Thursday, January 29, 2015

Do You Dehydrate Food?

From the very beginning I have learned by doing. 
My first adventure in dehydrating was bananas on my Oster Dehydrator.
One banana on each tray. Mr. Perky loved the bananas. 
It didn't take me too long to figure out, for me I needed a much larger dehydrator. Within a month I was saving my money for another dehydrator. I did the research and decided on the Excalibur, 9 tray dehydrator.
The Excalibur Dehydrator is a true work horse. I use it constantly. Besides being able to dry 15 square feet of food at a time, the adjustable temperature is handy.

This week I did a boat load of blueberries and a plethora of pineapple. I find that blueberries work best if you wash them and them freeze them in a single layer before you dehydrate them. The temperature was set at the fruit/fruit roll setting (135-145 degrees). The blueberries took approximately 12 hours. 
Some people will prick a hole in larger berries. I haven't had to do that yet. 
Since mine are from the farm, they all tend to be larger. 

When done the blueberries are crisp and will bounce on the counter top, or floor as my dog knows. This dog, Snooker is ALWAYS in the kitchen when I am working. 

I was doing canned pineapple, since I found some cans with the newer pop tops. I am trying to get rid of those cans since I have heard that those type of cans don't tend to last as long in storage. I just drained the juice from the slices and put them on the trays. Again the temperature was set at the fruit/fruit roll setting (135-145 degrees). The pineapple took almost 20 hours, because they were thicker slices from a can.

The pineapple is leathery in consistency.
While you are able to store fruit in mylar bags, I choose to vacuum seal my fruits in canning jars. Honestly we use/eat the fruit fairly quickly, so I haven't determined the shelf life. 
I purchased the Excalibur in 2012. While I have mostly done fruits and veggies I have also dehydrated some meat, milk, lattes and dog food. For the dog food I even added some leftover (spicy) Chinese food. Mixed up the veggies and leftover rice, dehydrated it and added it to their jug. They love it!

Eventually I am going to replace my smaller dehydrator (I burned the motor out), to use in the garage to dehydrate the very smelly stuff like garlic, onions, etc. The scent of certain items are very overpowering for my nose. 

I also have an online Amazon Associate/store called Perky Prepping Gramma's Store. This allows me to show you the products I have personally used and endorse, while monetizing my work. What I found early on was people would ask me where I got such & such an item and I would simply share a link.  
Perky Prepping Gramma's Store So, I created a store of these items I use frequently or recommend. It doesn't cost you anything extra, but I do receive a small percentage as an advertising bonus, if you purchase from my store. You are even able to just link in and do any of your regular Amazon shopping. Thank you for your consideration.

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