Sunday, January 30, 2011

Dehydrating Is Fun

I really love dehydrating foods.  It is an easy solution  for storing many things in your long term storage.  Fruits and vegetables don't take up as much room and it is also extremely easy to do.  Folks have been drying foods for centuries.  It doesn't take much equipment and the foods, when dried, can be stored easily and take very little space. 
You can dehydrate most vegetables.  There are of course exceptions to every rule, but generally most will do well when dried.
   You will need some method of drying your vegetables, something to cut them with and some method of blanching some of your vegetables.  All that means is that you need a dryer, a knife and a big pot of boiling water!
    People ask what kind of dehydrators they should look for.  Two of the most popular are the Excalibur and the Nesco American Harvester.  The Excalibur is an excellent dehydrator and what I call the "Caddy" (as in Cadillac) of dryers. It is also one of the most expensive ones on the market.  The folks I know who own them wouldn't trade them for the world.  A really nice dehydrator with nine large trays.  The fan is located in the back of the dehydrator and blows air evenly ACROSS the foods.
    The Nesco American Harvester is a great dehydrator. The cost is less than half of the Excalibur.  It is the one that I own.  I love mine and it does a wonderful job.  It is an expandable dehydrator. What that means is that you can add up to 12 trays or use as few as one.  The fan on the Nesco is at the top of the dryer and blows air down and back up the trays.  It has "vents" in the sides that also help to circulate the air. 
Either of these dehydrators are an excellent choice. The one thing you want in a dryer is to make sure that it has a thermostat.  Some come with timers but in my opinion they are unnecessary.
   Another dehydrator to consider is a solar dehydrator.  You can buy these already constructed or build one yourself.  There are many plans out there on the internet for building  one yourself.  You may just have things laying around the house that can be turned into a solar dryer.  You could even make a "redneck" dehydrator by using a car in the summertime.  Sounds funny I know, but it can and does work!  Like I said, just do an internet search and you will come up with tons of different ways to make your own dehydrator. 
    As I said earlier, you can dehydrate almost any vegetable and lots of different fruits. Once your garden starts producing ( You do have a garden started right?) you can dry all those vegetables rather than using up your freezer space. 
I'll be doing some more posts on dehydrating in the future.  But if you are looking for more information there are many places on the net.  One of the best is Dehydrate2Store.  Tammy is a dehydrating "guru" and there is much that you can learn from her videos. 
                 ~~~ Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...~~~


  1. Thank you for the link :o) Like your new blog look, even if you removed our blog from your favorites :o(


  2. I do love my 'cadillac' Excalibur! The way it's configured makes it ideal for raising yeast dough too. Yeoldfurt is a 'polar bear' at heart so finding a warm place to raise dough has always been a challenge. We planted four fruit trees last year. We were surprised to have any fruit at all the first year, but it wasn't enough to can. When the fruit comes in this year, I want to try my hand at fruit leathers. Dehydrating adventures in my future ...

    : )

  3. Off subject, but I am in a mood :D. I wanted to publicly acknowledge how much I admire and respect you. That I am awed by the way you have handle upsetting and difficult situations over the past few years. Thank you for sharing all you ups downs and inside outs. As well as all the knowledge you pass on.

  4. Kelle- Hey I am so sorry :( With all the "remodeling" some things have changed but I didn't realize that I had removed your link. I will fix that up Pronto! Thanks for stopping by.

    WWRWH (HossBoss) I'll bet you can't wait to see what sort of a harvest you get from those fruit trees. I know I can't wait to see what all you get and how you like those 100% "all yours" fruit leathers. I hope you will share with us all your adventures this spring and summer!

    Phelan - Girl, I am speechless (almost anyway) You have been one of my "hero's" way before I started blogging. Your kind words mean more to me than I can say. Thank you so much :D

  5. I will definitely post about any new adventures I undertake, Sci ...even if they end up with less than hoped for results. We all learn best from experience, and bad experiences sometimes hold the greatest lessons of all. If the fruit leathers are a success, I'll even send you some samples.

    : )

  6. I love dehydrated foods - so healthy and good for you. I really want a dehydrator, but no one pays attention when my birthday/christmas rolls around ::wink:: I am going to check out the net and sites you suggested for hints on how to do it without one.

    Thanks for the visit today - it is always wonderful to meet someone new - and anyone who is a friend of Phelan I truly hope will be a friend and Tadpole of mine.

    Have a great week. [you are now on my blogroll - promise to be back.:)]

  7. I'd like to do some dehydrating myself. And make some home made jerky!

  8. Hi there!

    Couldn't find a way to e-mail you. Sorry.

    Link exchange?

    I have your blog up in "My Daily Reads"

    Keep up the great work!