Dehydrating Tips and Other Useful Information

~ Fruits dry best between 130-140 degrees.

~ Dried carrtos add vitamin A to your food storage.

~ Dried carrots should be stored in a dark place – vitamin a is light sensitive and can be lost if left in the light for more than 6 months.

~Vitamin C is air soluble which means that nutrients can be lost in the dry air process which the cell walls are cut and exposed to air.

~ Don’t over do it with dehydrated carrots, they double in size if not more when reconstituted.

~ Use a blender to make dried celery into a powder.
~ Zest lemons before using them then dry the zest for lemon powder alone or with pepper.

~ Fiber, carbohydrates and minerals however do not changeas a result of drying.

~ Caloric value is the same in dehydrated for as it is in fresh.

~ Whenever possible dehydrate at night, the demand for electricity is less and cheaper.

~you can dry canned fruit – pineapple, marachino cherries, peaches, mandarine oranges.

~Be sure to keep slices between 1/4 and 1/2 inch when drying, you can make them thicker but it will take longer and you increase the chances of case hardening.

~For “raw” dehydrating, dry at 110 degrees.

~ Red pineapples – dry pine apples half way through, place rings in a bowl and cover with cranberry juice and let soak for 20-30 minutes, drain completely and then return to dehydrator and allow to dry completely.

~Commercial dried bananas are friend, sweetened and then flavored with banana flavoring and then they are finally dried. They are always going to be lighter and crispier than your all natural banana chips.

~ For sweeter home dried banana chips soak after slicing in pineapple juice and honey.

~ When drying apples, after sliced, dip in jello powder, cinnamon/sugar mixture or maple syrup.
~Always remove cores, pits, kernels, nuts and seeds before dehydrating
~ Any fruit with a tough skin (or not edible) must be removed (banana, mango, pineapple, melons, and kiwi.)
~ Forget using sulfer in dehydrating, it was very common when food was dried outdoors, to keep bugs away and to presenve the color.  But it really is a lot of work to add sulfer to food, and is mostly needless.
~ To avoid oxidation (minimize darkening)  - you can dip foods in various anti oxidants that contain vitamin-c, asorbic acid and or sodium bisulfate, this is cosmetic and although not a requirement for drying, I prefer it. that and I don’t think that my children would eat foods that had not been treated.
~ For a more adult flavored dehydrated fruit, dip half dehydrated apples or pinepaale in flavored liquer like raspberry, cherry, almond, hazelnut, ameretto, , sour apple, or triple-sec,…. also maybe cherry juice (not just an adult idea on that one, obviously)there are so many possibilities with this.
~Drying berries – raspberries/blackberries, can be dried whoe. strawberryies should be sliced, blueberries, grapes, and cranberries hold water and must be punctured. Also, completely drying these makes it much easier to bake with and store really well for longer periods of time.
~ There are 3 ways to puncture the skins of blueberries, cranberries, or grapes, with a toothpick, par boil till the skins burst (If you make them to mooshy, blend and make fruit leather.) and the third possibility is cutting in half.
~ Berry bits – one of the easiest ways to dry berries is to chop in a blender then dry on a leather sheet.
~ Glace’- a processrepeated 3-4 times over 1-3 days. Its a way to build sugar content in dried foods. 1/2 dry then soak in heated sugar water mixture for 3-4 hours or until reconstituted (Boil sugar/water mixture 1 minute to ensure sugar is completely  disolved.)
~ Some veggies are reconstituted faster and closer to their original consistancy if you blanch them first. you can steam or boil. Aspasgus spears, broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, couliflower, green beans, an peas.
~ Blanch beats and tomato to remove skins and potatos to minimize darkening.
~ banana powder can be a milk substitute or a tablespoon of peach powders makes an angelfood cake amazing, Powdered lemon is great in icing, or use mushroom, tomato, pinich ot squash in making homemade noodles.
~ Greens dry really well. remove the stems and they can be dried seperately, you can partially crush for better space management, and add to soups, stews, (splitpea, lentil, chicken, turkey, italian wedding) to quiche, dips, sprinkle on pizza, or ay other recipe you might be called upon to use spinich, like omlets.
~ To dry greens, remove stems, marinate in vinager and sale for one hour spread on a single layer in the dehydrator and sprinkle lightly with salt.
~ Mushroom butter 1/4 cup mushroom powder, 2 tsp warm water (to reconstitute mushroom) 1/2 cup butter – place powdered mushroom in warm water for 2-4 minutes, melt butter, add mushrooms – saute 2-3 minutes and season to taste.
~ Drying onions, consider drying outside or in the garage. onions are VERY pungent (smelly) during the dehydrating process, so are peppers.
~ Pumpkin & winter squash – cut into half inch cubes, spray with lemon juice and dry. (I think blanching or steaming might be good here, I need to reasearch that a litle further!!)
~ Dried Zucchini powder in zucchini bread.
~ 1 pount of dried ground beef yeilds 1 1/3 cup dried, be sure to rinse well in hot water after browning meat. You can saute onion, garlic, and green bell pepper seperately and mix with ground beef after rinsing and spice to taste with salt and pepper before drying. Depending on what you choose to use the meat for, you may also want to add basil or italian seasonings too.
~ Try drying spaghetti sauce.
~ A trick to avoid small pieces of food from falling between the slats in the trays on your dehydrator are pantyhose or other thin breathing fabrics. They can be cleaned and reused too.
~ Dont dehydrate meat to store, for snacking or camping sure but not for long erm. purchase your food storage meat commercially or can at home.
~ Soaking bananas makes them soggy. Can take longer to dry.
~ Sweet potatos need to be cooked through before drying. Also can be mashed where as white potatos cannot.
~Dry potatoes for hash browns or stews but they should be commercially dried for mashed potatoes, otherwise you will never get the proper consistency.
~ Steam pineapples prior to drying unless making powder.

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