Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:21:54 GMT -6
How to Dry Fruits + Vegetables
Food Dehydration is the oldest form of food preservation. In the beginning, people used a lot of salt to preserve foods, and they dried their food in the sun or on stove tops. Today we have the food dehydrator to help in the process of drying. Food dehydration is safe because water is removed from the food. Because water is removed from the food, mold and bacteria cannot grow on it;thus it will not spoil. There is, however, a loss of vitamin A and C in dried foods due to heat and air. It usually takes vegetables 6-16 hours to dry, and fruit 12-48 hours. One can dry fruit and vegetables, and make jerky and fruit leather.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:23:02 GMT -6
Choose Which Drying Method is Right For You
Electric Dehydrating This is the best method of dehydrating food. An electric dehydrator is energy efficient and can be operated at low temperatures needed to maintain nutritive values in the food. Your electric food dehydrator should have some sort of heat control and a fan to maintain air circulation during the drying process.
Sun Drying This is rather difficult because you need three to four sunny days of at least 100 degrees in a row.
Oven Drying Oven drying is an acceptable method of drying food, but it isn't very energy efficient, and foods aren't very flavorful in the end. If your oven cannot obtain temperatures below 200 degrees farenheit, use another method for food dehydration. You will need to prop open the oven door to maintain air circulation during the drying process.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:23:45 GMT -6
The Drying Process
When drying food, don't keep temperatures too low or too high. Temperatures too low may result in the groth of bacteria on the food. Temperatures too high will result in the food being cooked instead of dried. Food that is underdried will spoil, and food that is overdried will lose its flavor and nutritive value.
Food should be dehydrated between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. You can begin drying your food at higher temperatures, but turn the temperature down after the first hour or so. The last hour or so of drying time should be turned down on a lower setting. You must turn the food and rotate the trays while the food is drying.
You will know your food is dried when when you touch it, and it is leathery with no pockets of moisture. If you are testing fruit, you can tear a piece in half. If you see moisture beads along the tear, it is not dry enough. Meat should be tough, but shouldn't snap apart. Vegetables should also be tough but can also be crisp.
When storing your dried product, keep in mind that no moisture should be allowed to enter the container...ever. Dried food absorbs moisture from the air, so the storage container must be airtight. Some acceptable storage containers are jars and plastic freezer bags. If storing fruit leather, wrap in plastic wrap and store in a another airtight container. Store your containers of dried food in a cool, dark, dry place. 60 degrees Fahrenheit or below is best.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:24:23 GMT -6
Fruit Drying Guide
All fruit should be washed,pitted and sliced. Arrange in single layers on trays. Dry fruit at 135 degrees Fahrenheit. You may wish to pretreat your fruit with lemon juice or ascorbic acid or it won't darken while you are preparing it for drying. Just slice the fruit into the solution and soak for 5 minutes.
Apples:Peel, core and slice into 3/8-inch rings, or cut into 1/4-inch slices. Pretreat and dry 6-12 hours until pliable. Apricots: Cut in half and turn inside out to dry. Pretreat and dry 8-20 hours until pliable. Bananas: Peel, cut into 1/4-inch slices and pretreat. Dry 8-16 hours until plialbe or almost crisp. Blueberries: Dry 10-20 hours until leathery. Cherries: Cut in half and dry 18-26 hours until leathery and slightly sticky. Peaches: Peel, halve or quarter. Pretreat and dry 6-20 hours until pliable. Pears: Peel, cut into 1/4-inch slices, and pretreat. Dry 6-20 hours until leathery. Pineapple: Core and slice 1/4-inch thick. Dry 6-16 hours until leathery and not sticky. Strawberries: Halve or cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. Dry 6-16 hours until pliable and almost crisp.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:24:56 GMT -6
Vegetable Drying Guide
All vegetables except onions and peppers,and mushrooms should be washed, sliced, and blanched. Dry vegetables in single layers on trays. Depending of drying conditions, drying times make take longer. Dry vegetables at 130-degrees Fahrenheit. Beans, green:Stem and break beans into 1-inch pieces.Blanch. Dry 6-12 hours until brittle.
Beets: Cook and peel beets. Cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Dry 3-10 hours until leathery. Broccoli: Cut and dry 4-10 hours. Carrots: Peel, slice or shred. Dry 6-12 hours until almost brittle. Cauliflower: Cut and dry 6-14 hours. Corn:Cut corn off cob after blanching and dry 6-12 hours until brittle. Mushrooms: Brush off, don't wash. Dry at 90 degrees for 3 hours, and then 125 degrees for the remaining drying time. Dry 4-10 hours until brittle. Onions: Slice 1/4-inch thick. Dry 6-12 hours until crisp. Peas: Dry 5-14 hours until brittle. Peppers, sweet: Remove seeds and chop. Dry 5-12 hours until leathery. Potatoes: Slice 1/8-inch thick. Dry 6-12 hours until crisp. Tomatoes: Dip in boiling water to loosen skins, peel,slice or quarter. Dry 6-12 hours until crisp. Zucchini: Slice 1/8-inch thick and dry 5-10 hours until brittle.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:29:13 GMT -6
Dehydrating/Drying Apples #1
Select firm textured apples for drying. To prepare the fruit, wash and slice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Pre-treat with a lemon juice/water solution (1 cup of lemon juice to 1 quart of water) or an Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) solution to prevent browning. Place slices onto drying rack. Dry fruit at 135° F. When fruit is pliable and there is no sign of moisture it can be stored in air tight bags or jars. After proper drying, apples will keep in a cool, dry place from 6 months to a year. ...............
5 pounds apples About 2 - 3 cups pineapple juice
Use good apples, bad apples with bruises or those that are not ripe make bad dried apples. Peel and core the apples. Cut the fruit into thin slices, 1/8 inch. Soak the apples in the pineapple juice for at least 1 minute to prevent browning. In a dehydrator, dehydrate at 130 until the apples are leathery but pliable. (Optional - keep drying until like potato chips). I n an oven, at the lowest setting with the door ajar until the apples are leathery but pliable. (Optional - keep drying until like potato chips).
Note: 1 pound of apples makes 2 1/2 ounces after skinning, coring, and drying. .........................
How to Prepare Dried Apples for Use in Apple Pie Filling and Sauces: 1/2 pound dried apples 2 1/2 - 3 c. water (or more) 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. nutmeg 1/4 tsp. cloves Sugar to taste (1/2 c. for slight sweetness up to 2 c. for those who like it super sweet) Combine dried apples with water in heavy saucepan, place over low heat. Simmer, covered, until apples have the consistency of thick preserves. Add more liquid as needed. Be careful heat is not too high. Stir periodically to prevent scorching. When thickened consistency is reached, remove from heat and stir in spices. Taste and add sugar as need. Let cool completely. Use as filling in such recipes as Fried Apple Pies. Left over filling will keep covered in the refrigerator for about a week. Also makes a nice sauce garnish for roasted pork and poultry.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:32:35 GMT -6
Preparation: Peel and core, cut into slices or rings one-eighth to one-quarter inch thick. Peelings may be left on, however they tend to toughen during dehydration.
Fruits that are to be dehydrated are pretreated to prevent discoloration by oxidation, to keep a fresher color, to have a more pliable texture, and to help retain vitamin A and C. Each of the following pretreatments perform a useful part of the dehydrating process and each has merit. Personal preference should be your guide.
Sodium Bisulfite: Dissolve 2 teaspoons of sodium bisulfite in one quart of water and add cut fruit. Slices of fruit should be soaked for no more than 10 minutes. Drain and dehydrate. (CAUTION: Sodium Bisulfite can affect anyone with asthma, allergies or other respiratory problems.)
Ascorbic Acid: Dissolve one tablespoon of pure crystalline ascorbic acid in one quart of cold water. Add cut fruit and soak for a few minutes; remove with a slotted spoon; drain well and dehydrate.
Lemon Juice: Use one cup lemon juice to one quart water. Soak the fruit for no more than ten minutes. Drain and dehydrate. (Lemon juice is only one-sixth as effective as ascorbic acid.)
NOTE: After pretreating, the apple slices may be sprinkled with cinnamon or flavored gelatin crystals.
DRYING METHODS Dehydrator Method: The temperature should be 150 degrees for 2-3 hours, then reduce to 130 degrees until dry. Fruit is dry when it is soft and pliable with no moist area in the center when cut.
Oven Drying: This is generally the fastest method. The temperature should be no higher than 140 degrees, leave the door ajar; place a fan so it blows across the opening and carries the moisture away.
Sun Drying: This method takes 3 - 4 hot days (98-100 degrees F). Be sure to cover fruit with screen or cheese cloth to keep away insects. Bring in or cover at night to keep moisture from collecting. To "pasteurize" sun dried fruit in order to prevent contamination from insects, freeze for 28-72 hours.
Conditioning: To insure that sufficient moisture has been removed to prevent molding during storage, place the fruit in an air tight container for several days. Check daily for condensation on sides of container. If condensation appears, dry the fruit a little longer.
Storage: Properly dried and packaged foods have a very long shelf life. But for best quality and nutrient content, plan to use within one year.
Rehydrating Hints: Dried apples may be reconstituted and used in pies and cobblers. Here are some basic methods used to rehydrate: Soak fruit in liquid. Various fruit juices, cordials and fruit liquors may be used. Boil fruit in water. Add 1 cup water to 1 cup fruit. Use less water for a thicker consistency. To soften fruit for cookies and cakes, steam for several minutes. NOTE: Do not add sugar during first five minutes of rehydration because it will hinder moisture absorption.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:33:33 GMT -6
Any summer or winter variety of pear is suitable for drying. Pears should be ripe. Wash and slice. Pre-treat with lemon/water or ascorbic acid solution if you like. Dry at 135° F until leathery and there is no moisture present. Makes a great, sweet snack. Store carefully in air tight bags or jars. Keep in a cool, dry place from 6 months to a year. xxx Dehydrating - Basic Fruit Leather/Fruit Rollups
Pureed fruit can be dried on special, heavy plastic sheets in your electric dehydrator. To prepare apples or pears for leather making: Wash fruit thoroughly, remove seeds, puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Mixture should be of pouring consistency. It is important to add honey to help keep the leather pliable when dried. If the puree is too thick, add liquid to thin. If too tart, add more honey or sugar. Heat apple or pear mixture to 190° F to prevent oxidization. Cool before pouring onto dehydrator trays. Coat trays with a layer of fruit puree about 1/8 inch thick. Dry at 135° F until leathery. Be careful there are no moisture pockets. Roll up fruit leather while warm, wrap in plastic and store. Makes a great, easy to pack snack for any outing.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:34:40 GMT -6
Applesauce Puree for Fruit Roll-ups
Make applesauce by quartering the apples. Trim off the blossom and stems ends. Put in pan and add a little water then simmer stirring frequently, until soft. Put the cooked apples through a food mill or strainer to remove the peels and seeds. Add about 1 tablespoon honey per cup of applesauce to keep the fruit leather pliable so it can be rolled up. This results in a nice smooth puree for making fruit leather. (If it's too thick to spread easily, add more water.) .....
Fruit Leather Made from Applesauce Puree Lightly grease dehydrator trays and spread puree evenly and thinly onto trays. Set temperature at 130-140° F. (55-60° C.) and dry until fruit leather feels dry and pliable, with no sticky spots. Remove from trays and cut into pieces. Roll in wax paper and fasten rolls with a strip of freezer tape. For long-term storage, put roll-ups in freezer bags or quart yogurt containers and store in freezer.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:38:44 GMT -6
14 ounce cans of pineapple wedges or chunks
If you canned pineapples, they have the juice needed to make the dehydrated apples, and they are already cut for use! Just open the can and place straight to the dehydrator! In a dehydrator, dehydrate at 130 until the pineapples are leathery but pliable. In an oven, at the lowest setting with the door ajar until the apples are leathery but pliable. Note: 1, 14 ounce can of chunked pineapples makes 2.6 ounces after drying.
Use a heavy 3 quart saucepan to cook apricots and sugar over a medium heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 40 minutes more. Pour into a blender/processor and mix until smooth. (use caution when blending hot liquids). Spread the liquid onto plastic sheets in the dehydrator trays. Dry according to manufactuer's directions until drier but slightly tacky. Let cool completely in tray. Peel leather out and roll up in wax paper. Leather should keep, at cool room temperature for 1 month. Makes 8 servings. OR make in your regular oven: Preheat oven to 200øF. and oil a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Pour the hot blended mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Place in the middle of the oven and dry about 1 hour, until just sligtly tacky. Let cool completely in pan on the rack.
NOTE: This fruit leather makes a satisfying energy snack and is delicious in place of chutney on a sandwich. For an easy appetizer: Spread 4 tablespoons softened mild goat cheese onto an 8 inch square of leather. Sprinkle the cheese with 1 tablespoon chopped pistachios and roll tightly into a log. Chill the log and slice it into 1/4 inch thick rounds.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:41:21 GMT -6
Barbecued Beef Jerky
3 pounds lean beef (flank, round or sirloin tip), cut into strips, 1/2 inch thick for marinade: 1 cup catsup 1/2 cup red wine vinegar 1/4 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons dry mustard 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 tablespoon salt 1 teaspoon cracked pepper 1 dash hot pepper sauce
Combine all marinade ingredients in a large glass baking dish. Add strips of beef, cover and refrigerate overnight. Drain beef slices. Dry in an electric dehydrator at 145 until pliable. Place in canning jars, plastic bags or sealer bags. Makes 8 servings.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:41:57 GMT -6
Blueberry Fruit Leather
1 pound blueberries 1/4 cup honey 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Place fruit in a blender/processor. Mix until puree is smooth. Add honey and cinnamon or more to your desired taste. Spread puree on plastic sheets, on dehydrator racks, so puree is 1/8 inch thick in center and 1/4 inch thick on edges. Cook for approximately 20 hours, or until the leather is cooked according to manufacturer's directions. The trays should be turned halfway through the cooking process. Makes 8 servings.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:42:46 GMT -6
High Energy Bars
1 cup barley, soaked for 3 days 2 cups soft wheat, sprouted for 1 day 3/4 cup dates 3 tablespoons honey 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup walnuts, soaked and chopped 1/2 cup almonds, soaked and chopped
Place barley, wheat, dates together in a blender/processor until just mixed. Pour into a bowl. Add honey, cinnamon, vanilla, walnuts, almonds and mix well. Form into bars and place on plastic sheet on rack. Cook in dehydrator for 6 - 8 hours, depending on the desired moisture and size. Half way through, remove the sheet and turn bars over. Makes 8 servings.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:43:26 GMT -6
20 ounces frozen corn 1 sweet red pepper, quartered 1 garlic clove 4 teaspoons picante sauce or to taste
Slightly cook corn. Drain and pat dry. Puree ingredients until smooth in a blender/processor. Spread puree on plastic sheets and place on dehydrator trays. Dry 8 to 10 hours or until top is dry. Turn over and continue drying another 10 hours. Remove fruit leather sheets and break corn leather into chips. Continue drying another 3 to 6 hours until chips are brittle. Store in airtight container. Makes 4 servings.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:48:08 GMT -6
beefsteak or plum tomatoes, washed and stems removed
For beefsteak tomatoes...cut into 1/2 inch slices. For plum tomatoes....slice in half lengthwise. Place cut side down on the trays. No pretreatment necessary. Set temp at 100 to dry. For the beefsteak - approximately 24 hours or until semi crisp. For the plum - approximately 72 hours. This all depends on how many trays you do at once. It is not recommended to do more than 8 or it takes a long, long time. 6 is a nice amount with a reasonable amount of drying time.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:48:45 GMT -6
Many flowers can be dried in the dehydrator. You should experiment a little and keep the temperature very low. It is not recommended to dry flowers in the same dehydrator you would food. Maybe you could get one for a good price at a flea market or garage sale.
Flowers should be dry to start with. It is best if picked after the dew has dried and before the night dampness sets in. Dry the flowers as soon as possible after picking. A dry, warm, dark, clean and well ventilated area is the best condition to dry flowers, which makes a dehydrator an ideal setting. Flowers will retain the best color and condition when dried quickly. A low temperature should be used to keep the natural oils. 4. Strip off the leaves, or if you want to keep the foliage, discard brown or damaged leaves. Place on the drying trays in a single layer. Avoid any overlapping. Drying times will vary considerably depending on the size of the flower and the amount of foliage. Dry at 100, approximately from 6 to 72 hours.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:49:29 GMT -6
The leaves of most herbs should be green and harvested just before the plant begins to flower. - Rinse leaves and stems with cold water and shake off excess water. Pat dry with paper towels and cut off dead, mushy, or discolored leaves before drying. - For herbs seeds: Pick when the pods have changed color but before they begin to shatter. Spread the pods, dry. Rub the pods between your palms to release the seeds into the trays. - Always dry herbs at a low temperature because high temperatures will destroy natural oils. - Spread herbs, stem and leaves, loosely on a tray and dry at 95 to 100 for approximately 3 to 5 hours. Herbs with larger leaves like cilantro will take longer. - It is best to dry herbs separately from other foods because they don't take as long as produce for example. Plus other foods would add more moisture thus the drying times would be longer. - Dry herbs on stems. When completely dry, strip leaves off and brittle stems. - Do not grind the leaves into a powder before storing. It is best to grind into a powder with a mortar and pestle or crush in your hands just before using. - Store in tightly-closed containers in a -- dark place. Do not use cool paper bags because the natural oils will be absorbed by the paper, which reduces the potency of the herb.
* Dried herbs have 3 to 4 times the potency of fresh herbs. * Eight ounces of fresh herbs will yield about 1 ounce dried. * Dried herbs and spices should keep well for 6 months to 1 year.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:50:01 GMT -6
Mesquite Pocket Bread
dried mesquite beans, see below 1 packet yeast granules 2 cups warm water 1 teaspoon honey 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1 tablespoon safflower oil 4 cups whole wheat flour
Gather all the good quality dried mesquite beans available. Rinse them lightly and spread on cookie sheets. Dry very well in a 200 degrees oven or food dehydrator. Grind enough dried beans to make 2 cups of flour. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add honey and let set to rise for 20 minutes. Stir down the foam and add salt and oil. Mix well. Gradually add whole wheat flour and the mesquite bean flour. Mix well and knead on floured board until light and spongy. Shape into a large ball and oil lightly on all sides. Place in a large bowl to rise and cover with a damp towel. Keep warm and out of drafts. When double in size, punch down and knead well again on floured board. Separate into 18 small balls and roll out very thin to about 6 inches across. Do not allow to rise. Bake immediately on oiled cookie sheets at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until edges are crisp. Flattened balls will puff up and form pockets. Cut in half or use whole. Makes 8 servings.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:50:34 GMT -6
Mixed Vegetables Leather
2 cups cored and cut up tomatoes 1/4 cup chopped celery 1 small chopped onion salt to taste
Puree in a blender/processor. Cook until thickened. Cook over low heat in a covered saucepan 15 to 20 minutes. Spread on plastic sheets and dry according to manufacturer's directons. Or spread on a cookie sheet or tray lined with plastic wrap and bake at 140 degrees F. Makes 8 servings.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:51:28 GMT -6
Fruit + Nut Mix
1 pound toasted almonds 1 pound toasted Brazil nuts 1 pound toasted cashew nuts 1/2 pound toasted pine nuts 1/2 pound mixed raisins 1/4 cup honey, fruit juice or sweet vermouth !/4 cup shredded coconut 1/4 cup salted sunflower seeds 1/4 cup chopped dried fruit, (apples, pears, apricots, etc) salt and/or Worcestershire sauce to taste, optional
Mix nuts together and set aside. In a saucepan, mix raisins and fruit juice together and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat and simmer until liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. Combine mixture with remaining ingredients and mix well. If desired, add salt and/or Worcestershire sauce to taste.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:52:27 GMT -6
Yogurt Snack Rolls
flavored yogurt toasted chopped nuts chopped dried fruit or coconut, optional
Spread about 2 cups of flavored yogurt on oiled solid sheets or plastic wrap about 1/8 inch thick on the trays. If desired, sprinkle with other ingredients. Dry at 125 for approximately 10 hours or until leathery. Remove from sheet while warm and roll. Store in refrigerator or freezer. Makes 8 servings.
Post by carnation037 on Feb 2, 2003 0:53:04 GMT -6
Slice tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices. Place on dehydrator and dry until crisp. Place dried tomato slices into blender/processor and blend until a fine powder. Use powder in a variety of dishes from soups to meatloaf.
To reconstitute: To 1 cup of dried tomato powder, add the following:
for tomato paste - 1 3/4 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar
for tomato sauce - 3 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar
for tomato juice - 3 to 5 cups water or to desired thickness, salt and pepper to taste
for tomato soup - 3/4 cup water, 1/2 cup dry milk and season to taste
*Remember: The flavor of dried tomatoes is more concentrated, so use sparingly in your cooking.
Tomato Tip: When frost threatens your tomato crop, all isn't lost. Pick the green tomatoes. Choose large mature tomatoes that are in all stages of the ripening process from pale green to those showing hints of their red blush. Discard any with cracks, bruises or other damage. These won't keep. (Use in green tomato relish recipes!) Spread the green tomatoes on newspaper with the blossom end down. Cover the tomatoes with another layer of newspaper. For best results, these should be in a cool, but not cold area. (For best flavor, never refrigerate tomatoes!) Check every few days and remove those that have ripened. It's easy to dry a tray of tomatoes, as your tomatoes ripen. Often you can have fresh tomatoes for several months as the green ones slowly ripen.
Puree pears and apples (with seeds and skins - do not peel) in blender/processor, adding a little water only if necessary. Add the other ingredients and blend well. Pour onto dehydrator trays, lined with plastic. Spread out to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness. Dehydrate for approx. 12 to 15 hours at 95° F, or until fruit peels away from the plastic sheet easily. This is the fruit leather. Makes 2 sheets approx. 12x12inches. Use a sharp knife to cut into 2x3 inch wide pieces. Then roll.