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Food Dehydrating

Anyone here experienced with drying fruits and vegetables? I just got a new machine and have been experimenting. My apple slices ended up curly and my bananas weren't the chips I was expecting. I think the apples were too thin and the bananas too thick.

Do you have any tricks of the trade? Best fruits/veggies to dry? Techniques for more "professional" looking results.

Thanks.




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Moon Dried Tomato(e)s..LOL

I had great luck with the Roma tomato.
One year I had a bumper crop, so we dried some.
Very similar to Sun dried, without the Sun.
Once finished, the softer ones went into a jar with Olive oil.
Great on Pizza.

The crunchy ones, got crumbled into small particles, and put into a spice shaker. Great as a concentrated tomato flavor.

"I don't endorse anything they say"
~Ron Paul On the 911 Truth movement.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGyhlNY0y1k

Thanks Thundercloud.

Semi-dried tomatoes where my next question. I put them on everything but they're expensive.

Did you cut the drying time in half?

Ron Paul "Sign Wave Across the USA" -- November 5th!

no, I was a rookie

The ones on the bottom tray dried much faster, the middle tray and above stayed soft. So one batch netted me both types.
Even if you mean to make them soft, and they aren't, they were still usable.
Very nice concentrated flavor though.

"I don't endorse anything they say"
~Ron Paul On the 911 Truth movement.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGyhlNY0y1k

bump Lisa

good posts deserve bumps.

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"good posts deseve bumps"

Sounds a bit like a disease, legalize.

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*****

"Indeed, there can be no other criterion, no other standard than gold. Yes, gold, which never changes, which can be shaped into ingots, bars, coins, which has no nationality and which is eternally and universally accepted as the unalterable fid

Ron Paul "Sign Wave Across the USA" -- November 5th!

lemon juice dip on the apples

It keeps them from turning yellow, and gives an extra "zing" to the dried product. They are just going to curl, most fruit will. Lemon juice dip works well on peaches, nectarines, pears too.
Berries and cherries are best made into fruit leather in my opinion.
I don't mess with a lot of veggies, I prefer root cellar storage. Don't like dried bananas, so I am no help there at all!
Use raw celery to scrub the screens after you dry onions to help remove the onion smell. I have a screen dedicated to onions that I don't use for anything else.
The worst thing about dehydrated fruit? It is so dang tasty! I busted out a couple bags over Christmas, and my family and I managed to munch through about 20 pounds of peaches in 2 evenings... YUM!

Truth exists, and it deserves to be cherished.

Yes, not a big fan of dried bananas myself.

Just seemed an easy fruit to try.

What's your technique for slicing up the peaches? They seem a bit awkward to dry.

*****

"Indeed, there can be no other criterion, no other standard than gold. Yes, gold, which never changes, which can be shaped into ingots, bars, coins, which has no nationality and which is eternally and universally accepted as the unalterable fid

Ron Paul "Sign Wave Across the USA" -- November 5th!

actaully one of the easiest

buy organic and wash well, and start slicing with a good sharp knife - pretty thin, but not papery. Leave the skins on, and slice until you hit the pit, start slicing from the other side. Then slice up the other two ends. I wind up with full rounds for munching and then little rectangle pieces that are great for trail mix.

Truth exists, and it deserves to be cherished.

Thanks paul4won.

Sounds easy enough. We're in the middle of stone fruit season here. Might go and grab some this afternoon.

*****

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Ron Paul "Sign Wave Across the USA" -- November 5th!

one last tip to keep your dehydrateds dry...

After you pull them off the dehydrator, put them in a paper bag overnight, give it a good shake every couple hours before you go to bed. Put it in your tupperware or baggies or whatever the next day. The newly dried fruit will sweat, and if you have already bagged it up for long term storage it will un-dehydrate on you. (If that happens, just put it back on the dryer, or eat it right away.)
Fresh peaches... I confess I am envious even after eating a few pounds of dried ones... Enjoy! Remember to crack the pits and save the inner pits for the B-17!

Truth exists, and it deserves to be cherished.

Great tip.

I'm going to vacuum pack them but will do as you suggest and let them "sweat it out".

Ron Paul "Sign Wave Across the USA" -- November 5th!

I would like to know

too. I did ground buffalo jerky it turned out good, but can't tell anyone because I get yelled at by some of the people on the DP. I also tried green peppers but they did not turn out very good. I guess it takes time to learn how to do it, don't give up. I know some people said their fruits and vegetables turn out great so it must just take practice. Good luck to you.

Prepare & Share the Message of Freedom through Positive-Peaceful-Activism.

Thanks quiltie.

I need some practice before moving on to jerky. My next "project" was going to be grapes. We'll see how that goes.

I really miss California raisins. : (

*****

"Indeed, there can be no other criterion, no other standard than gold. Yes, gold, which never changes, which can be shaped into ingots, bars, coins, which has no nationality and which is eternally and universally accepted as the unalterable fid

Ron Paul "Sign Wave Across the USA" -- November 5th!

I tried beef jerky a month ago...

it didn't work out for me so well. It was so tough that it would have been better to use it to repair a hole in my boots than to try to eat it. I haven't tried again since. I'm currently working up the nerve to try an apple.

"An apple"?

Just one?

Apples were my first batch and turned out pretty delicious. Go nuts and try a whole tray full.

*****

This space is for rent.

Ron Paul "Sign Wave Across the USA" -- November 5th!

I used ground

meat not sliced it did turn out well for me. The sliced I think is hard to eat for me too.

Prepare & Share the Message of Freedom through Positive-Peaceful-Activism.

Forget the raisins

how about some California wine. Maybe, you can do a Lucy Ricardo grape mash in a barrel with some Steve Dore, Ron Paul Revolution Music. hee,hee

Prepare & Share the Message of Freedom through Positive-Peaceful-Activism.

Come on over, Ethel!

Any time you wanna drink wine and mash grapes, my door is open.

*****

"Indeed, there can be no other criterion, no other standard than gold. Yes, gold, which never changes, which can be shaped into ingots, bars, coins, which has no nationality and which is eternally and universally accepted as the unalterable fid

Ron Paul "Sign Wave Across the USA" -- November 5th!

I am in the mood

for drinking wine and mashing potatoes. hee,hee

Prepare & Share the Message of Freedom through Positive-Peaceful-Activism.

Mashing potatoes?

You bring it, we can mash it.

*****

"Indeed, there can be no other criterion, no other standard than gold. Yes, gold, which never changes, which can be shaped into ingots, bars, coins, which has no nationality and which is eternally and universally accepted as the unalterable fid

Ron Paul "Sign Wave Across the USA" -- November 5th!

raisins are tricky

for the same reasons I said I prefer to make leather out of berries. Anything thick like a grape will take a LONG time, and need rolled around to dry somewhat evenly, and ideally each one needs poked to vent. If you do not dry them well enough, you risk having them mold or ferment... not as fun as it sounds like it ought to be ;)
I make jelly from my grapes, but I have heard they actually freeze pretty well. If you have your heart set on dehydrating them, expect a certain percentage of failure per attempt. Some of the little buggers just hold their water too well.

Truth exists, and it deserves to be cherished.

I think you're idea of grape jelly is a better idea.

No grape jelly/jam in Australia. Plum is a decent substitute. My husband is the toast eater in the family. I have become a real fan of unheated Tasmanian honey -- smells like flowers.

*****

"Indeed, there can be no other criterion, no other standard than gold. Yes, gold, which never changes, which can be shaped into ingots, bars, coins, which has no nationality and which is eternally and universally accepted as the unalterable fid

Ron Paul "Sign Wave Across the USA" -- November 5th!