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Dehydrating food is a wonderful way to store food
Wed 31-Aug-11
4:32 pm
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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Hi Louise,

Here's a very good US university site with a lot of information on dehydration. I found it very useful.

 

http://www.aces.uiuc.edu/vista/html_pubs/DRYING/dryfood.html

 

This site is a little more informal but very useful. It also has various links to other sites.

 

http://www.pickyourown.org/dryingfoods.htm

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Thu 1-Sep-11
9:07 am
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devongarden
Devon, UK

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Dried pears are wonderful, as are dried raspberries. Having seen the price of dried fruit in supermarkets, I used dried raspberries as Christmas presents/stocking fillers, remembering to keep some for myself! The problem is getting enough of them from dehydrator to storage rather than taste-testing them all. big_laugh

Thu 1-Sep-11
1:25 pm
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Mrs Radish
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Thank you all.

Am going to blanch the onions as they dry faster, bicarb the trays after, and hope that when i get some apples they don't come out with a whiff of onion...

oh, and i fancy having a go at blackberries too

Thu 1-Sep-11
1:35 pm
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brightspark
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I'm quite envious of everyone dehydrating their harvest, but I'm not sure I have any more space for more machines ...... am I missing something here? Should I buy a dehydrator?

"How do you spell 'Love'?" (Piglet). 

"You don't spell it, you feel it" (Pooh).

 'A hug,' said Pooh 'is always the right size!' 

Thu 1-Sep-11
8:16 pm
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JoannaS
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Thu 1-Sep-11
9:34 pm
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devongarden
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I like mine, and am glad I went for the small Westfalia one that Fiona mentioned on her blog. I don't have room for a huge one, and this one uses very little electricity. The main advantage is that storage doesn't take electricity and therefore cost money.

Next year I want to start drying runner and french beans as soon as I have a surplus, so the dehydrator is free for fruit drying when the fruit is ready. Now I have frozen enough and I can't dry pears and beans at the same time so the bean glut is a problem. To use as a veg with a meal, frozen beans are excellent, but to use in soups and stews dried work well.

Fri 2-Sep-11
8:22 pm
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JoannaS
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It is possible to salt beans apparently and that is what I am trying out at the moment. They have to be soaked before adding to everything to take out the salt but supposed to last. We shall see! cheers

Fri 2-Sep-11
8:35 pm
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Sooliz
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I'm trying salting beans too, got a kilner jar full (wrapped in newspaper) which has been in the utility room for 2 or 3 weeks now.  Which reminds me.....must go and have a peek tomorrow.  The last time I looked (about 10 days or so ago) the salt was turning to brine.

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Sat 3-Sep-11
8:23 pm
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JoannaS
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Oh do you not tamp yours down daily then? I have mine in clear buckets at the moment so they are on view but soon I shall put them in our cellar.

Sat 3-Sep-11
8:41 pm
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Sooliz
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JoannaS said:

Oh do you not tamp yours down daily then? I have mine in clear buckets at the moment so they are on view but soon I shall put them in our cellar.

 

Are you supposed to do that then, Joanna?  No I haven't, just put them in the jar layered with salt, wrapped in newspaper (as recipe that Hattie found says they have a tendency to go slimy if light gets to them eeek), then bunged (ok, placed carefully lol) on shelf in outside utility room.  When I peeked last time the level had dropped.....the jar was full when I finished layering, but had dropped to about 3/4 10 days or so ago.  Never done salting before, this is just an experiment to see if they taste any different (apart from being saltier, obviously big_laugh) to the ones I've frozen.

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Sun 4-Sep-11
10:02 am
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sanshojapan

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I have an Excalibur dehydrator. I like it because it has a temperature control, and I want to dehydrate my fruit without killing the enzymes. It works well.

 

Instead of lemon juice to dip the apple etc in, I just use cider vinegar. Works out a lot cheaper!

 

For small quantities of herbs, and today I am doing celery leaves, I just put them on a colander-like tray and put them uncovered in the fridge. Works well for shiitake, too. Takes a while though. In the winter  it is so dry, I just leave them out on the trays.

 

You can't imagine how much celery costs here! We buy it by the stick, and sometimes one stick costs about a pound! You can see why I save every bit! I freeze any leftovers, chopped up and dry the leaves.

 

sansho

Sun 4-Sep-11
10:22 am
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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sanshojapan said:

You can't imagine how much celery costs here! We buy it by the stick, and sometimes one stick costs about a pound! You can see why I save every bit! I freeze any leftovers, chopped up and dry the leaves.

 

Why don't you grow it in your garden? Or if you don't have the space or conditions try growing Celery-herb. I tastes strongly of celery while looking like parsely. Heres a link.

 

http://growingwithsuttons.diy.com/Shop/Herb+Seeds/.....164510.htm

It is great in casseroles etc.

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Sun 4-Sep-11
12:37 pm
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sanshojapan

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I've never heard of this, Hattie. I'll have to find out more. I mostly use celery when i am cooking Italian food. Sounds like it might work! thanks

sansho

Sun 4-Sep-11
12:48 pm
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devongarden
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I know it as celery leaf, and I can grow it but celery does very badly in my garden. I forgot to plant any this year doh If you keep cutting it you can keep it going for a couple of years at least.

Here is another link for it, from MoreVeg

Sun 4-Sep-11
1:09 pm
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Hattie
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I first came across it in the 1970's in Holland where it was sold in huge bunches. I bought seeds back from there at that time because you could not get it here in Britain. I sometimes grow it in a pot on my kitchen window sill in the winter. 

It's Latin name is Apium graveolens

 

More information on it; Sarah Raven is a great source of help on growing stuff.

http://www.sarahraven.com/shop/seeds/vegetables-sa.....r-cel.html

Pennards Plant have a bit more info & call it Apium graveolens secalinum

 

http://www.pennardplants.com/products.php?cat=297

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

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