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Dehydrator Tips and Recipes
7 years ago
| Consumer info

My kitchen is about to have a Dehydrator!!!!!

Now I have to say that last year I was not well informed and about them.  So for those who do not know here is the first lesson from WiseGeek http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-food-dehydrator.htm

What is a Dehyrator?

Food dehydrators are small home appliances for drying fresh foods yourself. They come in a wide variety of sizes and capabilities, and can dry fruit, vegetables and meats. They work by very gently heating the air and blowing it throughout the food drying area. It can take a number of hours, or even days, to adequately dry and preserve juicier items.

Food to be dried in a food dehydrator is sliced very thinly for faster drying, and laid out in single layers on thin stacking trays, which are vented to allow air to flow through them. The trays are loaded into the unit and then left to dry. Some items will dry quicker than others and should be removed or they will become brittle. Very juicy foods like oranges and tomatoes can take quite a period of time in the food dehydrator, and should not be mixed with quicker drying foods such as carrots and potatoes.

7 years ago

The whole idea of using a dehydrator is to be able to eat raw food that has been dehydrated so then one can eat crackers and cookies that have not been cooked.

Now what would be good are some recipes or ideas for dehydrating.  Like healthy, organic, bars, crackers, wafers, vegetable chips etc. 

I know Diane has some good recipes hint hint

7 years ago
Yes, dried food is an idea I adopted some years back, except my home made unit is solar powered. It is very efficient and does not cost anything to use.
At first I used to get some drying items sticking to the internal trays, but lining them with baking paper stopped this.
A tip for tomatoes, is not to slice them too thin, or you will end up with sharp edged blade like tongue cutters
7 years ago

Thank you Solent O. for the good tips. 

When I buy a my own dehydrator I will look into a solar one. My friend has bought one on line and it will be arriving this week so it is good to know about the baking paper and tomatoes.

7 years ago
Make sure you get some Teflex sheets. You put sort of mushy stuff on them it keeps it from running trough.
PEAR FRUIT ROLL
7 years ago
(A Fruit Leather) 3pears, coarsely chopped 2apples, coarsely chopped 3-6dates, pitted 1/4tsp. cinnamon 1/8tsp. nutmeg 1/2tsp. Vanilla Powder or 1-inch piece of vanilla bean, cut into tiny pieces  1)PurŽe pears and apples (with seeds and skins - do not peel) in blender, adding a little water only if necessary. Add the next four ingredients and blend well. 2)Pour onto dehydrator trays, lined with Teflex . With the back of a large spoon spread out to 1/8 to 1/4" thickness. Dehydrate for approx. 12 to 15 hours at 95¡ F, or until fruit peels away from the Teflex sheet easily. This is the fruit leather. Makes 2 sheets approx. 12" X 12". 3)With a sharp knife cut leather into 2" X 3" wide pieces. Then roll pieces.
7 years ago
Thank you Diane for the tip and recipe.....mmmmmsounds good and with pear season just around the corner and the dehydrator arriving any time now.
7 years ago
Teflex sheets.... What are Telflex Sheets??
7 years ago

Well I learned about teflex sheets while I was at a health Institute. thaa what they use.

Teflex sheets are non-stick, solid sheets.  They are washable and re-useable.

They are used for dehydrating liquids (such as blended fruits- to make fruit roll-ups)  or really sticky/gooey items that  would normally drip through the mesh sheets that are included with the dehydrator.   They are also required for making THIN sprouted essene breads and crackers.

Some uses for Teflex

  • Drying Foods
  • Drying Raw Cookies  and Treats
  • Making Essene/Flat Breads
  • Baking Cookies
  • Fruit Rolls
  • Candy Sheets
  • Baking Pastries
  • Candied Apples
  • Open Face Sandwiches
  • Rolling Dough
  • Making Pizza
  • Cheese Snacks
  • Stuffed Peppers
  • Drying Yogurt 

They are so easy to clean just soap and water.

we are so average!
7 years ago

We use our dehydrators for fruits and vegetables; the fruit would be the berries we grow and the veggies are all kinds; chilies, tomatoes, summer squashes, onions.  Then we pack  them in Food Saver bags.  We have some dried tomatoes in the freezer from 5 years ago.  Still good.

7 years ago

Bobbie, I would not say you are so average!  Not many people even have a dehydrator.  Now I am wondering why you freeze your dried foods as my understanding is that drying them is sufficient to keeping them for a long time.  I could see refridgerating.

We are ready to make some crackers; anyone with a good recipe or two?

7 years ago

"Teflex sheets are non-stick, solid sheets.  They are washable and re-useable."

Does this mean they are made with a long chain polymer such as Teflon??
I would never have anything like that in my home. Those long chain molecules are just as bad as hydrogenated oils and fats.
I am very old fashioned in my kitchen and I would not even allow plastic chopping boards.
The cooks of yesteryear knew a thing or two and I carry on with their beliefs.

7 years ago
Solent, I am like you and very oldfashioned in my kitchen. Seems like those sheets maybe made out of teflon; now is the reasoning that nothing comes off them because they are not heated?
7 years ago
I do not believe for one minute that absolutely nothing is transferred unless heat is applied.
Anything that contains either a trace of fat or acid (or both, as most foods do) must involve the chemical process of "ion exchange"
I remember way way back to my chemistry lessons.. the chemistry master would tell us all that when you get the smell of a cow~pat (euwww ) that smell consists of ultra minute particles of what that cow has just passed, and we had just inhaled those particles into our lungs.
So on that principle, I would not trust Teflon at any temperature...freezing even!!
7 years ago
 Diane C. StarsButterflies 

Banana Macadamia Nut Fudge Cookies 

  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts (chopped into big pieces)
  • 1 cup bananas ( chopped Up)

In food processor blend raisins and walnuts until smooth. Add in macadamia nuts and bananas. Dehydrate for 8 to 10 hours.

Yummy

Diane

7 years ago
Diane, My house mate made those Banana Macadamia Nut Fudge Cookies  Oh my they were the yummiest!!!!  

I am amalgamating this & another folder
7 years ago
 Diane C. StarsButterflies  Here's one of my favorites.

Brazil Nut Wafers

2 cups Brazil nuts, soaked overnight in filtered water
3 bananas (or 2 ripe plantains)
cinnamon
Rejuvelac (mild) or filtered water

1) Rinse and drain Brazil nuts. Put Brazil nuts in the blender with just enough Rejuvelac or water to cover. Blend, adding more liquid if necessary, until you have a smooth batter. Don't make too thin. Then blend in bananas, adding cinnamon to taste.

2) Pour the batter, in the shape of round cookies, onto dehydrator trays lined with Teflex sheets.
Dehydrate at 95° F for 1 or 2 days.

Yield: 18 wafers. Don’t worry about storage – they'll be gone fast!

7 years ago
 Jes F. StarsButterflies 

Here's a bar recipe that I found:

1/3 cup carob chips

1 c slivered almonds

4 c dried fruit

mix in: 3/4 c pineapple juice or more as needed

1/2 tsp almond extract

1/2 c honey wheat germ

1 c carob chips

It is supposed to dry on a plastic sheet at 140 for about 14 hours, then cut it and place on an unlined tray to finish drying.

I assume that you could replace almonds for pecans, pineapple juice for orange, etc. according to you preferences.  I'll let you guys know how my efforts turn out as soon as I get some supplies.

Does anyone else have recipes/stories/ideas?

Thanks,

Jes  [ send green star]

7 years ago
 Jes F. StarsButterflies 
Vegetable bouillon 

It all started with:

Vegetable stock (I made my own by boiling ends of vegetables accumulated through the week for this purpose: zucchini, carrots, celery ends and leaves,  etc. and half a potato to thicken) Boil these veggie scraps with a little salt until the water changes to dark. Cool a bit and drain out veggie bits. Add salt to taste. Vegetable stock then turns into:

Vegetable soup. Return stock to boil, add sauteed veggies (you could opt not to sautee and just add veggies raw to boiling stock) and 1/4 C rinsed barley (or other whole grain). Season to taste.

Serve soup as usual. Puree leftovers (barley and all), then pour into dehydrater fruit roll-up tray. Allow to dry at least overnight, until crispy.  Return dry mix to blender, pulse a few times until you have bouillon granules.

You now have vegetable bouillon for any quick homemade soups. You know exactly where every ingredient came from and control quality, taste, and nutritional value. Satisfying and economical answer to buying pre-made organic veg stock at the store every time you want to make soup.

I know this is terribly imprecise, as I am recalling from impromtu cooking (as is most of my cooking )

You could also use the bouillon to make a vegetarian "gravy" or sauce for say . . . cabbage rolls ? but I haven't quite gotten there yet . . . [ send green star]

7 years ago

Here is a recipe a friend sent me and I just finished putting it in the dehydrator! I will let you know tommorrow how they turned out.

Sunflower Buckwheat Walnut crackers
 
Ingredients:

1 cups walnuts, soaked 1 hour or more
2 cups sunflower seeds, soaked 4 hour or more
2 cups diced zucchini
1 cup sprouted buckwheat
1 cup ground golden flax seeds
1 tsp celtic sea salt
filtered water to moisten dough. 
 
Method:
1.Grind walnuts in food processor to a fairly fine crumbly texture. Transfer to a large glass bowl. Process zucchini and add to the walnut crumbles.
2. Process sprouted buckwheat to a paste consistency. Add ground golden flaxseeds, hemphearts, sea salt to buckwheat paste.
3. Transfer to zucchini and walnut mixture and stir to combine well.
You might have to add some water to make a sticky dough.
4. Spread the dough with a spatula onto teflex lined dehydrator trays and smooth evenly to 1/4 inch thickness or a little less for thinner crackers. You can also spread the batter onto the waxed side of freezer paper and dry in a convection oven at 120 degrees. I often start the drying process 20 degrees higher as the moisture content protects the life enzymes for the first hour. The top will feel dry after about 6 hours. Flip the flatbread onto a screen and peel away the paper or liners. Dehydrate another 2 or 3 hours. ( Drying time depends on the thickness of the batter.)
Cut into squares, rectangles or triangles and dehydrate for a few more hours until crisp. Store in a cool room in an airtight container.
You may wish to freeze the flatbread if you wish to keep them longer than two weeks.

Sprouting buckwheat: 
Soak buckwheat 5 hours.  Rinse frequently the first day. Let the little tails grow one more day with the occasional rinse.  You can experiment with different veggies in this flatbread.  I have used carrot pulp and soaked the flax seeds in stead of grinding them.   I sometimes eat sprouted buckwheat as a cereal.
Buckwheat is high in iron and is a great source of fiber.

Savory Nut Crackers
7 years ago
/2 cup soaked walnuts
1/2 cup soaked pine nuts
2 cups soaked or sprouted sunflower seeds

soak above nuts and seeds in filtered water

1/2 cup Jerusalem artichokes (sprinkle with lemon juice)
1/2 cup carrots
1/2 cup parsley
1 garlic clove
dash of Celtic sea salt or Nama Shoyu


1) Rinse the nuts and seeds and drain. Process all ingredients through a Champion or Green Power juicer with the blank in place.

2) Mix well with a spoon or your hands. Form into round, flat patties and place onto mesh dehydrator trays. Dehydrate at 95° F for 1 to 2 days.

Makes 18 crackers. When thoroughly dry, they will keep a long time at room temperature. I keep mine in a bowl with a muslin cloth on top.

NOTE: If you can't find Jerusalem artichokes (also known as sunchokes), substitute with more carrots.

7 years ago

Solent

Yes the Teflex sheets are non-stick, solid sheets coated with DuPont Teflon most raw classes suggest you use these. But after you bring it to my attention I will try baking paper again everything eles I have tried has stuck bad.

Diana

let us know how those Sunflower buckwheat crackers turn out they sound so good.

7 years ago

Raw Onion Bread... Who Knew?

In this video, you'll learn to make raw onion bread using a food *dehydrator. This famous recipe is found in the cookbook, Rawvolution by Matt Amsden.

This cracker-like bread goes great with a tomato salsa, or for dipping into hummus or other tasty dips. Try a portabella mushroom, onion and tomato sandwich on this savory raw onion bread. Use your imagination and create an endless variety of delicious sandwich favorites.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 large, yellow onions, sliced fine (I use less onions, due to their strong flavor)
  • 3/4 cups flax seed, ground
  • 3/4 cups raw sunflower seeds, ground
  • 1/2 cup shoyu or soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup organic, cold-pressed olive oil

PREPARATION:

  • Combine all ingredients.
  • Mix well, either by hand or using an electric mixer.
  • Spread batter out to approx ¼ inch thickness, into a large square shape.
  • Place on dehydrator tray and close door.
  • Set at 115 degrees F.
  • After 24 hours, take bread out 
  • Flip bread over and return to dehydrator and bake at 100 degrees for 12 more hours.
  • Cut into squares and serve.

Hope you enjoy this recipe.

Note: The brand of *dehydrator seen in this video is Excalibur, which comes with both trays and liners inside.



This post was modified from its original form on 06 Oct, 16:06
7 years ago
Hi everyone!  Well soon it will be summer here, all my vegies have been planted so hopefully they will be bountiful soon and I can dry some of the harvest in the Summer sun aka Sun dried tomatoes etc.  Can anyone tell me what is the most hygenic way to sun dry food?  It will be a while before i can purchase a food dehydrator so the sun will have to do for now. 

Your drying tips are appreciated!!
Patchouli
7 years ago
I have a new dehydrator and was thinking of ordering Teflex sheets, but after reading posts here I do not want to use them.  Can I use parchment?  I am new to the raw foods movement, but I have been a vegetarian for over twenty years and a vegan for five years.  I have been using Alissa Cohen's book as a guide to learning what to purchase and how to prepare the foods.  I have been following a strict 100% raw diet for two weeks and have had no problems (detox) probably because of being vegetarian and vegan for so many years.  And, I just had a colonoscopy.  For anyone who does not know, a very thorough colon cleaning is necessary prior to that procedure, so maybe I had something of a headstart on any detoxing process.
7 years ago

Sally, I use parchment instead of Teflex sheets and it works well. Do you have any good recipes now that you have had your dehydrator for a while now?

6 years ago

So does anyone know how to make a raw chocolate bar without sugar?

6 years ago

I have never tried this in practice, but I understand the process!
I guess it depends on the ingredients used, would the cacao be powdered, or just broken into pieces?
If the cacao is unprocessed then it should contain cacao butter which will emulsify or rather hold the chocolate together, providing there is enough of the fat to do this. More fat may need to be added, ideally cacao butter but coconut butter should work too as it is solid at room temperature.
So the cacao needs to be ground finely in a food processor or on a flat stone with another stone to grind (like the one used in the movie Chocolat!), this is a good time to add a little stevia or other natural sweetener. The result should be a thick paste (a drop or two of water may be needed depending on the harvest date and storage conditions of the cacao) that is a little bit granular to the touch, and there should be an oiliness left on the fingers after rubbing a little. This should then solidify when chilled a little. It won't be smooth like other chocolates as heat is needed to align the crystals within the chocolate, known as tempering.

Anonymous
6 years ago

I just borrowed my MIL's dehydrator tonight. I was just planning on making these, from vegweb but seeing all these recipes I think I will borrow it for a bit longer

6 years ago

Thank you Pete Now I hve become so busy so I will try it later and let you know how it works.

So Angie let us know what you make and how they turned out.

5 years ago

I have lots of organic peaches and am about to dehydrate some; any tips would be appreciated.

Appliances are expensive
5 years ago

I would love to get a Food Dehydrator, preferably a solar one. I would also like to have a food processor and a juicer and all of those wonderful things by i tend to not be able to afford them. Does anyone know where i could find a cheepy version?



This post was modified from its original form on 16 Sep, 12:17
5 years ago

Well Zoe, you could just dry fruit & veg in the sun like we used to do in the 70's.  When there is not sun; you can put the oven on very very low so that it is below 110 degrees F.  I know people who have told me they have done that and it works.  And why not!

Inexpensive Dehydrators
5 years ago

I am new to the group and have recently got into Raw Food eating.  I didn't think I could afford a dehydrator like the Excalibur.  I was watching the Shopping Channel in Canada and lo and behold a dehydrator came up.  It has temperature controls which is necessary obviously.  It comes with the various trays (stacked), a solid tray.  It is super.  It was around $100.00.  It is an American Harvester.

I tried that "Onion Bread" and found the soyu sauce a bit too strong.  I mince the onions down more and leave some sliced and it is much better for me.

5 years ago

Thank you Barb for the info about the dehydrator; so good to get one so inexpensively.

Also, I appreciate the feedback about the onion bread as I have not made it yet. 

5 years ago

Last week I had these amazing kale chips made in the dehydartor and they were so so good.  I did not get the recipe; does anyone here have a recipe for Kale chips?

Kale Chips
4 years ago

If you're looking for a great recipe for dehydrating kale, check out
Marni Wasserman's site. Her kale krisps are wonderful!
http://www.fullynourished.ca/index.php?s=kale+krisps 

4 years ago

Thank you Adi, will check it out.