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Discussion Starter #1
I am really suprised to not see dehdration as a topic here.
I Dehydrate everything LOL from generic canned goods , to leftover veggies.
My husband always shops for too much produce and when he leaves for work i am alone so i cant use that much produce alone , and i dont want it to waste.
So I stick it in the dehydrator. Save it for use later. You dont encounter the sogginess you would if you froze it (or in my case my freezer is to full to freeze it) I Dehdrate Fruits and vegetables that are fresh , veggies outta humungus cans of mixed vegtables , huge bags of frozen veggies ect. I often dehdrate fresh green produce and sneak in into my omniverous husbands diet when he isnt looking. I like having dehydrated and dried stuff around , you dont have to just have a dehydrator you can use you oven set on low with the door slightly open.

Here is a link to some basic info
 

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this may sound stupid...but how do you eat it? do you re-hydrate it or is it good as is? we get dried fruit for snacking but veggies i wouldnt know what to do with
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Veggies and other stuff i either drop some in a bowl and microwave it and let it sit 5 min or if its a recipe with a lot of liquid i just add it straight in. With Dehydrated greens they crumble into powder easily and i just add that into stuff like any powder.
 

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Thanks for the link. I have a dehydrator and rarely use it. It is a nice way to store veggies for those fall and winter soups that I so love.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
LOL , I have found myself running out of dehydrstor space , I have one running on my back porch constantly (I run my dehydrator AND my Crockpot outside to keep the house cool) I sometimes have the dehydrator and the oven going at once. I dont like even a single bit of ANYTHING going to waste
LOL

I guess thats from living with my gram , we lived strictly outta her garden and chickens for about 5 years.So I never waste any food.
 

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I dehydrate A LOT too . . even mashed potatoes (make your own instant potatoes). . . onions. . . . jerky. . . . soup starters (just use the little bits left over from meals, dump in a jar with some bullion granules)

I like to spread out my preserving --- I dehydrate some, freeze some, can some. . . that way, I don't lose it all if I lose power, my shelves crash, or water gets into my supplies.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I want to do more preserving , i really wanna freeze a lot of the amberjack my husband brings me , but my freezer is always full , because i am alone miost of the time , i make a huge meal and size it down into portions and freeze them so i wont be tempted to over eat...and i dont know if you know how big a single amberJack is but it can feed a family of 4 for 2 nights I am sure..LOL...

Oh I wish i had a house so i could just smoke it...
Hrmm..
Me and my desire to preserve everything..lol
at least i know i'm not alone now :)
 

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...and i dont know if you know how big a single amberJack is but it can feed a family of 4 for 2 nights I am sure..LOL...

Oh I wish i had a house so i could just smoke it...
Hrmm..
Me and my desire to preserve everything..lol
at least i know i'm not alone now :)
Alton Brown from Good Eats has done several shows on smoking and has built smokers from cardboard boxes and old lockers. He has a website or try foodtv.com for the information. It sounds like it would be fun to try.
 

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thanks for the link!

I've been researching building a food dryer. I have 2 smaller units that are electric.
They seem to take a long time drying food, I don't like leaving them plugged in .sometimes for 12 hours & more , uses so much energy to dry so little bit of food. One has a fan & works much better than the one without the fan.

There are instructions (found on line) for building a solar food dryer out of cardboard boxes.
It's a pretty simple design that I could build myself.


Like Wigwam chic & sunshine both said, I'd like to preserve more food by dehydrating it. We get a lot of garden produce, herbs, fruits over the summer months. We do can some & freeze some.

That's a resourceful gram who can feed the family with her chickens & the garden! I'd like to accomplish that, just for a week or a month out of the summer!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks ceashells , I will definatley look into that. :) snd redmaples , I have an rather old and ancient dehydrator , its an original sunco , all it does is heat a little , no fac , just natiral circulation , i find a lot of today's dehydrators add fans and bells an whistles , I love solar dehydrators also I used to live in a wig wam (hence the wigwam obsession) , I lived super primative , because it is texas dehysdrateings is pretty simple and can consist of a cardboard box lined with foil (or opened potato chip bags that have been cut open - the shiny kind)and coverred with tull or a fine netting. In tribal villages in africa food is preserved in little huts made of sticks (or leftover bamboo) just 4 legs and a platform built up off the ground then clear plastic over it in a roof shape with the ends open for circulation , native americans just found flat clena places on the ground and let things sit in the sun , this can also be achived by laying out a tarp layoung out goods , and covering with netting , these only really work though if you dont get much rain , dont have horrid humidity , or as i learned the hard way , racoon friends. if you have racoon friends you need to bring everything inside at sun down and lay it out again in the morning.

Redmaples have you done any canning or looked into it ?

My gram was the most resourcefull woman i know , she lived the most frugal i have ever seen , LOL , i didnt even know people's houses had toilets till i was 8 . LOL the woman managed to kepp me and my brother and her youngest daughter fed and clothed with absoloutley no income (no job , no husband ect) for years. I dont know how she did it , but i am sure she bartered everything she had.
 

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thanks wigwamchic,
since drying foods is such a natural process, I should be able to figure out some method that will work here for me w/ little energy usage!
We get such a bounty of produce at harvest time, it seems a shame not to preserve more. REading about the success of others is good inspiration & motivation to give it a try! I have very little experience w/dehydrating & some didn't turn out very well.

We do can some...lots of tomatoes & beans especially. Freeze a little...berries & jams. Last year I did use the electric dehydrator to dry slices of cherry tomatoes. The problem is that they are such sweet tasty morsels they can get eaten very quickly & not many get stored. Now, if I
can come up with a way to dry larger batches w/out running tht electric dryer all night..that would be great!

How do you all pretreat your food? I have read about using lemon juice & citric acid for that.

Sunshine has the right idea for spreading out the food preserving tasks.

Love to hear about your gram. Mine was the same way, very resourceful & frugal. No $$, but a big garden, lots of chickens, pigs. She raised peacocks & sold the feathers. They were dairy farm tenants with a giant house. The milk was free. Her man also hunted & butchered all kinds of animals. She scavenged at the dump for canning jars & furniture.

the wigwam site was interesting! Even more interesting that you actually lived in one! I hope you will share more of your natural living skills with us. Have you checked out the sister site here ...Homestead Garden? Lots of these good topics over there.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Aye Red maples , I will probbaly be back over there shortly. LOL , I signed up but have been here for a while now :)

Don't get discouraged with dehydrateing , everyone does it a bot different , and everyone runs into peculiar snags from time to time.

I dont pretreat many things , Its just color in my opinion and i dont care about the color as long as it tastes descent and its still nutritious , I will admit there are a few thinsg i DO treat , apples and potato's and i unsually just do a blanch , salty lemon water , I still have issues dehydrating potato's. I am a sometimes closeted survivalist , i rarely like freezeing things , so if i can i just dehydrate things the best i can. Kinda dehydrator obsessed. LOL you could say.


please forgive my horrid typing from time to time , i have a teethin lil one and am in the middle of moving so i am really multi taskin eight now :)

but i dont think i would have it any other way.

I am always looking for long term storage solutions and always have backup plans if there is no electricty. ( i guess cause i didnt always have it when i was younger i dont trust that it will always be there) LOL

I'l wander over to the homestead garden and find a place to plop down a wigwam story or two :)

The Ultimate frugal move in my life. :)
 

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Thanks Lynda for taking the time
for the encouragement !
I am getting ready to build some tall teepees for the garden...
for staking tomatoes & gourds. I've got some nice bamboo poles &
collection of branches from trees cut on our property. That's the extent of my building skills.
I strive to live naturally & minimally.
I have a lot to learn before I'd earn a survivalist badge!

would love to attempt a wigwam someday.
How about a blog for your stories?

wishing you well in both moving & teething wee one.
 

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I have 3 dehydrators, 1 with fan 2 without. my problem with dehydrating is that I am always afraid that it is not dry enough and will spoil, mold etc. then on the other hand some recipes say leathery. I really get worried over spoilage and just toss it in the freezer even after I have dried it. could use some help here as our garden is just starting to break the ground and I'll have to decide what to do with it once its picked. Am running out of canned veg/fruit room to store so dehydrating would make more sense.:feedback:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Redmaples I think I will go ahead and make a blog , it would make a lot more sense :)

Freyadog (any realtion to fenris *grin*) I have never payed to much attention to how things are "supposed " to be , i let my dehydrateables sit a bit longer sometimes , just to make sure that they are dry , i never pay attention to "leathery" because i never eat dried fruit just dried , if you dehydrate an apple to crisop , it tastes just the same as the
"leathery" In My opinion (of course after it has been rehydrated.
Leathery things are meant for shorter long term storage , to be eaten within the year , any mousiture left will of course grow mold , you dont have to worry to much , if it has mold you will definatley notice. But as long as it is dry and you transfer it to s sealable bag and store in a dark place you will be fine , i wouldnt put it in the freeser , freezers can actually harbor mousture and rehydrate if you freezer dosnt keep a constant temp or a seal is broken , I dont like freezeing things too much because it breaks up the cellular structure of things and can make them super mushy , i found that that dosnt happen quite as much as drying.

Dehydrateing really does break up and free freezer space , i needed to shove some amber jack in a few weeks ago and i had a huge bag frozen veggies , i didnt want to eat them all and i didnt want to waste them , so i took them outta the bag and threw them on the dehydrator , the next day they were dry all the way through , and the sweet corn smelled absoultley wonderfull , i put them in a jar and just use a handfull here and there in my cooking.

I dont dehydrate much sweet stuff and i stay away from bannanna chips , i eaither eat them so quick that it was futile to make them , or i couldnt get them to dry all the way through. The more moist they are as real fruits the harder they are to dry , peaches and necterines seem futile to me , apples , and berries all though if given double time do dry up quite well.
 

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I have had alot of trouble with tomatoes. Geez...the always burn no matter how many times I change the trays around they stink and burn. any suggestions there.

Barb
 

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Discussion Starter #19
how are you dehydrating them barb ?
I know that with tomato's i had a few mishaps from cutting them to thin , then i learned that you had to cut them thick or they cumble too easily.
 

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Lynda
I just slice them and put them on the dehyrator trays. I move the trays around about every other hour or so but no matter what I do they stink and burn then I end up throwing it all out. They really stink. :thud:

Barb
 
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