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-   -   Food dehydrator!! (https://www.veggieboards.com/forum/21-general-food-discussions/4191-food-dehydrator.html)

Rie 06-23-2003 09:54 AM

My boyfriend and I bought a food dehydrator a few weeks ago, and MAN do we love it! We've dehydrated tons of stuff: bananas, apples, kiwis, strawberries, oranges, carrots, corn, mushrooms, cucumbers, tomatoes.... We're especially fond of the banana chips we make... they're so cheap, and at the stores they're SO expensive! The frozen veggies remind me of the "Just Tomatoes" brand I see at whole foods for $10 a tub too. My question is, does anyone else dehydrate regularly? Any recipes, tips, ideas?

Oatmeal 06-23-2003 10:11 AM

I don't have one but I'm curious: you mean if you dehydrate frozen veggies, you get a texture like the Just Tomatoes stuff?

Rie 06-23-2003 10:37 AM

Well, they can't be frozen when you put them in. Some veggies you have to blanch first (carrots is one I remember for sure,) but, I was using canned veggies and just pouring the juice out and putting them in the dehydrator. But yeah, the texture is exactly the same.

holly golightly 06-23-2003 11:27 AM

arent they the best?! i like to soak strips of tofu in some sauce and sticke em in there. it makes jerky and it is really good.

Rie 06-23-2003 11:36 AM

hrm.... tofu jerky... What kind of sauce do you soak them in? Just tamari, or a mixture, or what?

4EverGrounded 06-23-2003 12:52 PM

The only thing I know about my dehydrator is to not use anything that has alchohol in the dehyd to dry (like a beer-base marinade, for example). I've done pineapple, grapes, cherries, oranges, mushrooms, bananas and I'm getting ready to do some watermelon tonight. The hard veggies (carrots, potatoes, etc) you have to blanch first or else they'll turn a nasty black color in the drying process but everthing else you just slice, deseed (if needed) and toss it in.



I would like to do the tofu jerky too. I think you can use a mixture of anything you like for the sauce and the tofu is supposed to be firm curd style... am I right, 46?

holly golightly 06-23-2003 01:03 PM

hmm i just use any tofu. i get the firm kind in the water packs. the mixture i just make on my own. i will buy some teriyake or smoke flavoring sometime but till then i just use soysauce, water, and a bunch of seasonings. its goood.

Rie 06-23-2003 01:03 PM

yum.... watermelon would be good!

eggplant 06-23-2003 01:50 PM

How much does a dehydrator cost? I'd love to get one since I eat dried fruits and veggies all the time, and would love to try that tofu jerky. Do they take up a lot of space? Are the easy to clean?

Rie 06-23-2003 01:57 PM

Ours was $40 at Walmart and works great. It's about the size of a bread machine, and really light so you can pick it up and put it under the counter, etc. You clean the trays (if they need cleaning, which the generally don't) in the sink with some running water.

sunshinemelissa 06-23-2003 02:26 PM

I'm so excited. My sister just moved and gave me a bunch of stuff and one of the things was a dehydrater. Without it I've always made my tofu jerky in the oven which takes 6 hours, turning every hour. The dehydrator will be so much easier and I can do fruits to snack on too. I agree that dried fruits are expensive. Also, i'm allergic to the sulfites they put in some of them so I have to be careful which ones I buy. now I don't have to worry about it.

lucycat 06-23-2003 02:59 PM

Tofu jerky! I never even thought about that! I haven't used my dehydrator in ages - I'll have to dig it out and try that!

GhostUser 06-23-2003 04:53 PM

what is the benefit of dehydrating veggies, if any?

4EverGrounded 06-23-2003 06:18 PM

The first benefit I can think of is that they last longer. I think 6 months +, if stored properly. I do mine for fruit that we like, but don't eat fast enough to keep them from southing. That's why I'm doing the watermelon. We both love it, but there's only 2 of us here and that thing will fur up for sure before we can finish it off which is why I'm drying it. We can take our time eating dried watermelon without fear of trying to beat the spoilege. The banana chips that I did a couple of months ago are still fab and there's not one trace of sulfites anywhere in them. Plus, I didn't pay out the buthokkks for a teenie package of banana-flavoured chemicles that one usually find in the store.



Mine is really easy to store. Since I use it almost all the time, it gets a space on my counter (an appliance has to really be worth the while before it gets some of my prized counter-space) and cleaning is a snap. I eather rinse it or wipe it down with a soapy sponge and rinse the soap off. I don't like to put my trays in the dishwasher because they don't fit (and also because my DW has a way of eating plastic) so I'll just wash, air dry, and I'm back in biz! Everything else can be wiped down with a damp abrasive-free rag which makes it really nice.



I got mine as a gift, but I think Hub got it at Wal-Mart for about $40. IMO, it's the best thing a person could do with $40 and if you don't have one, get one! You'll love yourself for it!

Rie 06-24-2003 12:04 PM

Exactly! You save money because you don't have to throw away food that is going bad. Every week, we get several pounds of bananas at Sam's club (33 cents a pound), and dehydrate what we haven't eaten by the end of the week.

4EverGrounded 06-30-2003 02:58 PM

I just did my watermelon and it was really good! Just like candy! The manual said to slice the melon into 1" slices, but I think that's a bit too thick for watermelon so next batch I'm doing will be sliced a bit thinner. I'm also getting ready to dehydrate a peach, just to see what it will do and I'm also putting in some slices of tofu jerkey.



I love my dehydrator!

Amy SF 05-11-2005 11:21 AM

I'm bumping this thread because I've just starting thinking about getting a food dehydrator. I could use advice on brands, prices, where to find, etc. (I know somebody mentioned Wal-Mart, but I don't have one near me). Would I find one at Target?



I started eating Larabars recently, but they're really expensive and a little sweet (for me). I find that's the case with a lot of nutrition bars and the like. I've tried Nature Valley granola bars, but they're crumbly and very dry. I thought that if I started dehydrating fruits (and veggies), I could have natural energy booster snacks without spending a lot of money.



Any advice or other thoughts on the subject?

4EverGrounded 05-11-2005 11:58 AM

I'm thinking you would be able to find one at Target (Target has eeeeeeeverything ). Storage space is key - try to get a dehydrator that has lots of room with a possibility of buying extra trays if you want to expand. You'll also want to try for a dehydrator that can expand by lots cause the more you use it, the more you'll want to use it. If you're planning on doing things like fruit leathers, then also get a brand that has a solid tray available. The one I have also has a mesh tray that you can get so you can dehydrate little stuff like spices.



Here's some other info that might be helpful to you. Some of it might not be so practical (I've never seen a dehydrator that had a temprature dial on it ), but there are other things in that page that are a bit more helpful.



Hope this helps.

Amy SF 05-11-2005 12:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4EverGrounded View Post

I'm thinking you would be able to find one at Target (Target has eeeeeeeverything ). Storage space is key - try to get a dehydrator that has lots of room with a possibility of buying extra trays if you want to expand. You'll also want to try for a dehydrator that can expand by lots cause the more you use it, the more you'll want to use it. If you're planning on doing things like fruit leathers, then also get a brand that has a solid tray available. The one I have also has a mesh tray that you can get so you can dehydrate little stuff like spices.



Here's some other info that might be helpful to you. Some of it might not be so practical (I've never seen a dehydrator that had a temprature dial on it ), but there are other things in that page that are a bit more helpful.



Hope this helps.



It sure did. I printed out the info. Muchas Gracias!

eri02 05-11-2005 12:03 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy SF View Post

I'm bumping this thread because I've just starting thinking about getting a food dehydrator. I could use advice on brands, prices, where to find, etc. (I know somebody mentioned Wal-Mart, but I don't have one near me). Would I find one at Target?



I started eating Larabars recently, but they're really expensive and a little sweet (for me). I find that's the case with a lot of nutrition bars and the like. I've tried Nature Valley granola bars, but they're crumbly and very dry. I thought that if I started dehydrating fruits (and veggies), I could have natural energy booster snacks without spending a lot of money.



Any advice or other thoughts on the subject?



i dunno, amy. i was thinking about buying one myself. but i don't know what to look for, either. ita about the natural snacks. maybe then i could dump the junk food for good.

4EverGrounded 05-11-2005 12:31 PM

De nada, Amy.

msbunnicula 05-11-2005 04:02 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy SF View Post

I'm bumping this thread because I've just starting thinking about getting a food dehydrator. I could use advice on brands, prices, where to find, etc. (I know somebody mentioned Wal-Mart, but I don't have one near me). Would I find one at Target?



I started eating Larabars recently, but they're really expensive and a little sweet (for me). I find that's the case with a lot of nutrition bars and the like. I've tried Nature Valley granola bars, but they're crumbly and very dry. I thought that if I started dehydrating fruits (and veggies), I could have natural energy booster snacks without spending a lot of money.



Any advice or other thoughts on the subject?



There are 9 dehydrators available online from Target: http://www.target.com/gp/search.html...rds=dehydrator

Amy SF 05-11-2005 04:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by msbunnicula View Post

There are 9 dehydrators available online from Target: http://www.target.com/gp/search.html...rds=dehydrator



Thanks. Only problem is, they're all "web only" purchases, and it's hard to get a good idea of what they're like just online. I guess I'll have to trek down to my local Target this weekend to see what they have on the shelves.

renaissancesun 05-11-2005 05:10 PM

I see a lot of dehydrators at yard sales. As a matter of fact, I rarely spend a morning going to sales without seeing one. Some of them look new or barely used. I think a lot of people see them on home shopping network or something and think they have to have one but don't think it is so great when once they get it.



I have a fairly large one and I love it. I only use it maybe 4-6 times a year, but I ddry lots in it and it lasts for a long time.


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