Suggestions on Dehydrating Fruits and Vegetables

schmije

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I think I have the same dehydrator as you do, and I love it! Our favorite dehydrated fruit is peaches - they're like candy. Strawberries (chunks or leathers) are a close second, and apples are always a hit.

I'm going to have to try that zucchini candy. I'm swamped with them right now.
 

BackerBunch

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Thanks for the zucchini candy recipes, you guys! I can't wait to try different flavors.

I think DH thought I was making a mistake when I tried dehydrating my first batch of cherry tomatoes because I placed them cut side down without thinking they might stick. I got lucky because they didn't. I put them in the dehydrator yesterday afternoon and checked on them this morning. They were crispy, light and tender. We couldn't believe the burst of flavor!

We drink a lot of coffee around here so I've started using the dehydrator with the jelly roll part to dry out our used coffee grounds. When I get a quart jar full, I walk around the yard "feeding" the plants I think need the extra nitrogen. I don't know if it's working but it makes me feel better re-using the grounds. The paper filters go into our compost bin.
 

so lucky

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I'm jealous!! I want a dehydrator too but don't have the spare cash to spen on an Excaliber. What other cheaper brands are good, in your experience?
 

The Mama Chicken

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so lucky said:
I'm jealous!! I want a dehydrator too but don't have the spare cash to spen on an Excaliber. What other cheaper brands are good, in your experience?
I found a Mr. Coffee brand at a yard sale about 2 years ago. It's not fancy, but it works just fine (and it only cost me $2!) I've done tomatoes, onions, garlic, fruit leather and tons of herbs. Eventually I'll have Hubby build me a big one, but the little one does what I need it to for now.
 

Jared77

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My dehydrator is an Oster. I bought it at Walmart. No timer just an on/off switch. It takes a little getting used to, but with a little trial and error and a few rechecks on what I'm working on I've got it figured out. I didn't pay a lot for it but then I don't dehydrate that much stuff either. It works for what I want it for. I had a hard time too justifying spending the extra money on something that I don't use that much. I'm sure I could get A LOT more out of it, I just haven't put the effort into it yet. Too many other projects. Hope this helps
 

BackerBunch

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so lucky said:
I'm jealous!! I want a dehydrator too but don't have the spare cash to spen on an Excaliber. What other cheaper brands are good, in your experience?
We have an Aroma. If I remember correctly, I think you can get them at Walmart. Ours quit working not too long ago after having it several years. If DH hadn't fixed it (a wire came loose) I would have bought another one. It's round and has a little motor in it that turns the trays. The downside is the trays are too big to clean in the dishwasher but I can live with that. ;)

With all of the recalls, you can also make dog treats if you can find meat cheap enough.
 

Kassaundra

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so lucky said:
I'm jealous!! I want a dehydrator too but don't have the spare cash to spen on an Excaliber. What other cheaper brands are good, in your experience?
I think more then the brand is the type, forced air!!!!! I have two one american harvest forced air that I love, the other one is a round brown one can't remember b/c I never use it b/c it is not forced air and literally takes 3 times longer to dehydrate. (got both of mine at garage sales) and am really wanting another american harvest, I keep looking on ebay.
 

schmije

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I just tried the recipe for zucchini candy, and it's AMAZING! I even had some overgrown patty-pan squash that I chopped up and tried. They taste basically the same as the zucchini. This is a great use for excess/overgrown squash!

My work friends thought I was really weird when I told them I was making it. I bet they change their attitude when I take some for them to sample tomorrow. :D
 

hangin'witthepeeps

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All my candy is gone, between the husband, kids and co-workers, that stuff goes fast. My Cherokee Purple tomatoes have succumbed to a blight and I plan on ripping them out this weekend and planting some zucchini. I personally can never have enough zucchini.

I want to remind everyone to dry your herbs. I went out last night and my oregano was overtaking it's gigantic pot. So I clipped all the long sprigs. I gave the chives a hair cut and cut a bunch of parsley. I managed to get 2 sprigs of thyme. I went in a rinsed them off and placed them in the dehydrator. They were all ready this morning and I put them in jars. If you have an over abundance, it's time to stock up on the dried herbs!!!!!

When sweet onions go on sale this fall, I will cut, then blanch them and dehydrate them (put the dehydrator on the porch-smells strong). Then when they are dry, grind them to make powder. I always dry a few cloves of garlic at the same time to make garlic powder.
 

plainolebill

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This is still pretty early in the season for us so there isn't much to preserve, etc. We've dehydrated some of our blueberries, oregano, basil. I harvested a lot of garlic last week - when it's cured I'm going to try drying some and making garlic powder. I'm also going to try drying some tomatoes when they start ripening.
 
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