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Using a dehydrator - Page 2 Toplef10Using a dehydrator - Page 2 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Using a dehydrator - Page 2 I22gcj10Using a dehydrator - Page 2 14dhcg10

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Using a dehydrator

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Post  yolos 8/16/2014, 12:35 pm

I have a lot of tomatoes and I need to find something to do with them.  I have filled my freezer full of summer veggies.  I do not want to can or boil water bath.  I have an Excalibur dehydrator that I want to use to dehydrate the tomatoes.  I have grape tomatoes, gilbertie  tomatoes, and a few hybrid (early girl and better boy).  I am eating most of the big heirlooms fresh.

Okay here are some questions.  My Excalibur book doesn't get into detail.  Do you blanch and skin the tomatoes first.  Do you de-seed them first.  Do you slice the bigger ones (if so, how thick).  Do you skin, de-seed, and cut the small plum/grape size tomatoes (a little bit bigger than cherry and shaped like a plum) .
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Post  camprn 8/16/2014, 12:57 pm

A few years ago I roasted and dehydrated some gilberties. I poked them with a fork a few times and roasted them under the broiler whole on a cookie rack set in a shallow metal baking pan lined with foil. When the skins got crispy and blackening I used tongs and turned them. When they were done I took the pan out of the oven and allowed the tomatoes to cool. The skins peeled right off. I poured the liquor from the pan into is cube trays and froze that. I sliced the tomatoes in half then in 1/4 inch slices and dehydrated them. Wonderful!

The cherry toms I wash, slice in half and load into the dehydrator.
I didn't remove seeds unless I was collecting some for planting next year.
You could blanch and remove skins from larger toms, but it is not necessary.

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Post  AtlantaMarie 8/16/2014, 5:04 pm

I dehydrated a bunch of tomatoes last year.  Itty-bitties were just cut in half.  Large ones were sliced.  Left the skins on all.  Removed seeds.

You can blanch & skin if you want to.

Slicing - 1/4 to 1/2 inch...
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Post  sanderson 12/20/2016, 2:03 am

Kate,  You brought up some interesting points in your 2 replies.  Working with Mother Nature to save electricity.  Very Happy  Dehydrating potatoes and other winter veggies when they are on holiday specials.  One question I have: can the potatoes and carrots be sliced and blanched for 2 minutes before dehydrating?  I dried potatoes, carrots, celery, etc. the first summer, 2013, and when I tried to cook up a soup, they were hard.  I have lots of mylar bags and a Seal-a-Meal and would like to package up a few dried meals for two.


Last edited by sanderson on 12/21/2016, 4:00 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post  AtlantaMarie 12/20/2016, 8:51 am

You need to AT LEAST blanch most veggies before dhing.  The general rule is:  The finished dhed product will rehydrate back to where you started from.  So if you put something on there raw, it's going to take much longer to rehydrate & then cook.  So cook first.

There are a few exceptions.  Mushrooms come to mind. Just wipe them down, slice & dh.

If I'm using frozen veggies from the store, they are already blanched.  So I may or may not go ahead & cook them...

A note about using bags...  If you've got something dhed with sharp edges (corn, rice, potatoes), you'll need to either seal in a jar or wrap them in a layer (or 2) of parchment paper.  Those sharp edges will cut through the bags.  And if it's something smelly (onions, garlic), the smell will migrate through the plastic.  So, jars again...

I've got the big commercial-type Cabela's and three Nesco/American Harvest dehydrators.  I really like them all.  Just depends on how big a batch (or how many batches) of stuff I've got going.
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Post  sanderson 12/20/2016, 2:46 pm

AM,  Thank you for the advice. Very Happy


Last edited by sanderson on 12/21/2016, 4:02 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post  CitizenKate 12/20/2016, 9:47 pm

@sanderson wrote:
Kate,  You brought up some interesting points in your 2 replies.  Working with Mother Nature to save electricity.  Very Happy
What a concept, right?   geek

@sanderson wrote:
Dehydrating potatoes and other winter veggies when they are on holiday specials.  One question I have: can the potatoes and carrots be sliced and blanched for 2 minutes before dehydrating?  I dried potatoes, carrots, celery, etc. the first summer, 2013, and when I tried to cook up a soup, they were hard.  I have lots of mylar bags and a Seal-a-Meal and would like to package up a few dried meals for two.
I see AM already answered this, but yes, you should blanch them before putting them in the dehydrator.  It does make a difference in the texture of the reconstituted potatoes, it stops the enzymes that turn them brown during processing, and also speeds up the drying quite a bit.  I also dip the cut potatoes in water with a little lemon juice added for a few minutes, while I'm cutting them and before blanching, which also helps to help preserve the color.  Same with apples.
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Post  AtlantaMarie 12/21/2016, 6:31 am

I actually dh'd some potatoes raw one time. They turned this purple-black color... EEEwwww, right? I use them in my classes now to show what you shouldn't do. :-)

And I haven't tried it, but I've heard that soaking pineapple in brandy or rum and then dhing is REALLY good...
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Post  CapeCoddess 1/25/2017, 1:11 pm

I used dehydrated collards in my smoothie this morning and they didn't blend up well in the Nutribullet, pieces and stems through out. Razz Am I supposed to re hydrate them first? Or should I just switch to the Vitamix?
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Post  AtlantaMarie 1/25/2017, 2:41 pm

I'd grind them first. Or rehydrate.
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Post  trolleydriver 9/2/2017, 11:01 pm

I'm currently using a dehydrator that does not have adjustable temperature control. I made some delicious cucumber chips with it today. However, I found another dehydrator unit for sale on Kijiji and will be picking it up on Sunday afternoon. It's a Salton Vitapro unit with temperature control and has been used only a couple of times. Cost is $35 Cdn ($28 USD). Not a great deal since I just found the same unit on sale at Walmart Canada for $55 Cdn. Hope it will be OK because some reviewers are complaining about the trays breaking.

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Post  sanderson 9/3/2017, 2:51 am

I read the specs and it states "collapsible" trays. ?? Do they mean stackable trays? Just don't dry your tennis on them and they should last with your gentle care.

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Post  trolleydriver 9/3/2017, 7:52 am

@sanderson wrote:I read the specs and it states "collapsible" trays.  ??  Do they mean stackable trays?  Just don't dry your tennis on them and they should last with your gentle care.
Not sure but I'm wondering if it means that the gap between the trays can be expanded to allow for thicker items.

OR maybe it means that after being used a few times the trays collapse into a pile of plastic dust.  Laughing
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Post  sanderson 9/3/2017, 2:52 pm

Razz

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Post  trolleydriver 9/3/2017, 4:07 pm

Just brought the Salton dehydrator home. Looks to be in like new condition. I've given the trays a really good wash and wiped down the unit.  Looking forward to giving it a try. 

BTW the trays can be stacked in two different ways depending on how much gap is needed. I can do the same thing on my other dehydrator.
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