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Basics of Dehydrating Foods

Discussion in 'Home & Garden' started by Barbara G., Nov 21, 2014.

  1. Barbara G.

    Barbara G. Moderator Staff Member Member

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    If you have a huge amount of fruits and vegetables at your home but don’t have enough space in your fridge or cooler, dehydration is one of your best solutions. Basically, dehydrating foods is an alternative to bottling or canning. There are five major steps: Preparation, Drying, Post-Drying, Packaging and Storing.

    1. Preparation – As much as possible, choose the best fruits and vegetables. When dehydrating, prepare the food as you want it to be served. To have even drying, the pieces should be in uniform size and thickness.

    2. Drying – Select the most suitable equipment and drying method for you. You can use a conventional oven, dehydrator, or even allow the foods to dry in the sun when drying. Guard sensibly and make sure to know when the food is completely dry.

    3. Post-Drying – This step is appropriate to fruits only. Pack the dried fruit pieces into glass jars or plastic containers for about 4-10 days for acclimatizing. To keep the moisture concentration in check and to separate the pieces, shake the jars daily.

    4. Packaging – Seal the dried fruit and put them in the appropriate container. Pack as tightly as possible.

    5. Storing – The dried food items should be kept in a cool, dry place without any direct sun light. Eat within the timeframe of 6-12 months.
     
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  3. Geri K

    Geri K Active Member Member

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    A convection oven is good for dehydrating or you can even make your own dryer. Paint the bottom of a cookie sheet black. Get a box that is the same size as the cookie sheet and line it with foil. Cut a hole in the side of the box and put a light bulb attached to a base at the end of an extension cord inside the box. Put the cookie sheet on top of the box and turn the light bulb on. You will have a cheap dehydrator that works well. I have tried this before and it does work well and will use less electricity than an oven. Will post of a pic of one of these kinds of dehydrators when I find one.
     
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  4. LoveTheOutdoors

    LoveTheOutdoors Member Member

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    Great tips for dehydrating. I used to do a lot of dehydrating in the past, but it has been a while since I have picked it up. Thinking about doing it again in the near future.
     
  5. CrockPotFamily

    CrockPotFamily New Member Member

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    I have done some fruits and veggies in the past, but did not know about the additional tip for the fruit. I will have to remember about the shaking of the jar to help with the post-drying process. Thanks.
     
  6. HomeSchoolMom

    HomeSchoolMom Member Member

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    I do like to do some growing in the summer, but did not think about dehydrating. This past summer I started learning about canning and have much to learn for the new year.
     

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