Thursday, November 4, 2021

Dehydrating Up a Storm!!!

This has been such a busy week with lots of different things going on, but the one constant thing has been that my dehydrator has been working almost non-stop most days, evenings and even sometimes overnight.

Pictured are (on the left) mixed vegetables and (on the right) whole lemons!

Not pictured, but recent additions are:

Mixed greens powder (turnip greens, mustard greens, nettles, moringa and spinach)
an assortment of other herbs

I'll continue dehydrating greens and powdering them until our first frost in addition to dehydrating more broccoli, mixed vegetables, plantain and other herbs.  I'm going to dehydrate and powder some pumpkins too that I got at an after Halloween, 'they've go to go to make room for Christmas trees' sale at a local farm stand ... yes, I am!!!  (I got several things this week at various after Halloween clearance sales that deserves a post of their own, look for that post over the weekend.)

Dehydrating foods is such a good way to add to your pantry if space is an issue.  Vacuum sealing dehydrated foods makes them shelf stable for quite some time, which is my goal along with knowing how to use them.

I've included my 3 go-to tried and true books for dehydrating foods and recipes for using dehydrating foods in the picture above.

Can you recommend 'tried and true' books on dehydrating?  
What has been your experience with dehydrating foods as a method of food preservation?  
What foods have you dehydrated?

Until next time!


A Working Pantry

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

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Items I use in keeping my pantry well-stocked:


Dehydrator Teflon Sheets

Dehydrator Cookbook

Food Saver Vacuum Sealer

Herb/Coffee Bean Grinder

Manual Food Chopper

Pressure Canner

Canning Supplies

Food Scale

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  1. I struggle with dehydrating. I turned blueberries into bullets, my elderberries went mouldy in the jar, and I dried so many mushrooms that some are nearly ten years old and I have still never used them…. Herbs dry better in the microwave.
    This was an expensive piece of equipment and I seem to just waste food. Perhaps I should study the books you recommend, but I was following the instruction manual.

    1. Gill, I'm sorry you've not had good results with dehydrating. I highly recommend any of these 3 books ... but I would recommend more highly that you see if you can find them at your library to try some of the recipes and methods before you spend more money on something that may not be for you.

      Blueberries take a long time to dry, they just do and yes, some might say they look like bullets when completely dry! Mold in dehydrated foods is an indication that the food needed more drying time. Prepping the food properly for dehydrating is important too. Learning the skill of dehydrating takes time, it just does!

      I hope you will give dehydrating another try, but I wouldn't spend any more money on equipment, etc until you're sure this is something that will be of benefit to you in your pantry building efforts.

  2. My dehydrator is primarily for herbs that I regularly use and go through a lot -- parsley, basil, oregano, chives. And sweet potato slabs for my pup -- a lot cheaper to buy sweet potatoes and dry them than pay for Sam's Yams at the specialty animal store. I really want to learn more about dehydrating fruits, including those that should be "sulfered" (????) first. I love dried pineapple, mango, and apricots, but need to learn more about preserving them. I also want to try doing some strawberries. Will check out these titles to gain some additional knowledge to help broaden my horizons.

    1. Lori, it sounds like you have a good foundation. I'm continuing to learn too!

  3. What's your process for dehydrating whole lemons and what are your favorite ways to use the lemons?

    1. Stacie, I soaked the lemons in a vinegar/water solution, sliced them and dehydrated the slices. Once dry I broke them down with my food processor into smaller pieces, then powdered them with a nutri-bullet machine. I use the powder in anything that calls for lemon peel.

  4. I don't have a dehydrator and, living in the UK, I can't rely on the sun to dry things out enough for long term storage. I have an airing cupboard which is invaluable for drying herbs and chillies in. I have also dried tomatoes and apple slices in the oven and have been known to dry apple slices on the top of our electric heaters.

    1. Tracey, I love that there are ways to dry foods without using a dehydrator! This is something that I want to learn more about!

    She has videos that are great.

    1. Practical Parsimony, yes, that is an excellent site!

  6. I have dried everything under the sun, it seems. I take a knife and cut into cranberries and would do the same with blueberries. It is a pain, but worth it. I agree that things were not dried long enough. You have to pay attention to humidity inside and out of the house.

    1. Practical Parsimony, yes, opening up the berries in some way makes drying them easier. Good tip, thanks for sharing!

  7. I am lucky enough to be able to dry my food outside because of our dry climate. My husband made a drying rack especially for the purpose and it has been brilliant! In winter if they don't dry too well outside, I bring them in by the fire. That works well also.




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