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Old 03-28-2011, 05:54 PM   #1
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Love my food dehydrator

When I visited my parents last August, I picked up a cheap ($40, 4-tray) dehydrator at Walmart. I LOVE it. I use it to dehydrate mushrooms (on special), fruit (apples in season, papaya when it is on the special rack, cranberries, apriocots, plums, onions, and beans). I love having dehydrated mushrooms whenever I want mushrooms. And, I save the water in which they rehydrate for soups, gravies, etc. I also dried a mess of tomatoes (when I got back from MN, there were 100 Romas on the counter for me to "deal with." After driving for two days, I really wasn't in the mood to deal with tomatoes. Within 20 minutes, my brother (who was visiting) and I had them in the dehydrator--seeded and skinned), hot and sweet peppers, the list goes on and on.
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:17 PM   #2
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Good for YOU!
They sure do make fast work of tomatoes compared to 4 hours (at best) of cleaning jars, disinfecting jars and lids, cooking tomatoes down, pouring into jars, bringing the canner up to temperature.
And the best part is rehydrating them in a soup or stew in the winter when we WANT to keep the temperature in the house warmer instead of sweating it out in the worst part of a hot summer. They take up so much less room too!
You can also grind them up when they are dry, and when you want to thicken a tomato sauce, just add them!
Enjoy!
Mushrooms must be great!
You can use it for jerky too, if you like jerky.
Don't forget fruit leathers.
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:31 PM   #3
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I didn't get the one that is designed for fruit leathers...but, I have ground the mushrooms (using a coffee grinder) to make mushroom powder--the same for onions and garlic. Who needs to buy onion or garlic powder when they can make their own? I have another dehydrator but didn't get the instructions for it. A friend gave it to me--it has vents. This one had instructions and is so easy to use. I love it. And, if s/one is looking to cut food costs, a food dehydrator is inexpensive (just the mushroom drying alone is worth it).
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:33 PM   #4
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Mine isn't designed for fruit leathers, but it has mesh trays, which I have to put plastic wrap on (over some of the surface--leave parts open for air flow), then spread the fruit puree on the plastic, and it will work. Do you think that might work in yours?
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Old 03-30-2011, 12:08 PM   #5
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Does anyone have recommendations on a good brand?
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:52 PM   #6
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How much do you want to spend <g>?
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blissful View Post
Mushrooms must be great!
They are--I did three trays last night. I've figured out that the local store gets mushrooms in on Mondays. Tuesday mornings there are often portebello and white mushrooms at 1/2 price. I bring those home, clean them, and pop them in the dehydrator. Sometimes I slice them, sometimes I dry them whole.
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Old 03-30-2011, 06:58 PM   #8
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We are guilty of eating the dehydrated tomatoes as "tomato chips..."
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:41 PM   #9
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I have two. One we bought and another exact same one we found at a yard sale. They are American Harvest. My favorite thing to make in them is beef jerky. Very easy and yummy
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Old 03-30-2011, 07:57 PM   #10
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Mine's an inexpensive one from Walmart--an Oster. When I bought it, I wasn't sure how often I'd use it. I have used it a lot more often then I thought I would. I would like one that has temperature control settings, but have other kitchen toys I want before a more advanced dehydrator <g>. It does make processing tomatoes a lot faster--I still jar tomatoes, freeze them, but like having dehydrated ones as well. And, I love having all the dried mushrooms. You can dehydrate in the oven, but that isn't as economical as a dehydrator re: the amount of power you use. Here in Ontario, we are on "smart meters" so time of use is now part of many of our lives re: our electric bills.
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