dry.  I'm expecting the strawberries to take a few hours yet, so they will have been in there 8-12 hours by the end.

Some stuff is ready when it feels leathery and there is no wetness inside  - apples and pears spring to mind.  It depends on the water and sugar content of the produce.

Have another go  :)  Dried fruit would be a great sweetie alternative for Florence   :)
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Aunty on June 14, 2014, 13:10
I eat all of mine before I get them home  :lol:

Must grow more as I have just bought a dehydrator.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Beetroot Queen on June 14, 2014, 13:52
Found a fab site that said to check put them in jam jars 2/3 full and shake every day for a week any moisture on the jar means they are not finished and need to go back.  :D strawberries now in dehydrator for another go.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: New shoot on June 14, 2014, 15:31
I eat all of mine before I get them home  :lol:

Must grow more as I have just bought a dehydrator.

You must  :lol: 

Home dried fruit is lovely.  Even supermarket apples and pears are transformed and are way better than the ready dried stuff you can buy.  Just think of the cakes you could make  ;)  :D

strawberries now in dehydrator for another go.

Well done you  :D  Dehydrated fruit and veg is very forgiving.  It can always go back in to have a little more drying time  :)
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Annen on June 14, 2014, 16:13



Home dried fruit is lovely.  Even supermarket apples and pears are transformed and are way better than the ready dried stuff you can buy.  Just think of the cakes you could make  ;) :D


I'm the only one in our house who eats apples and sometimes a couple of unloved ones get left for weeks.  Now I slice them, dip them in lemon juice and dry them, they get nibbled on in no time
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: New shoot on June 14, 2014, 17:59
Last year I did apple slices and also cubes with our homegrown crop. The cubes took longer to dry, but OH ate his way through jars and jars of them on porridge :)  I had to top up supplies with supermarket fruit  ::)

I'm not a massive fan of pears usually, but we got given a bag full and I dried them in slices.  I couldn't leave them alone, so now grab big bags of cheap ones if I see them in the autumn :lol:

OH's wish list for porridge toppings goes as follows :

Strawberry slices
Raspberries - these take ages (nearly 24 hours) but you get loads in the dehydrator standing up on the stalk ends and they are really good
Apple
Pear
Plums - again these take ages, but they are really rich tasting compared to supermarket prunes  :)
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Beetroot Queen on June 14, 2014, 18:03
My strawberries smell great, hoping for some great results. I also did a tray of pineapple and a handfull of blueberries. Watch this space.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: New shoot on June 15, 2014, 07:37
How did it go?

If you fnd the blueberries are taking ages, try carefully piercing the skin with the tip of a sharp knife.  I learned this trick for whole chillies and halved the drying time  :)
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Annen on June 15, 2014, 12:26
Ooh! I'm looking forward to that, my strawbs are just going yellow. It will be another week here, I guess.
A week did I say?
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-a4EIV93raPA/U51_nYs23cI/AAAAAAAAR4k/iWEiCg5i0J0/w717-h538-no/WP_000041.jpg)
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on June 15, 2014, 14:22
Apples are great I have had one a day since Sept even cookers are edible when dried. They are all ones that other people have given me during the glut. Cant wait for a couple of years till all my fruit becomes so prolific I can dry it.

Good with gluts of cheap bananas too.

Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Beetroot Queen on June 15, 2014, 14:37
Perfect jars now in the curing process. We have some pineapple still going taken for ever but we keep eating it, the more it dries the more electric it turns, its so intense on your tongue its like an electric shock.

Second batch of strawberries now drying
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: New shoot on June 15, 2014, 21:19
Yay - you did it  :D   The pineapple sounds good - may have to try that.

I've done 2 batches of strawberries now and the first jar is ready for the dried food stash cupboard  :D

(http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m198/suec_02/Plot%20pictures/IMG_1181_zps1deb76b7.jpg) (http://s104.photobucket.com/user/suec_02/media/Plot%20pictures/IMG_1181_zps1deb76b7.jpg.html)
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on June 15, 2014, 21:22
I find jam jars with lids and cling film seam to let the damp in with veg are preserving jars better?
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: New shoot on June 15, 2014, 21:45
I use both preserving jars and re-used jars from stuff I have bought and haven't had any problems  :)
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on June 15, 2014, 21:47
Maybe its because I have a damp pantry
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Snoop on June 16, 2014, 08:31
OK, guys. This looks fabulous. I've just done a search on here for dehydrating and dehydrator and this is the only thread I came up with. So I'm going to start a thread on dehydrator advice - because I need it! We don't have a freezer and this looks like the bee's knees.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Beetroot Queen on June 16, 2014, 08:33
My second batch of strawberries took forever. I quartered them now wondering if I should have sliced instead.

Gave up with the blueberries 24 hours and they looked no different, I put them in boiled water at the start for two mins to soften the skin and pricked them.  :unsure:

Pineapple was eaten before done it was so good LOL
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on June 16, 2014, 20:04
OK, guys. This looks fabulous. I've just done a search on here for dehydrating and dehydrator and this is the only thread I came up with. So I'm going to start a thread on dehydrator advice - because I need it! We don't have a freezer and this looks like the bee's knees.

We quite often talk about dehydrating I'm surprised
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Snoop on June 17, 2014, 10:42
OK, guys. This looks fabulous. I've just done a search on here for dehydrating and dehydrator and this is the only thread I came up with. So I'm going to start a thread on dehydrator advice - because I need it! We don't have a freezer and this looks like the bee's knees.

We quite often talk about dehydrating I'm surprised

Yes, it's odd. In the thread I started, New Shoot provided links to other threads but they didn't come up when I searched for "dehydrator" or "dehydrating". Anyway, I'm enthused and with any luck will be joining in the threads in future. Only problem is power requirements: we have solar panels and to provide 440 W (smallest dehydrator on Dehydrate2Store) for 24 hours and more will be an issue. Anyway, will keep looking and pondering and hoping...
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: sunshineband on June 17, 2014, 10:58
I had a dehydrator for Christmas and so far have not had any surplus crops to use it for - I thought PSB nay not be that good -- but as I have a huge bowlful of strawberries I am off to get slicing.

A much healthier option that jars and jars of strawberry jam, too  :D :D

Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on June 18, 2014, 19:56
I want to try raspberries and loganberries
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: sunshineband on June 18, 2014, 21:17
I now have a jar of strawberry slices --- a whole colander full came down to three small handfuls  :ohmy: :ohmy:

But they sure are delicious.  :D :D (Took 9 hours)

Apple half rings -- very good  :D 

Pear slices -- not as strong a pear flavour as I had hoped  :unsure:

Banana slices --- went crispy in 9 hours but were softened a bit by the morning. Scrummy though so they won't be being kept for long. Next time will leave them for longer. :D

Had the thumbs up from Mr Sunny too, which is good as this experiment will be continuing.

I am now wondering how good strawberry powder might be for adding to icing sugar to make icing?
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Beetroot Queen on June 18, 2014, 21:28
Strawberry powder ooohhhhh tell me more please.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on June 18, 2014, 21:30
oww raspberry powder :D
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Beetroot Queen on June 18, 2014, 21:31
Boysenberry powder, i am growing them this year mind you a small harvest is forecast
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on June 18, 2014, 21:41
i have logan and josta :D
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Beetroot Queen on June 18, 2014, 21:43
i have logan and josta :D

Me too but they are all new last year so still getting to a decent size. Also got a japenese wineberry but not sure berries like those can be dehydrated ? Would be interesting to try.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: sunshineband on June 18, 2014, 21:44
i have logan and josta :D

Both these nearly ready to begin harvesting on my plot... are they quite sour when dried?
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on June 18, 2014, 21:45
I find things are sweeter when dried the logans I thought were ok straight from the bush
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Beetroot Queen on June 18, 2014, 21:47
Do you cut them or dry whole. Same with raspberries  ???
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: sunshineband on June 18, 2014, 21:48
Do you cut them or dry whole. Same with raspberries  ???

New Shoot's advice was to dry raspberries whole, standing them up on their stem ends, so I guess the same would work with loganberries too
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Beetroot Queen on June 18, 2014, 21:48
Brilliant thanks. Cant wait to try.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on June 18, 2014, 21:49
Sounds good if they make it past my mouth :lol:
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: sunshineband on June 18, 2014, 21:50
Sounds good if they make it past my mouth :lol:

Best to do a lot at once then  :lol: :lol:
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Beetroot Queen on June 18, 2014, 22:09
Pineapple never made it out LOL
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Ma Lowe on June 18, 2014, 23:49
Ok I don't know why I rarely look in this section but I am hooked now and I WANT A DEHYDRATOR!!
I better talk nice to hubby.
The thought of dried fruit for my porridge is awesome  :D
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: New shoot on June 19, 2014, 07:43
Do you cut them or dry whole. Same with raspberries  ???

New Shoot's advice was to dry raspberries whole, standing them up on their stem ends, so I guess the same would work with loganberries too

I think so as well  :)

Raspberries (I have big Autumn Bliss ones) take 24 hours, so be warned, but they are lovely.  I've blitzed the dried fruit in the food processor before to make a powder and then did a pavlova base with it.  That was very good  :)

OH wants more dried strawberries.  I showed him the jar and he reckons that is nowhere near enough  ::)  :lol:
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Aunty on June 19, 2014, 11:48


Raspberries (I have big Autumn Bliss ones) take 24 hours, so be warned, but they are lovely.  I've blitzed the dried fruit in the food processor before to make a powder and then did a pavlova base with it.  That was very good  :)

OH wants more dried strawberries.  I showed him the jar and he reckons that is nowhere near enough  ::)  :lol:

Woww... No wonder my raspberries weren't good last year.

I sliced my strawbs with an egg slicer (they have to be very ripe) and dried them for 14 hours at 57oC - that maade them quite crisp.  You can then break them up to put in your muesli - yummy :D
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: New shoot on June 23, 2014, 09:53
Now got all 5 trays on mine drying mint at a cool 35 degrees.  Its hard to taste the difference with some herbs between home dried and decent quality shop bought, but home dried mint is just a 'must have' for me now  :)

I've done loads and chopped the plant down to get a second flush to dry as I ran out last winter  :ohmy:  That was with a whole preserving jar full as well  ::)
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Beetroot Queen on June 23, 2014, 10:09
Now got all 5 trays on mine drying mint at a cool 35 degrees.  Its hard to taste the difference with some herbs between home dried and decent quality shop bought, but home dried mint is just a 'must have' for me now  :)

I've done loads and chopped the plant down to get a second flush to dry as I ran out last winter  :ohmy:  That was with a whole preserving jar full as well  ::)


Now as a herb numpty I may just have to try this, once dried could you blitz and turn into mint sauce.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: New shoot on June 23, 2014, 10:16
Now as a herb numpty I may just have to try this, once dried could you blitz and turn into mint sauce.

I don't see why not  :)

I crumble mine up to store and then use in salad dressings, Indian style yogurt based side dishes and pilafs over the winter.  It reabsorbs liquid very quickly, so I don't bother to soak it.  I just chuck it in with whatever liquid is going in the dish, or even just with watery veg like chopped cucumber or tomatoes  :)
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: surbie100 on June 23, 2014, 11:18
Now got all 5 trays on mine drying mint at a cool 35 degrees.  Its hard to taste the difference with some herbs between home dried and decent quality shop bought, but home dried mint is just a 'must have' for me now  :)

I've done loads and chopped the plant down to get a second flush to dry as I ran out last winter  :ohmy:  That was with a whole preserving jar full as well  ::)

Am going to have to try this too - just bought some new plants this weekend.  How much do I love this forum... :D !
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on June 23, 2014, 21:23
I could do the same with tarragon.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: surbie100 on June 24, 2014, 21:13
1.5kg strawberries in the dehydrator...smells good!
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on June 24, 2014, 22:04
Wow
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: New shoot on June 25, 2014, 06:58
1.5kg strawberries in the dehydrator...smells good!

Mmmmmmmmm I love the way drying strawberries makes the house smell  :D

Oregano in mine at the moment  :) 

I've cut the plant back as it was very tall and starting to flop, so the whole stalks have gone in and I'm going to strip the leaves off once they are dry.  This seemed easier than trying to pick up tiny dried leaves  ;)
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: surbie100 on June 25, 2014, 07:09
Strawbs dry down to nearly nothing, don't they?! It's a good job I have loads. They are really tasty. Though I am having to swap the trays about a bit to get them to dry evenly.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: New shoot on June 25, 2014, 07:58
The juicier the fruit, the more it shrinks down, so it just means your crop was extra good  ;)  They are concentrated little slices of flavour when done though and a real ray of sunshine in the middle of winter when shop bought strawberries are tasteless.

I swap trays about as well.  Only once or twice during the drying process, but it helps everything be ready together.

You need to try tomato slices when your homegrown ones are ready.  Now those are 'munch straight out of the jar' good, especially if sprinkled with herbs before drying  :D
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Lardman on June 25, 2014, 10:03
Mine arrived late last night, all I've got ready at the moment are raspberries.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: surbie100 on June 25, 2014, 10:10
Has anyone done blackberries? Would the pips be an issue? Our site will have a bumper crop of these this year by the looks of the blossom.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Annen on June 25, 2014, 16:43
I did blackberries last year and then stewed them with apple later in the year, they were lovely
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: tosca100 on June 25, 2014, 18:09
I desperately want to do some onion before we lose the odds and sods, but OH is not keen on the house stinking of onion when we have our first guests. Can't say I blame him. Had to freeze some instead but they still pong even when treble bagged!
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Snoop on June 25, 2014, 18:16
I desperately want to do some onion before we lose the odds and sods, but OH is not keen on the house stinking of onion when we have our first guests. Can't say I blame him. Had to freeze some instead but they still pong even when treble bagged!

Could you do it outside or in a shed somewhere?
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: tosca100 on June 25, 2014, 18:22
Ordinarily yes, the sun would do the job (no electricity in the outhouses) but we are having freaky stormy weather and we can't even get on the land so things are starting to rot. A lot of people have died (at least 16) and been made homeless in Bulgaria...which is mad when there are hundreds of empty houses in all the villages, due to flooding. 25% of crops have been lost. So I shouldn't moan about such a small thing, we have been lucky.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on June 25, 2014, 22:05
I've made blackberry and apple fruit leathers just press through a sieve.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Snoop on June 26, 2014, 09:16
Ordinarily yes, the sun would do the job (no electricity in the outhouses) but we are having freaky stormy weather and we can't even get on the land so things are starting to rot. A lot of people have died (at least 16) and been made homeless in Bulgaria...which is mad when there are hundreds of empty houses in all the villages, due to flooding. 25% of crops have been lost. So I shouldn't moan about such a small thing, we have been lucky.

Crumbs, Tosca. That's dreadful. I had no idea you were experiencing weather like that. It always looks so idyllic in your photos, it's hard to imagine the weather could get so bad. I hope it all improves.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: tosca100 on June 26, 2014, 11:05
Snoop, it is unusual, it is even windy which we rarely have. We have hot and brilliant in between though, but we can't get on the soil for the wet. Serbia, Hungary and Romania have also had their problems.

Hopefully better by the end of July. Good job summer is long here.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: New shoot on August 09, 2014, 12:23
The plot raspberries are in full production, so after a harvesting trip this morning, the dehydrator is off and running  :)

The wonderful smell is driving me mad though.  I'm geting hungrier and hungrier  :lol:
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on August 09, 2014, 12:25
Can't wait till I have surplus soft fruit to dry next year hopefully
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Annen on August 09, 2014, 19:58
Don't know if it counts as a harvest, but I harvested my 5 Morrisons voucher and bought Bramleys, 2 pineapples, and 2 bunches of bananas.  The Bramleys are sliced, dried and stashed, the pineapples are sliced and in the dryer and the bananas are next.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: New shoot on August 10, 2014, 09:04
5 worth of free fruit.  Sounds like a great harvest to me  ;) 

I'm going to get some pineapple for the next time I do raspberries.  BQ mentioned it and I've been keen to try it ever since.  I reckon they will take about the same time to do i.e. ages  :lol:  Still its no real work on my part and the results will be worth it.

The french beans are next.  I have some bigger ones from the plot that missed getting picked, as I was working and didn't get there for a few days.  They will be great for slowcooker stews over the winter or cooked in a tomato sauce as a side dish  :D
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: RJR_38 on August 17, 2014, 10:40
I have been thinking about a dehydrator for a while but a couple of questions:

1. Does it hike up your electricity bill? All this talk of 12-14 hours switched on sounds expensive...
2. Does the base of the unit get hot? Our kitchen is tiny and there is no way I could have a gadget out on the work top for 12 hours so it would have to go on the desk in the spare room - would this be feasible?
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: devonbarmygardener on August 17, 2014, 11:23
I have been thinking about a dehydrator for a while but a couple of questions:

1. Does it hike up your electricity bill? All this talk of 12-14 hours switched on sounds expensive...
2. Does the base of the unit get hot? Our kitchen is tiny and there is no way I could have a gadget out on the work top for 12 hours so it would have to go on the desk in the spare room - would this be feasible?
Ditto the above questions ???
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: New shoot on August 17, 2014, 13:28
From my experience

1.  No.  Mine doesn't seem to affect the electricity bill much at all and it is a fairly sizable machine.
2. No again.  The base gets gently warm, but not hot.  I have run mine on a pine dining table overnight without any problems.  You could always put a tea towel under it if you were worried about it standing directly on a polished surface  :)

Ditto the above questions ???

I think someone may have been a bit premature in mocking Surbie and Lardman for being easily led  ;)  :lol: 
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Annen on August 17, 2014, 13:30
1. Don't know, I don't keep that close a check on it, but I haven't noticed anything unusual in the bills.
2. Mine gets quite warm, but not hot on the outside.  I would think a desk would be safe enough. 

But you do need extra space beside it so you can put the lid and trays down on a level surface.  The trays on mine are not very strong and some have cracked (Andrew James is replacing them free as a goodwill gesture as it is only a month out of warranty) and you need to remember to carry them with both hands. 
Also you need storage space for the dried foods, I use plastic baskets from the shop to keep ziploc bags tidy, coffee jars, jam jars.  Glass is best but bulky, little jars for crumbled chilli, big jars for sliced onions or beans.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: RJR_38 on August 17, 2014, 14:16
Ooh you bad people... I have succumbed! There was an Andrew James one on amazon shaping had good reviews so I bought it. It was the big rectangular one as it was reduced down by quite a bit. Hopefully the trays will be ok....
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: devonbarmygardener on August 17, 2014, 16:20
From my experience

1.  No.  Mine doesn't seem to affect the electricity bill much at all and it is a fairly sizable machine.
2. No again.  The base gets gently warm, but not hot.  I have run mine on a pine dining table overnight without any problems.  You could always put a tea towel under it if you were worried about it standing directly on a polished surface  :)

Ditto the above questions ???

I think someone may have been a bit premature in mocking Surbie and Lardman for being easily led  ;)  :lol:

 :ohmy:
Never!!
I was just curious is all :wub:
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: snowdrops on August 17, 2014, 21:36
 :lol: :lol:
Has anyone made one? Sounds like it is something I could get Mr S making, he's just finished a CNC router.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: surbie100 on August 17, 2014, 21:39
:ohmy:
Never!!
I was just curious is all :wub:

You say that now, but I know you're being sucked in...I can feel a tremor in The Force!

How long do you leave your pineapple NewShoot? I put mine on for 12 hours, 2mm thick and it comes out as crisps again, not leathery/sticky.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: tosca100 on August 18, 2014, 03:37
:lol: :lol:
Has anyone made one? Sounds like it is something I could get Mr S making, he's just finished a CNC router.

OH was going to make one this year, but other things took priority. Anyway it was too humid a lot of the time. But we certainly get enough sun generally. I tried leaving the trays out but often that made it rain. :lol:
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: New shoot on August 18, 2014, 08:46
Has anyone made one? Sounds like it is something I could get Mr S making, he's just finished a CNC router.

One of my preserving books suggests making one out of a small wooden cupboard with a few air holes drilled in the side and a lit 60 watt bulb inside.  You need to protect the bulb from any dripping juices and rig up some sort of racks to dry on as well. 

How long do you leave your pineapple NewShoot? I put mine on for 12 hours, 2mm thick and it comes out as crisps again, not leathery/sticky.

About the same, but you can vary the texture of stuff quite a bit depending on how you cut it.  Thin slices often dry as crisps, but I did the pineapple as small chunks and it is crispy on the outside and dry but slightly pliable in the centre.

If you do thicker pieces, you just have to judge it by trying a bit every now and then, until you get the result you want.  This was no great hardship with the pineapple   ;) 

I don't usually like dried tropical fruits as they are processed with sugar and are over sweet, but this is zingy and full of pineapple flavour  :D
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: sunshineband on August 18, 2014, 11:53
I cut pineapple into half centimetre thick slices, which gives enough of a chew to be interesting but know it is dry enough to store. It was delicious and dry enough after 13 hrs, mainly on the middle trays

(I have the Lakeland model)
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Lardman on August 23, 2014, 20:21
Anyone tried a cucumber in there yet? I have a rather large one I missed.  ::)
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: snowdrops on August 23, 2014, 20:27
Has anyone made one? Sounds like it is something I could get Mr S making, he's just finished a CNC router.

One of my preserving books suggests making one out of a small wooden cupboard with a few air holes drilled in the side and a lit 60 watt bulb inside.  You need to protect the bulb from any dripping juices and rig up some sort of racks to dry on as well. 






Thanks, but might to put it on the back burner as we have put the house up for sale, might be a bit busy for awhile ???
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on August 31, 2014, 23:17
Plum puree with a sprinkle of cinnamon hopefully some tasty fruit leather tomorrow.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Paul Plots on September 01, 2014, 01:35
Just popped in for a nose... dehydrators sound very interesting and I love the idea of preserving home-grown food for later... I wondered if they might be very costly to run?

Shame Trillium's not about to ask as she was very keen on using one I believe.
Anyone else advise me about running costs v benefits?

PS. Found a build-your-own article in a magazine recently so guess that's why I'm here being nosey.  ;)
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on September 01, 2014, 06:29
mine is a 500w Paul so max its 7p an hour but the heating element is not on continuously just the fan. When i used it last year i did not notice a huge rise in my bill infact I only pay 12 a month once my standing charge is paid.

One the food is dried it takes no energy to store unlike a freezer so yes very cheap. I dried huge amounts of apples last year nearly 2 sweet jars full so the saving of food cost easily out weighs the running.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: surbie100 on September 01, 2014, 09:42
My problem is keeping sticky little paws out of the jars when the stuff has been dried. It goes within the week and I am left with empty jars again! I need to find a place to hide them....
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on September 01, 2014, 17:42
The plum leather is moorish :D
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: gypsy on September 02, 2014, 13:18
Anyone tried a cucumber in there yet? I have a rather large one I missed.  ::)
I did sliced cucumber yesterday, it will be ok for hot cucumber soup mid winter.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: gypsy on September 13, 2014, 22:13
I have been thinking about a dehydrator for a while but a couple of questions:

1. Does it hike up your electricity bill? All this talk of 12-14 hours switched on sounds expensive...
Hubby used his "gadget" and checked the leccy consumption of our round, 5 tray dehydrator, it is about 3p an hour.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on September 15, 2014, 20:28
damson and apple leather in at the minute with apple slices and gooseberries
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: New shoot on October 04, 2014, 09:31
I think my last harvests of the year have made their way through the dehydrator now.  Apple chucks and chillies are all now dried and stashed.  4 huge jars of apple as OH likes to put in on his morning porridge.

As I was picking apples there was a lovely smell of fennel wafting round.  It was seeds from self seeded purple fennel plants, so a small bowl of these sat on top of the dehydrator while it was on.  They are tiny compared to shop bought, but so intense in smell and flavour.  The shop bought ones were ditched and the jar refilled with the homegrown ones  :D

I shall carry on with fruit from the supermarket and no doubt make some winterval gifts of candied orange peels and similar, but another sterling season of work from the trusty dehydrator  :)
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: surbie100 on October 04, 2014, 09:54
Piero eats the fruit almost as quickly as I can dehydrate it....I need somewhere to hide the jars or the dehydrator will never be put away.

Am doing more of the veggie crisps now - beetroot, parsnip, potato and kale.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Comfreypatch on October 04, 2014, 10:06
I am very interested in the dehydrators which is the best to purchase? Some seem very expensive. Any advice would be very welcome.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: surbie100 on October 04, 2014, 10:10
You might want to have a look through this thread - it was really helpful when I was being tempted into buying one by this lot. (And it is my favourite kitchen gadget, apart from the pizza oven!) I went for the round Andrew James one in the end.

what do you look for in a dehydrator? (http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=115228.0)
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Organic chick on October 27, 2014, 14:03
I regularly dry kale to make lovely crisps.  Wash kale and tear into small pieces.  Pat dry.
 Place in a bowl.  Pour in a small amount of oil plus flavourings of your choice.  We alternate between ground cashew and dried tomato, cinnamon, garlic and cashew, sea salt and smoked paprika or tahini.  My favourite is wasabi powder and garlic. Mix oiled kale and flavouring well with your fingers and then place into dehydrator.  Dries really quickly. Also means you can use the slightly older kale leaves leaving new growth for cooking or kale and mushroom lasagne etc.

Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: RJR_38 on October 27, 2014, 15:03
I tried the kale crisps... And don't think they are for me. They still have a very 'bitter' taste that greens have - which is fine as part if dinner but wasn't convinced as a snack. I did a smoked paprika/Cajun flavouring.

I have had lots of success with sweet stuff but want to try a few more savouries now as have only tried kale as above and courgettes (used too much oil so they were a disaster)
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: RJR_38 on October 27, 2014, 15:05
Piero eats the fruit almost as quickly as I can dehydrate it....I need somewhere to hide the jars or the dehydrator will never be put away.

Am doing more of the veggie crisps now - beetroot, parsnip, potato and kale.

Do you not need to cook the potato first somehow of does the dehydrator cook them enough?
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: LotuSeed on October 27, 2014, 15:36
Ideally, potatoes should be cooked for several minutes first. If you put them in the dehydrator raw they'll turn an icky color as they dry out (they'd still be edible though).
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: gypsy on October 27, 2014, 16:31
Do you flavour the potatoes?
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: surbie100 on October 27, 2014, 16:52
After much trial and error I cook the potatoes whole and then slice when cool. Though it's a proper  :mad: getting them consistently thin enough not to break your teeth when they are dried. I use salt and pepper on them, plus a little lemon juice with water sprayed on.

I don't really like them though. Nor kale crisps, which I've tried but think are definitely an acquired taste. I really don't like the greasy taste from the oil either.

Beetroot crisps though, they are a revelation.  :D
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: RJR_38 on October 27, 2014, 16:56
I used to make beetroot crisps in the oven and they are definitely moreish! I might try the potatoes next weekend. What do you do with the parsnips? Do you cook them slightly first or do them from raw?
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: surbie100 on October 27, 2014, 17:31
The parsnips are done raw, and sliced with a veggie peeler. They are very fragile though. I love 'em.

I cook my beets first because I like sliding the skins off, but was wondering if anyone does them raw? Think I feel a taste test coming on..
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: gypsy on October 27, 2014, 19:25
I have just put some baked spuds in the dehydrator, I sliced them with an egg slicer, brushed sparingly with oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, fingers crossed that they will be ok.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Annen on October 27, 2014, 22:40
The parsnips are done raw, and sliced with a veggie peeler. They are very fragile though. I love 'em.

I cook my beets first because I like sliding the skins off, but was wondering if anyone does them raw? Think I feel a taste test coming on..
I have been doing them raw, first dipped in vinegar, water and a little oil.  They are ok, but just ok and go rubbery very quickly.  I haven't tried them cooked...yet!
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Paul Plots on November 17, 2014, 00:14
mine is a 500w Paul so max its 7p an hour but the heating element is not on continuously just the fan. When i used it last year i did not notice a huge rise in my bill infact I only pay 12 a month once my standing charge is paid.

One the food is dried it takes no energy to store unlike a freezer so yes very cheap. I dried huge amounts of apples last year nearly 2 sweet jars full so the saving of food cost easily out weighs the running.

Thank you for this reply... just revisited months later.  :blush:

That is a good point about cost of storing in a freezer v dehydrating although we have freezers containing foods that I'm pretty sure couldn't be dehydrated.

12 a moth lecky bill!!  :ohmy: Amazing. Mine is 65+ but I've given up worrying about it - it makes my arm ache constantly turning off lights when they are not needed and grouching at the family for having tvs on and wandering off to say nothing of "discussions" about the tumble-drier.  >:(

Life is too short to worry anymore.

I'll dig out that magazine showing how to "build your own dehydrator". I wonder if I could run it in the aviary bird room? The heat would help keep the birds warm then I could share the dried fruit with them.  8)
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on November 17, 2014, 22:52
Well there's only me to use the leccy don't watch tv no tumble dryer ect.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Paul Plots on November 18, 2014, 00:18
Well there's only me to use the leccy don't watch tv no tumble dryer ect.

That certainly seems to make a big difference.  :)
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on November 18, 2014, 19:07
I love the dehydrator for fruit leathers and apple rings. I've had limited success with veg though great for short term storage and back packing but the veg seems to go moldy over a longer time my house is too damp.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: LotuSeed on November 18, 2014, 19:59
I love the dehydrator for fruit leathers and apple rings. I've had limited success with veg though great for short term storage and back packing but the veg seems to go moldy over a longer time my house is too damp.

I love making apple rings too! But the don't last long since they're so good  :tongue2:
Have you tried storing the dried veg with oxygen or moisture absorber packets?
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on November 18, 2014, 21:48
No I just covered the jars with cling film and lids my pantry is very damp though.
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: snowdrops on November 18, 2014, 21:50
No I just covered the jars with cling film and lids my pantry is very damp though.

That might be the reason your jam went mouldy too :(
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on November 18, 2014, 21:52
Don't think so I've got a pantry full of jam :lol: The heat creates a seal
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: LotuSeed on November 18, 2014, 22:51
No I just covered the jars with cling film and lids my pantry is very damp though.

That might be the reason your jam went mouldy too :(

Do you let the veggies "cure" for a few days in a dry place? I wait until the fruit or veg cools completely before putting it in a jar and then I leave the lid askew slightly just to let any moisture evaporate. I also give the contents of the jar a good shake for the first couple of days to aid in further drying.  If you seal the food immediately there's no chance for any remaining moisture to escape, which could cause the good to become mushy or moldy.

Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: snowdrops on November 19, 2014, 19:42
Don't think so I've got a pantry full of jam :lol: The heat creates a seal

But on another thread you said your jam went mouldy ???
Title: Re: 1st harvest of the year in the dehydrator
Post by: Madame Cholet on November 19, 2014, 19:46
Sorry for the confusion it was sealed so it must have been inside.