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Dehydrating
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This year I am planting my first vegetable garden and I have been looking into ways of preserving.  I am very interested in a food dehydrator.  I think the main benefit of the dehydrator is that is doesn't eliminate any of the nutrients so it is like eating the food raw.  I am just concerned about the time it takes to dehydrate and also if I would use it.

 

Do any of you use a dehydrator?  If so, let me know some things you use it for.  I know I will for sure be making some kale chips! :)

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I do use a dehydrator.  You're right - it takes a long time to dehydrate food.  It's kind of a pain in the butt because it's big.  but it's very effective. :)

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I do use a dehydrator.  You're right - it takes a long time to dehydrate food.  It's kind of a pain in the butt because it's big.  but it's very effective. :)

Do you have any recipes or tips?  What do you like to dehydrate the most?

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Hmmm.... I did a lot of flax crackers for a while, because I love those.  Fruit when it's in season (homemade dried fruits are much better, for the ones that dry well).  I've done a few veggies, but never found a method I'm super happy with.  Some "cookie" type things too.  When I was backpacking, I would make my meals and dehydrate them to bring with me (dehydrated chili rehydrates VERY well).

 

I highly recommend looking at raw recipes - cookbooks, blogs, etc.  They often have things that require dehydrators.

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Hmmm.... I did a lot of flax crackers for a while, because I love those.  Fruit when it's in season (homemade dried fruits are much better, for the ones that dry well).  I've done a few veggies, but never found a method I'm super happy with.  Some "cookie" type things too.  When I was backpacking, I would make my meals and dehydrate them to bring with me (dehydrated chili rehydrates VERY well).

 

I highly recommend looking at raw recipes - cookbooks, blogs, etc.  They often have things that require dehydrators.

WOW Thanks for the tips!  I really like the flax crackers idea!  :)

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I used mine mainly when I was on a raw vegan diet.  I got the Nesco but I needed to buy tons of extra trays and fruit leather sheets.  But I bought too many.  Would work in the garage but in the house wouldn't fit under my cupboards.  I dried mushrooms, made nut cheese and onion bread.  I tried it for other things but mainly didn't like the end results.

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I like dried beets?!  I have also dried tomatoes.  I buy dried peas and they are one of my favorite treats.  I think one could dry about any veggie.  I keep mine in the freezer for longer storage.

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I dehydrate in the oven, anything from apple chips, chickpeas, tomato chips to kale chips.  But the convenience of a dehydrator would be nice as it would free up oven space.

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I use mine quite a bit since I purchased a few months ago. Lots of jerky (salmon, beef and chicken), dried fruit and dried herbs. I do not treat fruit with anything as the instructions suggested dipping in juice that I am intolerant of - apples, pears, blueberries all turn out great.

I keep it on back porch or laundry room while it is running as the noise becomes irritating when we have used in the kitchen.

I also have done jerky in the oven after L2T recommended - it turned out great - dehydrator easier to use, oven less noise - both methods work.

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I am on my second.  First I got an inexpensive one locally, and then I invested in a more expensive one, and I don't regret it.  I also use it for making yogurt.  I made a lot of veggie chips.  One nice recipe for that was half boiled potato and half boiled greens mixed with some salt and oil.  I think I used 1/4 cup oil for 2 c. vegetables, and about 1 t of salt.  It made great chips.  I used the green leafy portion of things like broccoli and cauliflower that you otherwise throw away.  That pleased my thrifty side that doesn't like to throw away food.  Young broccoli leaves are also good broiled with olive oil.  I am currently eating fruit leather I made some time ago and stored in the freezer.  It keeps a long time that way.  I don't like the texture of the rehydrated vegetables.  What I do is grind them to powder with the blender and then the texture is no longer an issue.  I can add that powder to soups or stir fries.  It works great when you get too many summer squash all at once.  The smell can be a bit much, especially when doing something like basil.  I keep it in a separate room and leave the windows open.  You can get lots more ideas online.  Have fun.

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I have also dehydrated cherries cut in half to add to grain-less granola.

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