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12.8.13

FOOD DEHYDRATOR


I borrowed my friend’s dehydrator, but upon realizing there was a big hole in the bottom where the motor and the fan is housed, so everything from the air that floats into it dies there, you would be surprised what floats around us, and then it gets circulated around the drying food… I got in the car, drove across the bridge to London Drugs and bought myself a model with the motor on top. This one is not open to the elements, it is totally enclosed by the drying trays so nothing whatsoever has access to the fan or to the inner workings of the machine ever, clearly this was the machine for me.
 
I’ve been drying apricots – tried it in various ways, the best one turned out to be what the recipe booklet that came with my dehydrator suggested.
 
Cleanliness is very important as well as minimal handling of the fruits, basically avoid touching the fruit with your hands. And speaking of too much handling…
 
Always place the fruit with the skin down and cut side up, otherwise the fruit will stick to the racks. Don’t crowd the fruit, leave space around each peace; it will take less time than drying fruit on overcrowded trays.
 
Pre-treat the fruit with lemon juice or ascorbic acid mixtures, pre-treated fruit will retain both its looks and vitamin content better.
 
Keep the trays pristine clean. I put my trays [including the bottom catch tray] through the “fast wash” in the dishwasher. [Fast wash doesn’t have a dry cycle] If your dishwasher doesn’t have this feature, put the trays through two rinses, one with detergent and one without. The instructional booklet says it is essential to keep your trays away from the dishwasher’s drying cycle. And of course the part that houses the motor must never be submerged in water; it has to be wiped off. This does not pose a problem with dehydrators that have the motor on top.
 
Select high quality, tender and crisp fruits and vegetables for drying. Do not use overripe fruit.
 
• Wash the fruit well.
• Remove the stone, blemishes and bruised parts and discard.
• Cut each apricot into 4 quarters.
• Place the slices in lemon water for 15 minutes, but no longer than 1 hour.
• Arrange apricot slices with the cut part up for drying on the trays. Do not overlap food.
• Stack the trays and put them on the dryer base.
• Put the lid on the top.
• Turn on the dehydrator. Check the food every half hour near the end of the recommended drying time. Fruits that are cut into 1/4- to 3/8-inch slices take six to ten hours to dry at 135F.
• When everything is dried, turn off the machine.
• Unplug and wash all the pieces thoroughly and allow them to dry completely before you store it away for the next use.

8 comments:

  1. Zsuzsa, I'm glad you found the right type of food hydrator. As for me, I don't think I will get one of these; I get my dried fruits at the organic market. They are of course expensive, but at the same time like I mentioned before apricots here, in S. Florida are very expensive and are not always available.
    Guess we're being spoiled by all the other fruits that we have here in S. Florida which are really inexpensive, just the northern fruits...actually just some that are like the price of 'gold'~

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    Replies
    1. Elisabeth, we have several fruit trees in our backyard that gives us an overabundance of delicious fruit during the summer. During winter we have to buy imported fruit from the USA [even apples, I really don't know where the local apples disappear to]. All that imported fruit is expensive and pretty tasteless. I can only process so much fruit in my oven. So it was high time I bought a dehydrator. I use the fruits I dry in my homemade granola. I also carry a bag of mixed home dried fruit in my purse. It comes handy and keeps me out of Tim Horton's. :-)

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  2. My Mom had a dehydrator about 30 years ago, I'm sure the technology has come along way since then. I really adore dried fruit, perhaps I'll put one of these on my Christmas list!
    PS I am still unable to comment from my iPhone, what happens is that the keyboard doesn't show up. The plus is that this is also happening on another blogspot blog as well, so it's not unique to your settings.

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    Replies
    1. Eva, that will be ironed out eventually - these glitches always are. In the meantime it's nice to see you here my friend.

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  3. Hi Zsuzsa,

    Do you have any food pre-treating guide? I'm actually exploring that topic so.

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    Replies
    1. I only ever use lemon juice and fruitfresh.

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  4. Hello,

    Indeed a good post, And I believe having a Food Dehydrator at our home is very important as it helps dehydrating food,, so we need the best food dehydrators, that's why I have recently purchased one of the best food dehydrators available, because i want to make best food with food dehydrator.
    By the way, Keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the link Jelina.

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I began to post recipes for my family and it turned out to be a work in progress. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has over 900 recipes of Hungarian and international recipes. My recipes are organized into a cookbook format. On top of the page click on the cookbook to get access to all my recipes. If I ever figure out how to add a printer friendly gadget I will add it. In the meantime feel free to cut and paste. Happy cooking!

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