Finally - Food Dehydrator!

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Auntiemogs

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Finally - Food Dehydrator!
« on: April 09, 2019, 10:06 »
I've fancied having a dehydrator for several years, but it's not really been a priority for me and so (as I tend to do with non-essential items) I just waited in the hope that something would eventually turn up.  :)

Well, my patience has been rewarded, and one popped up on a local selling site for 10!  :D Imagine my delight when apart from me being the only person interested in it, I picked it up to find the box unopened, as it was an unwanted gift!  :ohmy:

So far I've only used it to dehydrate a few apples, and I must say that they were delicious (I couldn't believe just how...er...'appley' they tasted)!  :tongue2:

I'm now wondering what else to try?  It's very quiet on the growing front at the moment, and I'd like to play with it a bit more before one of the boys relegates it to a cupboard, so suggestions would be very welcome.  :)

AM 
I would rather live in a world
where my life is surrounded by mystery
than live in a world so small that my mind could comprehend it...✿~ Harry Emerson Fosdick

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DanielCoffey

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Re: Finally - Food Dehydrator!
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2019, 14:11 »
I use mine to dry herbs such as bay leaves, rosemary, thyme and parsley (as well as apples of course).

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New shoot

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Re: Finally - Food Dehydrator!
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2019, 15:20 »
If you spot any cheap fruit in supermarkets, grab it as will make very superior products to anything you could buy.  Dipping fruit like apple, banana and pear into fruit juice also makes for interesting combos - OH loves banana slices pre-dipped in pineapple juice.  The more sugar, the longer they take to dry, but in rough order of drying times, I have tried all the following:

Pears from cheap bulk bags - transforms them
Melon (any except watermelon) - amazing
Pineapple - totally addictive so be warned

Sliced mushrooms are also great to have on hand, so look out for punnets that are marked down in price  :)

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Auntiemogs

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Re: Finally - Food Dehydrator!
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2019, 21:11 »
I'm really looking forward to drying some herbs this year Daniel - is there a big difference flavour-wise?  I might try drying what's left of last year's garlic and make some garlic salt too.

It's making my mouth water just thinking about it New Shoot!  :tongue2:  What are the mushrooms like (texture-wise) when they've been rehydrated?

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New shoot

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Re: Finally - Food Dehydrator!
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2019, 11:02 »
What are the mushrooms like (texture-wise) when they've been rehydrated?

I tend to chuck them in pasta sauces and the like as they are.  They absorb whatever liquid is in there and you wouldn't know the difference once the dish is done.  I've never rehydrated them separately to use tbh.

You can also put dried mushrooms into the food processor and make mushroom powder.  Let it settle for 5 minutes before you open the lid unless you want the kitchen coated with it  :lol:  Mushroom powder is amazing to add a huge flavour boost to soups, stews and sauces, plus adds as a thickener.

If you are feeling really frugal, dry tomato skins after you have made tomato sauce.  I end up doing big batches over the summer and tomato skin powder is another flavour boost and thickening ingredient :)

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DanielCoffey

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Re: Finally - Food Dehydrator!
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2019, 08:10 »
When drying herbs in a big dehydrator like an Excalibur, I do find that they blow about a bit once dried so I tend to dry whole leaves/sprigs then destalk them afterwards.

There is a Phyliss Hobson book about drying foods that may give you some ideas for how to use dried ingredients. It offers several ways to dry (sun/oven/lightbox/dehydrator) but has a lot of suggestions.

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Auntiemogs

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Re: Finally - Food Dehydrator!
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2019, 09:57 »
I'd never have thought about using the tomato skins News, but may give it a go this year as it would seem a shame to waste them now.  I particularly like the idea of the mushroom powder (I'll remember to keep the lid on!).  :D

That's a serious piece of kit Daniel!   :)  I do like kitchen gadgets, but will try to be good and see how I get on with this one first.  My mind is now turning to those food seal machines, so I shall keep my eyes peeled.  :D  Many thanks for the book mention - I am now 'Gurgling', so I suspect that a copy will be making its way to me in the not-too-distant future.  :)

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New shoot

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Re: Finally - Food Dehydrator!
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2019, 11:07 »
I have a Mary Bell book I use as my dehydrator go-to.  She is writing for an American audience, so has a fair bit about jerky and trail foods in the book, but also all the basics and beyond.  That what got me going on powdering dried foods for different uses.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Bells-Complete-Dehydrator-Cookbook/dp/0688130240

If you want to experiment with more ideas, a lot of YouTube and internet stuff is available.  I dried surplus cabbage one year - just slice and dry as is.  This is not the traditional advice, but it worked really well, excellent in soups over winter and even re-hydrated for coleslaw, which I was very skeptical about.

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Auntiemogs

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Re: Finally - Food Dehydrator!
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2019, 15:27 »
Does the cabbage still have a crunch to it?  Thank you for the link (looking forward to receiving this one soon!  :nowink:) - I'd totally forgotten beef jerky and my son is addicted to it!  :D

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New shoot

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Re: Finally - Food Dehydrator!
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2019, 11:34 »
Does the cabbage still have a crunch to it? 

Yes  :)  It was plot cabbage, which is generally a lot better texture than shop bought.  I had a whole load that were starting to split, we ate as much as we could, I'd made kraut and there were a few left, so nothing ventured and all that  :lol:  It has a slightly different texture to fresh, but nothing bad.  Re-hydrating slowly in the fridge with some lemon juice in the water, it was pretty good  8)

Mary has more dried meat recipes than you could shake a stick of jerky at, so your son will be very happy :D

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Aidy

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Re: Finally - Food Dehydrator!
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2019, 23:10 »
I de-hydrate all sorts of veg but I have to say the biggest suprise I had is....
(drum roll please)


Onions
Last year I had a couple with fly just starting to nibble the base so I sliced them, dried and stored, they give a deeper flavour to stews etc, I also ground them to produce onion powder which is amazing, use in burgers, bread its just so much more intense than fresh.
Thats my feedback.
Punk isn't dead...it's underground where it belongs. If it comes to the surface it's no longer punk...it's Green Day!

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New shoot

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Re: Finally - Food Dehydrator!
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2019, 11:12 »
Oh that was a timely reminder  :)  I have overwintered onions that are ready and I think I have some leaf miner in them.

Slice, dry and powder anything salvageable then - sounds like a plan  :D



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