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What can you all use a dehydrator for?  RSS feed

 
gardener
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We've made almond crackers and cookies in our dehydrator. Drying them slowly instead of putting them in an oven really helps enhance the flavour.

A friend says that indigenous people dried young squash and then ground it up and used it as flour.

There's got to be a bunch of other things. Besides just drying fruits, vegetables, and herbs, what other cool things can you do with a dehydrator?
 
Shawn Klassen-Koop
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I suppose jerky (aka meat candy) would be another option.
 
pollinator
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If you include a solar dehydrator with removable shelves, could you put a closet rod inside and hang your freshly washed clothes in there to dry them faster without risk of a sudden rainstorm or pollen issues?
 
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Drying sprouted grain berries for amazing bread
 
gardener
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Interesting. I never thought cookies... no egg in them I guess?

What temperature range do you get?
 
gardener
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If you pick up some quality hiking cookbooks (not the same as camping cookbooks), they often contain a large number of full meals that make use of the dehydrator. Homemade spaghetti that you can store for long periods and rehydrate in minutes. Dehydrated cabbage, beef gravel, and salsa leather all rehydrate and get added with cheese on a tortilla for a surprisingly good taco. Makes a nice alternative to canning if you plan to move it around a lot since it is so light afterwards. That, of course, is why it works so well for hikers.
 
garden master
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Recipes for dog treats often suggest dehydrating them.

Dehydrate excess eggs.

Dehydrate raw meat.

Make Fruit leathers.

Proofing bread dough.

Culturing yogurt.
 
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Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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Cut tomatoes in half, scoop out the seeds, and dehydrate the remaining halves until tacky. Then store them in oil. You know how much semi-dried tomatoes cost in the store?

As a kid, my mom used to dehydrate casseroles and pasta sauces for camping / hiking trips. I recall they were very good.

Fruit leathers as already mentioned are great. Essentially any berry mashed up and spread into a thin sheet.

Drying red meat and fish.

I haven't tried this, but drying herbs and flowers like chamomile, dandelion etc for teas are worth a shot.

Drying mushrooms.

 
Shawn Klassen-Koop
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Amit Enventres wrote:Interesting. I never thought cookies... no egg in them I guess?

What temperature range do you get?



No egg. If anyone's interested send me a pm and I'll send you the recipe.
 
gardener
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We made hiking bars in a dehydrator. They could be made as well in an oven but we didn't have one, so we used pre-roasted grain rather than raw flour. They came out really yummy, two types/ One was sweetish, and the binder was jam and the other was savoury, pizza flavour, and the binder was yogurt that we'd drained some of the whey off of. They both came out nice and tough and crunchy, easy to eat on the go without crumbs or dishes.

1) Homemade apricot jam, apricot nuts (like almonds), any kind of ready-to eat grain. We used roasted barley flour, which is common here, but oats would be good too. we mixed it up, formed it into bars, and put it in the dehydrator.

2) Yogurt with the whey drained off to some degree (to facilitate drying), dried tomatoes in small chunks, oregano, garlic, salt, and any kind of ready-to-eat grain such as roasted barley flour or oats. I don't know why "energy bars" are always so intensely sweet. I wanted a savoury thing, more like a meal that you'd want to eat.
 
Anne Miller
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I see not reason not to dehydrate cookies with eggs in them since you can dehydrate eggs. If there is a reason it would be interesting to find out why.

You can make powdered eggs.

You can cook rice then dehydrate it to make instant rice.

Same with cooked pasta to  make it cook fasted in recipes.

 
pollinator
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Homemade paper
 
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To be blunt, there is an enormous amount of potential for a food dehydrator. We use a meat dehydrator to save money on bulk meat, and store it for up to 6 months.

A quality model will ultimately be your best choice, as they'll have the power to prepare large batches. The blog from the website in my signature shares how to cure, marinade, season and tenderize your meat, as well as methods for long-term storage. You'll also find a plethora of interesting recipes and ideas that you might not have thought of, like ginger candy, jalapeno seasoning, shredded beer jerky and potato chips, to name a few!
 
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I've made a bunch of the usual things:

Jerky
Dried fruit - apple, pear, plum, banana (goes chewy rather than crunchy!)
Fruit leathers
Vegetable leathers (mixed success - some flavours really don't work for me, as they are concentrated when dried)

I have also made lots of whole meals for hiking trips where weight is an issue. Things like spaghetti bolognese - cook the sauce up (remove as much oil as possible) and dry it, then cook the pasta and dry it. Then just add hot water when you are out on the trail, and let it sit for 5 minutes. I love doing this when I have time to prepare in advance, because I have food intolerances to onion and garlic, and a much bigger appetite than most pre-packaged meals cater for.

Other things we have dried:
Herbs of all kinds from the garden
Rose petals - lots and lots of rose petals, to make confetti for various weddings. The smell is fantastic and they make for a wonderful wedding gift as well. It takes a bit of time to fill a large shoe box with dried petals though.
 
wayne fajkus
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It it reaches 150 degrees f you can melt beeswax for candles and balms. Ill be trying this with my solar dehydrator.
 
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