Author Topic: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them  (Read 157156 times)

Offline Herbalpagan

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #60 on: August 24, 2010, 12:41:46 PM »
First - I use the canister to seal my jars, I haven't got the lid sealer to work right for me, but the canisters do a great job!

I've been dehydrating a lot so I don't have to heat up the kitchen.  I've gotten a half gallon of dried green beans, 2 gallons of summer squash chips done, a couple of eggplant, and a huge head of cabbage reduced down to a half gallon jar.  I'm going to put more things in mylar or vacuum bags after they come out of the dehydrator since I still have a bit of last years harvest left.  Next on the list to dry will be tomatoes.

Did you folks see Tammy's video on pumpkin pie? It has the easiest directions for dehydrating pumpkin I've ever seen !!!

Offline Prag

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #61 on: August 24, 2010, 03:54:00 PM »
Great thread and lots of useful/helpful info btw.  :)

We use dehydrated foods almost daily.

We have a little 7 tray American Harvester and it meets our needs for now...but we're saving for an Excalibur.

I have okra and tomatoes in our dehydrator as I type this.

I am also pressure canning a vegetable soup mix (to rotate some stores out of our freezers).
I used squash, tomatoes, and carrots I dehydrated earlier this year in the soup mix.

We keep a large variety of dehydrated vegetables and seasonings (onions, garlic, and such) on our kitchen island where they are handy to grab & use.

We tend to reach for the dehydrated veggies as frequently as our canned veggies.

Prag

Offline JGreene

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #62 on: August 24, 2010, 04:01:53 PM »
Zucinni chips - sliced thin and dried

But my favorite so far has got to be Roma and cherry tomatoes.  Sliced in half and dried.  Admittedly, it took forever, pretty much all of 24 hours, the cherries a bit less.   Next time I'm going to try poking holes in the skin side and do it again.  Have you priced sun dried tomatoes lately???   Love the things.

Offline theadob

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #63 on: August 25, 2010, 08:27:51 AM »
I just ordered my Excaliber this week.  I'd been saving for a while and I noticed that they sell refurb units for 100 less than new and with a 10 year warranty on the Excaliber web site.  I couldnt afford new yet, but thanks to the refurb, I was able to get it.http://www.excaliburdehydrator.com/3900-R-Excalibur-with-10-Year-Warranty-184-37-regular-prod.htm

Offline LvsChant

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #64 on: August 25, 2010, 12:25:49 PM »
You will love it! I had a bit of sadness when packing mine away in preparation for a move :(

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #65 on: August 25, 2010, 12:51:15 PM »
I've done just about every vegetable under the sun - mostly frozen, especially when they are on sale.

Every time we go to the grocery store I pick up another case of canning jars and enough veg to fill all 9 trays.

Just read the thread on pasta sauce and have a huge batch of homemade that I really don't want to freeze. To the Excalibur!

Offline ggmalena

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #66 on: August 25, 2010, 01:06:48 PM »
Am fortunate in that I've had an Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator for about 13 years now, a real work horse, love it.  The things I dehydrate most frequently include onions, peppers, carrots, tomatoes, celery, mushrooms and greens such as spinach & chard - using them primarily in soups, stews, dips and thrown in when cooking rice.   I also make veg powder using a coffee / spice grinder.  The veg have to be really dry for this, especially the tomatoes.

The past two years have dehydrated a lot of onions due to the weather being exceeding rainy and the onions beginning to rot in the ground before totally ready to harvest.  A lot of peeling / trimming required but the results have been great – very sweet tasty dried onions, maybe even better than fresh and once the initial work is done, so easy to use.

  Several things I was skeptical about at first we now really like - okra - used in all the above ways and cucumbers which make little chips of concentrated flavor that are great for a crunchy texture salad topping.

 I tried potatoes from the garden for the first time this year, shreds and slices. The first batch I blanched after cutting up, did not work so swell, stuck together a lot and were difficult to separate to put on the racks, the second batch I cooked / blanched first then cut, much better.  Next time I will try putting in the refrigerator overnight after cooking / blanching to firm up before cutting.  One thing I am unclear on is how long to cook / blanch potatoes before drying. Would boiling whole potatoes to a point one would consider about half done and then proceeding with the drying process be enough or too much?

Tried blueberries this year, brought to boil to blanch / pop skins.  The results were pretty messy but did dry well and broke up into blueberry shreds with intense flavor. Also do tea and seasoning herbs, did a bunch of chives this spring and was amazed at how well they have kept a bright green color. 

So far I’ve had pretty good results storing dehydrated veg, but have never kept anything more than 2 or 3 years. The only losses have been peppers which became infested with bugs (not sure what kind) after about a year.  They were in plastic bags in a large plastic container. I now store most everything in glass canning jars in a dark cabinet.  Recently purchased some oxygen absorber packets. One of my next investments will be a vacume sealer.  The info in this thread re: vac sealing jars answered a lot of my questions, never understood before how that was possible.  Thanx.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #67 on: August 25, 2010, 02:13:30 PM »

 I tried potatoes from the garden for the first time this year, shreds and slices. The first batch I blanched after cutting up, did not work so swell, stuck together a lot and were difficult to separate to put on the racks, the second batch I cooked / blanched first then cut, much better.  Next time I will try putting in the refrigerator overnight after cooking / blanching to firm up before cutting.  One thing I am unclear on is how long to cook / blanch potatoes before drying. Would boiling whole potatoes to a point one would consider about half done and then proceeding with the drying process be enough or too much?

Check out this thread on dehydrating potatoes... it may help with your blanching question: http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=9858.0

Quote
Tried blueberries this year, brought to boil to blanch / pop skins.  The results were pretty messy but did dry well and broke up into blueberry shreds with intense flavor. Also do tea and seasoning herbs, did a bunch of chives this spring and was amazed at how well they have kept a bright green color. 

Great idea... I had some that we weren't going to be able to eat fresh before they went bad, so I dehydrated them without blanching. I knew they were notorious for being hard to dehydrate, so I cut them in half before drying, placing skin-side down on the trays. It also worked very well.


Quote
So far I’ve had pretty good results storing dehydrated veg, but have never kept anything more than 2 or 3 years. The only losses have been peppers which became infested with bugs (not sure what kind) after about a year.  They were in plastic bags in a large plastic container. I now store most everything in glass canning jars in a dark cabinet.  Recently purchased some oxygen absorber packets. One of my next investments will be a vacume sealer.  The info in this thread re: vac sealing jars answered a lot of my questions, never understood before how that was possible.  Thanx.

Vacuum-sealing works great with dehydration... you'll love it.

Offline Prag

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #68 on: August 26, 2010, 10:11:41 AM »
Thanks for the link on the potatoes.  :)

And the info on the blueberries...we still have a couple of gallon bags of them in the freezer.
We have enough blueberry jam to last until next season easily, so this looks like a viable option for storage & use.



Just an fwiw/fyi;

We routinely pick our okra and pop it into a gallon freezer bag (before even washing it) and toss in the deep freezer...this is how I was taught to do it as a youngster...we just wash it prior to use.

To the point:
Since we had better than 5 of the gallon bags of okra, even after using a good bit in pressure canning some "okra & tomatoes", & eating it all summer...
I thought I'd see how well it dehydrates (see above post).

Frozen okra dehydrates very well...looks great...smells great...and rehydrates in soup without any issues.




Being able preserve your bounty for use at a later time gives one a sense of well being.


Thanks for the great info on this site.


Regards,

Prag

Offline SPLIT_LIFE

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #69 on: August 29, 2010, 10:33:14 AM »
I bought a used excalibur on craigs list last winter,   $75.    At the farmers market yesterday morning.  Peaches 2.75/lb.    I went  back 2pm when they were cleaning up and was able to get 25 lb for 20$  (the very ripe and soft ones).   

My wife thought I was crazy.        But this morning,  tasting the chewy/crunchy dried peach slices, she was blown away.    Thanks Jack for the farmers market idea.   Next week I'll buy as enough to keep the excalibur running all week.

Offline maxhedroom

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #70 on: August 29, 2010, 03:09:30 PM »
I have dehydrated peaches, peppers, yellow squash, roma tomatoes. NOW how do I cook with them?

Offline LvsChant

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #71 on: August 29, 2010, 08:12:49 PM »
Your dehydrated peaches will work great for crisps, pies, chopped up in oatmeal, snacking for hikes...

Peppers... we crumble them up in chili or red beans, you can also use in dips, or other casseroles. Crumble them over the top of a fresh salad.

Tomatoes... think sun-dried tomatoes. Pretty much anything you would use those for, you could use dried romas for. I use them in soups, stews, chili, etc. I'm probably weird, but I think they taste pretty good as a dry snack.

Yellow squash... haven't had any to dry yet. I use zucchini for potato chip substitutes and also in my recipe for zucchini bread. You just need to add more liquid to your recipes when using dehydrated veges. I haven't done it yet, but also plan to use it for minestrone this coming winter.

Good luck!

Offline LdMorgan

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #72 on: August 29, 2010, 09:47:24 PM »
I have dehydrated strawberry slices - they taste like candy!!!  but they are a pain to slice.  I am going to try another method this spring.

This is just a thought, but wouldn't an egg-slicer slice one or more strawberries just as easily?

Might help when you have a whole flat to slice.


Offline JGreene

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #73 on: August 30, 2010, 06:29:43 AM »
I have dehydrated peaches, peppers, yellow squash, roma tomatoes. NOW how do I cook with them?

"sun dried" tomatoes are great on pizza and in sauces.   My DW made a stir fry from other veggies from the garden that was fantastic.  It was served over pasta and only needed a little olive oil.  These things are like little packets of flavor.  wonderful.

Offline Herbalpagan

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #74 on: August 30, 2010, 06:57:17 AM »
Today, I'm working on shredding and dehydrating carrots from the garden!

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #75 on: August 30, 2010, 07:06:41 AM »
This is just a thought, but wouldn't an egg-slicer slice one or more strawberries just as easily?

Might help when you have a whole flat to slice.

that is what I have used in the past, and I ruin 2-3 slicers depending on how many flats I have.  The strawberry seeds are just too rough on the wires.  This past spring, I just sliced the strawberries in 3-4 thicker slices and did that.  Worked well enough, and the dried berries are just slightly thicker than the egg slicer ones.


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today, well, last night, really, I cubed and steamed 2 sweet potatoes.  They have been drying all night, and by dinner time they should be thoroughly dry so I can throw them in my chicken corn chowder soup for dinner.  If it works, I will be dehydrating the rest of them that I have.

jakematic

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #76 on: August 30, 2010, 08:22:44 AM »
that is what I have used in the past, and I ruin 2-3 slicers depending on how many flats I have.  The strawberry seeds are just too rough on the wires.

Ditto. The slicer needs to be bladed to handle berries. While this slicer from Williams-Sonoma looks like it would do the trick, I use my mandolin. Just keep the blade honed and be very very very careful.



Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #77 on: August 30, 2010, 08:40:16 AM »
Ditto. The slicer needs to be bladed to handle berries. While this slicer from Williams-Sonoma looks like it would do the trick, I use my mandolin. Just keep the blade honed and be very very very careful.




wow - I like that!  and only $15 - it has just been added to my "I want this, and will probably use it often, but not urgent" list.

Offline OKGranny

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #78 on: August 30, 2010, 12:22:33 PM »

today, well, last night, really, I cubed and steamed 2 sweet potatoes.  They have been drying all night, and by dinner time they should be thoroughly dry so I can throw them in my chicken corn chowder soup for dinner.  If it works, I will be dehydrating the rest of them that I have.

I don't know about other people that have dogs but I cut some of the sweet potatoes like french fries and steam and dry them and give them to the boys as treats. They love them and act like they're candy or something.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #79 on: September 19, 2010, 11:16:05 AM »
the sweet potatoes worked.  so I diced and dried 2 more and made french fries out of the last 2, and well, we are out of sweet potatoes again.

********

Have I mentioned radishes yet?  I just dehydrated 2 bunches that were a great deal.  they came up to about 1 c shredded and dried.  they are great on salads.

Offline johngalt

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #80 on: September 20, 2010, 10:38:50 AM »
The only way to dry blueberries!  It takes a little more time, but the end result is tons better than "checking" them in boiling water.  These are dry, not gooey and pourable after dehydration.


Offline LvsChant

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #81 on: September 20, 2010, 11:21:26 AM »
exactly how i did it... Thanks for the photo!

Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #82 on: September 23, 2010, 03:13:26 PM »
I've started drying my tomatoes till crisp and then powdering them in the food processor.  They rehydrate easily into paste, sauce or juice depending on how much water you add.  I'm am in the process of making up a bunch of dehydrated soups and spaghetti mixes to leave at our BOL as there is no heat there and we can't leave anything that will freeze (they explode and make a big mess!)






I fit 7 lbs of paste tomatoes into a pint jar. I love this idea.  I plan on taking the tomato powder adding dried onion and garlic and sealing into a packet with noodles for spaghetti and making another with assorted dried veggies for soup.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #83 on: September 23, 2010, 05:12:58 PM »
That looks so great, TBM! Thanks for the cool photos...

Offline LdMorgan

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #84 on: September 24, 2010, 07:37:00 AM »
Two days ago a friend commented that London Broil was cheaper at the local supermarket than plain hamburger. It was at $2.46 a lb.

We hustled on over and bought home several packages.
 
Jerky Day! (Yay!)

We trimmed most of the fat off, sliced everything 1/4" thick (cutting 90 degrees across the grain).

We'd picked carefully so there wasn't much trimming to do.

We chopped the slices to about 8" in length or so and marinated them overnight in my Sweetie's "Secret Seasoning".

(Some secret. EvenI know what's in it!)

Then we tossed a batch into the Excalibur for about 16 hours.

We just pulled it out and found it dried to perfection.

I had noticed that the London Broil seemed to have a coarser grain than the cuts we usually use for jerky. That has turned out to be a genuine bonus.

This batch is probably three times easier to chew than our usual jerky.

It's great for snackin', and would be ideal for cold-camping/dire times when a fire is not an option.

Ultimately, there was zero waste from the meat we bought. The fat scraps got chopped up and boiled into soup stock. (We had that for supper. It added a nice dimension of flavor to our traditional Scraped Refrigerator Soup.

Odd-shaped chunks have been set aside for stew meat, and I see beef stew and pot pies looming large on the horizon.

Come to think of it, smartest thing my Daddy said when he finally got out of prison was "You find a woman can cook, boy, you better marry her up right quick."

For once, I listened. Got one from Ohio. She's a right wonder, she is.

And a purty little thing, too.










Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #85 on: September 24, 2010, 08:20:46 AM »
Sounds yummy and also sounds like you appreciate that great woman by your side. I'd say you were a blessed man who knows when he has it good. ;)

Offline SteveandTracyinKY

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #86 on: October 02, 2010, 06:12:56 AM »
TBM thanks a ton for the tomato powder pictures. I have been working on this for a while in my head.

How do you guys do your tomatoes for powder? I have tried cutting "slicers" into 1/8-1/4 inch slices but I end up with a sticky mess.

Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #87 on: October 02, 2010, 08:52:04 AM »
Hey Newlyweds!  I have gotten lazy since we've been inundated with veggies so I just wash the tomatoes good - remove any blemishes and stems and slice the in the food processor with the 1/4" blade.  Then I put my dehydrator tray over the sink and add tomato goop and let it drain a minute and do the next tray.  Dry them til they are crispy - they'll peel right off the trays - and then cool a little and then back into the food processor with the cutting knife and whirl til powdered. Store in glass jars. 

1 c. powder to 3 c. water add 1/2 tsp sugar and whatever spices = tomato sauce.

1 c. powder to 1-3/4c. water = paste

1 c. powder to 4-5 c. water = juice.

Hope this helps!

Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #88 on: October 04, 2010, 11:07:39 AM »
Well at some point I'll find the time to read all of this great information! 

Here's my attempt at a table...

*See post by Twobluesmama above on making them into powder
dehydrate         Use
strawberries      In our oatmeal, home made ice cream, snacking
peaches           see above
peppers           anything Thai and on pizza
sweet corn       plan on soups/chili
spinach pwdr*  pasta dishes
tomato            pasta's, pizza
tomato pwdr*  soups, chili, sauces
potato's           I guess we didn't steam/blanch them enough... compost
apples             so far oatmeal and snacks
fruit leather     snacking

- veggies/fruit can be sent through the mail to friends in mylar bags this way and they keep.  People in Alaska have a hard time getting fresh fruit, this is the next best thing.  What a way to say Merry Christmas, here's a salad!  (I don't imagine that dehydrated spinach would make a good salad, but it beats not having any fresh greens)

Offline javabrewer

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Re: your dehydrated foods - what you dried, and how you used them
« Reply #89 on: October 04, 2010, 12:49:23 PM »
I posted a thread on how I make dehydrated ground turkey gravel for use in soups, sauces, and other dishes.  I made my last batch a couple of days before I wrote that thread and I am almost finished using it all up.  Which means we're eating less of it than normal -- probably because we've expanded our 'prepper meal' choices.

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=19555.0