Sunday, October 20, 2013

:: Experimenting with Dehydrating Food::

Yesterday, I told you about the electric food dehydrator I bought at a yard sale.  I only paid $5.00 for it.  I thought that was a pretty good price. I think it is going to pay for itself…and is well on the way to anyway.


I didn’t get a manual with this dehydrator—so naturally, I set out googling.  I found out it is NLA (no longer available) so…
I spent a little bit of time at the computer yesterday.  I read Kristina’s blog…@ Pioneer Woman at Heart and she has talked about dehydrating garlic and making garlic powder.  I have tons of garlic that grows wild on our property. Elephant Garlic is what it is called. She has others things she has dried…lots of good information there. Not going to repeat any of it. I’m just copying some of that for starters. :)

I have plenty of garlic in the onion bin…so I decided to start there.



Had some carrots.  I didn’t use all these some are going in a soup pot today…but I did want to try drying some.
I copied Kristina’s idea she had with cucumbers and coated these carrots in some spices before drying them.

1 and 1/2 trays of carrots


I also found some jalapenos in the fridge that needed to be eaten or frozen.  So I popped those in the dehydrator too! (1/2 tray jalapeno)


I ended up with about 2 trays of garlic.

After about 6 hours in the dryer (I came up with amount of time by watching some You Tube videos)  I’m not sure what the book would have you do…so I’m just guessing and experimenting. 
This is what I ended up with in the end.


About 1/4 cup dried jalapeno and about the same for the carrots (they smelled so good, too)  I tossed them with Cayenne pepper, Paprika, and salt.

I tried rolling the garlic with a rolling pin in the plastic bag (the cloudy jalapeno bag) But then I remembered I could use my grand mother’s CHINOIS …thanks Elaine @Friday is Pizza, Monday is Soup… and she posted about this little piece of gadgetry here and gave it a name for me!) Also, she has been posting along with the ::31 Days:: Series and has posted some very interesting facts about Apples.


So…grinding the dried garlic in the chinois… I came up with about 1/4 cup of garlic powder!
Which I needed.

And would have to drive to town for it.

…and probably spend more money!

So… my $5 dehydrator…has pretty much paid for itself already!!! :D


Don’t you just love a good deal?

I’m interested in drying meats too.  Jerky would be great. I hear you can dry potatoes, tomatoes, sauces for powders, etc.

I would love to do fruit—for trail mix, preservation, roll-ups (though my trays are all slotted) I think I can come up with a way to do all this.  I think this little machine will certainly help with the food budget. I mean, I don’t mind sharing with the birds, squirrels or chickens… but I’d rather eat the produce myself!  Not to mention…sometimes the produce goes into the compost. :(

That’s not very frugal.

 Ok… Feel free to share any and all dehydrating tips with the newbie dehydrator. I am open to suggestions—if you might know where I might find an instruction booklet or if you have a recipe you can let me know.


“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”  Matthew 5:8


The Boston Lady said...

How interesting! What a great way to use up extra produce. What will you do with the carrots? I suppose they are added to soups, etc.? The garlic powder is a great idea and something I use a lot. Ann

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

You line your slotted trays for the fruit leathers. You can purchase liner "paper" that is permanent or line with parchment paper.

Holly @ Down to Earth Style said...

That is funny. I was just talking to my mom and dad about when they had a food dehydrator when I was growing up. We used to do lots of fruit. Yum!

Cottage Dreaming and Flea Market Wishing said...

what a great idea....I am going to keep an eye out for one too :)

Melanie said...

Loved the carrot idea! I dehydrate bell peppers. That is so handy to have at your fingertips. I dry them in strips and store in a jar. I snip off what I need as I need it. Great to have for soups and stew in the winter. Sadly I don't have it for this winter, very bad gardening year here. Gotta try garlic powder next year!

The Paisley Butterfly said...

I love that you found a dehydrator, that works, at a garage sale! What a wonderful way to use something that already exists, saving it from the landfills! My mom just dried some basil from her garden this past week :) Her excitement was contagious, as is yours! My basil did not fare so well :( But, in the future we will be in a position to do a garden the way we want God's timing :) God bless!

Diana said...

I am also in love with my dehydrator! I make lots of jerky in it and its something that my kids love! i also dehydrate cooked beans that way they don't take up space in our freezer. dried fruits lots of raisins, apple chips, green chile oh my the list is endless. I hope you have lots of fun with it!

A Daughter of the King said...

I haven't done this yet. Looks wonderful!

Audrey said...

Pat ... what a great way to save and use your fresh produce. Have never done this, but looks interesting.
Thanks for sharing.
Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

Kristina said...

Glad you are enjoying your dehydrator. I just love our garlic and onion powders I made this season. They taste so much better than from the store. Yum.