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Old 08-22-2008, 08:12 PM   #1
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Food dehydrator questions

I have just bought a new dehydrator. I wish I had bought it at the start of the summer when there were more foods to use. I have been drying apples and would love to find someone with peaches they want to share, but don't really expect that. The only thing we have left in the garden is okra. Has anyone ever dried that? I guess the only thing you could do is use in soups or something. About the only way we eat okra is fried even though I know it is not good for you that way.
Anyone have any ideas about using the dehydrator? Would appreciate any info. Thanks, Faye


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Old 08-22-2008, 08:24 PM   #2
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Hi, Faye. First, welcome to DC.

Now...about the dehydrator. We have one and love it and use it for many things.

One of my favorite things is to dry bread cubes for stuffings and croutons. When I want small bread cubes for stuffing, I first freeze the (sliced) bread solid. Once frozen, it's easier to slice into the desired cube size. You will want to cut your cubes into about twice the size of the cubes you want because of all the water that will be removed during the dehydrating process.

Of course, you can always make your own beef jerky. Pretty good stuff and you have more control over the salt content.

I also dry green bell peppers and chop them for pepper chunks/flakes, which are rather costly in the market.

On sale, you can buy mushrooms and slice them and dry those, too.

The list is endless and I'm sure many others will weigh in with other suggestions.

Best wishes on getting a dehydrator. Enjoy!

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Old 08-22-2008, 09:27 PM   #3
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i sure would like to have one. my boss in the greeting card business always did tons of different kinds of fun and had bowls sitting out at meetings.

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Old 08-23-2008, 02:44 AM   #4
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Yep-I've had a dehydrator for several years and absolutely love it. I use it mostly for jerky and leftover peppers from the garden, but the reality is your only limited by your imagination

I did try to make "fruit leather" once-but something went very, very wrong, so after a lot of clean-up, I just buy fruit roll-ups now.
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:09 AM   #5
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A dehydrator is on my wish list.
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Old 08-23-2008, 08:31 AM   #6
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We bought one a few years back in order to conserve a big tree-full of apricots we get every summer.
Another favourite usage is for mushrooms, especially the ones with strong flavours like porcini. Sometimes we get a nice deal from a market, we buy a big case of them, and whatever we don't manage to eat within several days we dry them. Flavours are much better retained this way than freezing, as far as mushrooms are concerned. Now we bought a few kilos of finferli while we are up in the alps, we just dried about 3/4 of them last night before we go home tonight, we just saved some of them fresh to do some risottos and polentas in coming days.
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:55 AM   #7
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Yes, you can dry okra in the dehydrator.
Wash it well, slice the okra into 1/4 slices. It will take at least 8 hours to dry out.
Just keep after it until is brittle
Store in an airtight conainer.
Dried okra performs just like fresh in soups and gumbos.
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Old 08-23-2008, 10:24 AM   #8
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Get the book "Mary Bell's Complete DEHYDRATOR Cookbook" and a whole new world will open up to you on what to dehydrate. My all time favorite is dehydrated Dill Pickles.

My dehydrator is in almost constant use dehydrating tomatoes, carrots, celery (especially leaves), onions, garlic, mushrooms, watermelon, plus all the fruits, and just about anything that has water in it and will tend to spoil otherwise.

Many items, like celery and onions, get chopped or ground down and added to the spice rack. Tomato powder is an excellent spice. And dehydrated "cooked rice" becomes a true "instant rice".

Try dehydrating applesauce, tomato sauce, or spaghetti sauce sometime.
Support bacteria. It's the only culture some people have.
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Old 08-23-2008, 01:14 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the ideas. After I posted last night, I checked this a.m. and there were no replies in my email and I checked again and still none. So, I thought I would come directly to the site and found all of the replies from you nice people. I knew everyone is so good to reply on here.
I forgot to say that I dried some figs also. I am real excited about using this dehydrator and finding more to do with it. I don't really care for jerky. I bought some at the store and didn't like it. It might be partly because it is so salty tasty. That made at home might be better.
mcnerd, it is funny you mentioned that book. I was looking on amazon last night and read the reviews and they were very good. I put it in my shopping cart to buy soon.
You all have helped quite a bit on things I hadn't thought about. Thanks,Faye
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:48 AM   #10
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You can dry almost everything. You can make your own tomato, onion or garlic powder - just dry it and ground. I use tomato powder in sauces, soups and juices. You can dry all kinds of fruits and berries, make yoghurt or fruit leather, make bread, cookies, chips, sauces, jerky, banana chips, all kind of snacks. But mostly, people buy dehydrator for making jerky. :-)

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