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Food Dehydrator Tips?????????

Discussion in 'Nutrition & Water' started by *Kathy*, Aug 11, 2007.

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  1. *Kathy*

    *Kathy* Guest

    :woohoo:Woooooo Hoooooo!!!!! Hubby bought me a food dehydrator today! :katertater:

    I know some fruits/veggies dehydrate fairly well ~ Strawberries, bananas, carrots, peppers, & spinach. But that is about all I know, so I have a few questions.....

    1. To dehydrate chicken, it is cooked first, right?

    2. Should veggies & fruits be chopped small or sliced thin to dehydrate quicker? Which is better or does it matter?

    3. Can I drizzle or brush honey on fruits before the dehydrating process?

    4. Which foods do not dehydrate well, and should be avoided?

    5. Do foods lose their nutritional value after dehydrated?


    Also, any & all other food suggestions would help a lot. I would like to dehydrate mango, kiwi, & papaya, since I serve these foods frequently. I am just not sure if these fruits can be dehydrated effectively. Thanks for all of your help!
     
  2. gotcrabs

    gotcrabs Guest

    Omg! I just got one on Thursday from my dad! I would love to dehydrate those foods too. I got a little booklet with mine. I will see what ?'s I can answer.

    1. yes

    2. does not matter

    3. yes

    5. not really. only if you are supposed to pre-treat them and you didn't.

    I will give you more details later.

    Yay! We both are newbies to dehydrators! I can't wait to use mine...
     
  3. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    Definately cook the chicken first. With anything to dehydrate, the thinner its sliced the quicker it dehydrates. If it's shrimp no need to slice them, they dry really fast.

    I've tried slices and chunks, both seem to dry about the same.

    I did honey on shrimp. The shrimp I did came out fine. The machine and the trays had honey on it. You may need to soak the trays after.

    I've not had anything dehydrate badly yet.

    Not that I've read, they hold nutrients still.

    Here's a tip. If you do peppers, or shrimp/fish I would suggest setting a table up outside to do this as your house will REEK. Peppers hurt all our eyes, and they were just bell peppers. The shrimp stunk to high heaven. And fish, :tuna: Need I say more.
     
  4. gotcrabs

    gotcrabs Guest

    how long do you have to dehydrate papaya? My little booklet says how long to dehydrate other fruits and vegetables but papaya is not in there. Any ideas? maybe as long as a mango?
     
  5. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    does your machine have a temp setting? I put mine on low and depending on the size of the chunk, anywhere from 4-6 hours. But thats cause I got it on low. I dried something too fast once, and it came out too hard. :no: But that was for hubby, he wanted jerkey LOL
     
  6. gotcrabs

    gotcrabs Guest

    yes i do have a temp setting. lol for hubby. thanks!!!
     
  7. *Kathy*

    *Kathy* Guest

    Well, I tried some pepper slices & sliced strawberries, and didn't do it long enough. :no: The time was 6-12 hours on 135 degrees. I took them out at 7 hours (before I went to bed last night), and both the peppers & some of the berry slices were still pliable.

    I got a Nesco Snackmaster Express, which didn't include the clean-a-screens.
    http://www.nesco.com/products/?category=300&subcat=100&id=40
    I ordered a set of 2, and the order is to be processed next-day, but the website said to allow 2-4 weeks delivery. (Are they shipping by pony express, or what?)

    I wanted the screens for things that I want in little pieces, like shredded carrots & chopped peppers. I also bought some organic spinach leaves.....any idea how long & at what them those should be dried at?

    This is going to take some trials & errors, I can just tell. :idunno:
     
  8. gotcrabs

    gotcrabs Guest

    yup. i am just going to watch mine like a hawk, i think i got the same dehydrator as you. cool! :banana:
     
  9. shmama

    shmama Guest

    :vinkko: I WANT one REALLY BaD! How much does a decent one run on the average?
    I can't eat most fresh fruit (get blisters in my mouth), but dried fruit doesn't do that so bad. My freezer is also full of plants, leaves, flowers, bark, fruits, veggies, etc. that I have prepared over the summer for my hermies; It would be so much nicer to dehydrate most of it instead! Good luck with yours. I'll be back to this thread to spy on any progress. lol. Happy Summer! :sunny:
     
  10. *Kathy*

    *Kathy* Guest

    Mine was $60. It is an electric one, but it sure isn't as expensive as some of them are.
     
  11. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    Hey Kathy some of the dried fruit will still be pliable. I've found that in the fruits I do as well as the stores. Freeze dried fruit you can't bend at all LOL

    I dont know what mine cost, it was a xmas present. It is considered "commercial" and not home use so I think it was a few bucks.

    Leaves don't take long at all. they will shrivel I was thinking of using some flat river rocks to maybe keep their shape but they'd probably be brittle after and flake off.
     
  12. gotcrabs

    gotcrabs Guest

    mine was $44.
     
  13. gotcrabs

    gotcrabs Guest

    shmama, that is exactly the reason i wanted a food dehydrator. luckily, my dad didn't get my birthday present yet and i still didn't know what i wanted. heck, now i can eat a bunch of those banana chips!!! :hahahaha: lol.
     
  14. shmama

    shmama Guest

    :hula: Wow, Good to meet ya, my fellow fruit-sensitive crabber! :banana: This is a cool thread btw. Now I want a dehydrator soon so I can learn more stuff. :think: I never realized how hard it was to find healthy foods in WI til I got hermies. I am eating healthier now too because of shopping around for them! :amie2:
     
  15. gotcrabs

    gotcrabs Guest

    lol. me too!
     
  16. *Kathy*

    *Kathy* Guest

    I am going to try some carrots & spinach leaves this weekend. Should the carrots be really hard when done, or are they going to be pliable like the peppers & strawberries?

    I'll let you know how it goes!
     
  17. gotcrabs

    gotcrabs Guest

    i think that they should be pliable. idk...
     
  18. vckums

    vckums Moderator

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    The ones I did got hard. I think if you can squish a fruit/veggie in its raw state, its not going to get rock hard in the dehydrator. carrots and beets were hard
     
  19. *Kathy*

    *Kathy* Guest

    Okay, here's what happened....

    The spinach dehydrated very quickly & was done in about 2 hours. I tried some different things with the carrots, though.

    First of all, my crabs don't seem ultra-fond of carrots for some reason. So I decided to get creative. (Kinda like we do with our children, huh? Make a turkey sandwich look like a train & that's the only way they will eat it?) :chuckle:

    Okay, so I did one tray of, well, carrot peels. I just peeled slivers, with the hopes that they would turn into crispy carrot straws. They didn't disappoint me, and did exactly that.

    Another tray, I sliced the carrots thin, blanched them in the microwave, and then brushed them with orange blossom honey. Now the slices didn't get crisp like the carrot straws did, but I think it was because of the honey.

    So tomorrow, I may get more creative with the carrots. My instruction book says that you can "season" foods before drying. So here is what I am going to try... 1 - tray of sliced carrots, with Vicki's Organic Boost (you know, that crabby crack stuff) sprinkled on top. And then I am going to try 1 - tray with some sea salt sprinkled on top. And then I am going to do one more tray with cranberry powder sprinkled on top.

    Then, I'll see which carrots they like best. One way or another.....I will get my "kids" to eat their carrots! (Even if I have to shape them like a train!) :rubhands:
     
  20. gotcrabs

    gotcrabs Guest

    good idea!!! i might have to try that... :rubhands: :hahahaha:
     
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