Dehydrating food is one of the best ways to make sure your garden does not have any waste and can also help save money when many fresh foods are in season and priced well at local markets and farmers markets.
There are endless possibilities for dehydrating foods. And properly dehydrated and stored most foods keep for a very long time.
Lets see if we can generate the same interest in a Dehydrating Forum that we generated in the Dutch Oven forum. After the dust settles from the current Poll and Contest maybe a Poll on a new Dehydrating Forum would be in order.
Just last Sunday i had the Dehydrator dehydrating and the Smoker smoking. Had a rack of ribs, two meat loaves and a 2 pound MacKenzie chub going. (Great lunch box stuff!)
I had an extra rack on the dehydrator which I put some bottom round jerky on. Just before the jerky was about to be done I pulled it and put it into the smoker. Not sorry I did! Deeeeelicious. Just a quick soak in some Kikkoman Teryaki marinade, into the dehydrator and then into the smoker. Great Stuff!
Most fruits can be eaten as is like candy. Same applies to some veggies. But, more often than not veggies need to be rehydrated for cooking. There are some excellent cook books available for dehydrating. Just skip over to Amazon.com and search for the keyword "dehydrating".
But do youself a favor and shop wisely. There are dehydrators and then there are dehydrators. If you really want quality control for your product and the least amount of hassle in the process then go for one of the cabinet style dehydrators and not one of the round ones without a fan, timer or temp control.
I have two top of the line Excaliber dehydrators and I love'em! You do not have to go that route but just be aware that the choices are many. And we can give you all the help you need right here! Go for it and good luck!
There was a time when my gardens produced way more tomatoes than I could use or give away. Sort of a good news/bad news type of thing. I tried juicing them and freezing them which worked but took up a lot of space in the freezer. Then along came dehydrating.
This works best with the fleshier varieties like Roma, Early Girl and some cherry tomato varieties. Dehydrate the tomatoes till you can put them in a blender and pulverize them to powder.
You can save all your production in a minimum of space and just add water to make tomato paste, soup, sauce, etc. And, if you want to get creative, dehydrate some seasonngs and add them to the powdered tomato and you can have instant whatever; sauce, paste, soup or Bloody Mary mix. (Need a bit of celery for that)
Monty do you ever dehydrate tomatoe slices? Great for stews and soups.
I have not yet managed to get a good green bean or potato slice. I have had good luck with shredded potatoes not not slices.
BTW Monty .... I love Vermont! It's beautiful and the "real" local people remind me of the old farmers I grew up with. I spent one whole afternoon hanging out at Sugarbush farms just talking about cows and making cheese!
have two of the round and one cabinet style dehydrator, Love to see threads on drying. Sold some of my Jerky at my fishing/ bar place a few years ago. New thoughts/recipes and/or what NOT to do threads would really save time doing things right the first time instead of my continuos experiments.