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Suggestions on Dehydrating Fruits and Vegetables

Discussion in 'The Harvest: Recipes, Canning, Preserving' started by retiredwith4acres, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. Jul 11, 2012
    retiredwith4acres

    retiredwith4acres Garden Ornament

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    We got home from haircuts and dentist visit to find a large box. I broke down and ordered a Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator. I have never preserved by dehydrating fruits and vegetables other than helping my mother as a child drying apples by using the sun. SO, I am looking for suggestions on what to dry and how to use those items after dried. I think I will go out and pick up some peaches off the ground to maybe get started but would love to hear from those that already use this method.
     
  2. Jul 11, 2012
    Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Garden Master

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    I'll not go into detail unless you ask something in particular. My posts are usually too long anyway.

    I use mine mainly for herbs, specifically oregano, basil, and sage.

    I've dried onions and tomatoes. Put those in different things and they cook up and flavor nicely. If you pop a dried tomato in your mouth, you get a tremendous burst of flavor. It's almost painful it is so good.

    I recently made raisins from seedless grapes. If my peach trees produce like I think they will, I'll be drying peaches in a couple of weeks. Maybe making prunes out of plums too.
     
  3. Jul 11, 2012
    lesa

    lesa Garden Master

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    You will really enjoy having this! I love to do the cherry tomatoes. We add them to sauces and pizza, all winter long. The organic cherry tomatoes are almost 5 bucks a pint- so drying them makes sense from a flavor and economic standpoint. Last year I dried all the tomato skins I removed during canning, and made a powder out of them. Great for an instant burst of tomato flavor- and using something I would otherwise just give to the chickens. I have done all the herbs that Ridgerunner mentioned- and the dehydrator works great for them... I would just experiment. Try whatever you have and see how you like it!
     
  4. Jul 11, 2012
    peteyfoozer

    peteyfoozer Deeply Rooted

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    We live a long way from town, so i also dehydrate my mushrooms and celery, I use it to dry Calendulas to use in soap and lotions, I dry herbs, and do fruit leathers

    To use the mushrooms, I put in a cup of warm water to rehydrate before sauteeing. The celery I just toss in soups and stews.
     
  5. Jul 11, 2012
    BackerBunch

    BackerBunch Chillin' In The Garden

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    I love our dehydrator. You're only limited by your imagination so experiment with anything that comes to mind. One year we had too many jalapenos. After de-seeding them, we dried them and grounded them up in a cheap coffee grinder into a powder. We loved having jalapeno pepper pepper so much, I planted extra plants this year.

    Lesa, that's a great idea with the tomato skins!

    Ridgerunner, We're out of onion powder. Just this morning, DH was saying we should try making our own. I'm also going to try dehydrating some of our cherry tomatoes this year. Thanks for the reminder!
     
  6. Jul 11, 2012
    hangin'witthepeeps

    hangin'witthepeeps Deeply Rooted

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    I dehydrate

    Zucchini
    Zucchini candy
    Mushrooms (when I find them marked down)
    Green onions
    Carrots
    Cabbage
    Celery
    Broccoli
    Bananas
    Tomatoes
    Beef Jerky

    Some need to be blanched and some don't. Mainly I dehydrate something like broccoli or tomatoes when I have some that are going to go bad before I use it up or I got a really good deal one some that were going to go bad, like "produce manager's special" .99 cent sacks at my local grocery store.

    I've been dehydrating green onions like mad because they are ready in the garden and I planted way too many. I put my dehydrator on the porch when I do these, they smell really strong while dehydrating. Some of the veggies I use to dress up Ramen noodles for quick lunches when I don't have leftovers.
     
  7. Jul 11, 2012
    lesa

    lesa Garden Master

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    Cabbage? Interesting, hangin. How does that come out and how do you use it?
     
  8. Jul 11, 2012
    hangin'witthepeeps

    hangin'witthepeeps Deeply Rooted

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    I just chopped it up in shreds. I add a few pieces to my Ramen and cook for 4 minutes in the microwave adding extra water. Then I add season package and top the container I nuked it in and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Yummy and a little chewy, but I bet if I had blanched them, it would have been less chewy.

    I like the chew though, kind of like sauteed cabbage.
     
  9. Jul 11, 2012
    BackerBunch

    BackerBunch Chillin' In The Garden

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    hangin', how do you make zucchini candy?
     
  10. Jul 12, 2012
    baymule

    baymule Garden Master

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    I just started dehydrating this year. I have done tons of tomatoes (used to give away our excess) and some onions. I am having fun and learning as I go. If you don't have one, get a vacuum sealer. I vacuum seal my dehydrated goodies and toss 'em in a bucket with a lid in the bottom of the pantry.
     

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