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?
I'm not quite a lumberjack, but that's OK, I sleep all night and I dream all day; I'll coppice trees, I'll grow my food, and compost poo and pee! With a well and off-grid solar, it's a permies life for me!
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.
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.
Works at a residential alternative high school in the Himalayas SECMOL.org . "Back home" is Cape Cod, E Coast USA.
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!
Dried fruit - apple, pear, plum, banana (goes chewy rather than crunchy!)
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.
Moderator, Treatment Free Beekeepers group on Facebook.
posted 10 months ago
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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