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  • Dehydrating Foods

    I have raised sucessful gardens every year, but have always relied on freezing and canning. I want to try to dehydrate some veggies this year, but not sure how to keep them and how to prepare them. Do you seal them in air-tight packaging? Are they only good for soups and stews? How long will they keep? And any dangers to look for. Just looking for some tips so I can play around with some different skills this summer and fall. Thanks!
    This kitten has claws......

  • #2
    Most of the vegetables I dehydrated I seal in Ziploc baggies. I haven't vacuum packed any dehydrated stuff yet. I have also used canning jars when I make my stew or soup mix.
    I've reconstituted many veggies and eaten them as a side with a meal.

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    • #3
      I dehydrate a LOT. One thing I found very helpful was to go to this site:http://www.dehydrate2store.com/
      She has tips and hints as well as step by step directions. I usually put my dehydrated products in a canning jar, until I have enough to package. Then I either put it in a vacuum seal bag or mylar, then pack in a tote for long term storage. Done properly, your dehydrated veg will last for 10 years this way...maybe longer. The trick with home dehydrating is to get it crisp dried and protect it from absorbing moisture again, which improper packaging can allow sometimes.

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      • #4
        Thanks so much for the info. I really want to get organized this year, and do the things I have just been talking about. These are some excellent starting points!
        This kitten has claws......

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        • #5
          Thanks for the link Herbalpagan!
          I just received my newest book "Dinner Is In The Jar" and it calls for dehydrated vegetables. Instead of breaking into my Honeyville #10 cans I can work on dehydrating the veggies myself.

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          • #6
            I wonder if a person can take there dehydrated veggies and fruit to an LDS pantry to can them.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by PT945 View Post
              I wonder if a person can take there dehydrated veggies and fruit to an LDS pantry to can them.

              I don't believe so, however, some canneries will loan out their canning machines. Probably wouldn't be worth it for what the average person could dehydrate.

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              • #8
                There used to be a Foo Foo tourist shop that would can gifts for people, like Teddy bears, jewelry etc etc. I need to see if that's the same cans as for food use, I bet on there slow season they might do it for me.if there even doing that anymore.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by herbalpagan View Post
                  I dehydrate a LOT. One thing I found very helpful was to go to this site:http://www.dehydrate2store.com/
                  She has tips and hints as well as step by step directions. I usually put my dehydrated products in a canning jar, until I have enough to package. Then I either put it in a vacuum seal bag or mylar, then pack in a tote for long term storage. Done properly, your dehydrated veg will last for 10 years this way...maybe longer. The trick with home dehydrating is to get it crisp dried and protect it from absorbing moisture again, which improper packaging can allow sometimes.
                  Do you have problems with the OXY absorbers going bad? I just started doing the mylar bag thing, and two bags were not sucking in like the others... also how long will the oxy absorbers work after you expose them to air? I have about 20 left and put them in a mylar bag, and sealed it up...

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                  • #10
                    If they were hot to the touch when you put them in or sealed them, then they are being used up at that point, but not nessesarily gone bad/used up. Remember, in the mylar, your product is going to have only the oxygen that is already in there, so it probably won't affect your food to much. If you are really concerned, cut a little slit at the top of the bag and pop in another o2 absorber and reseal the slit.
                    In general, I use between 1500 -2000cc for a 5 gal bucket. 100cc for a pint jar, 300 for a quart, 500 for a gallon. (more or less)

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                    • #11
                      A few of my observations on storing dehydrated food....

                      -sticking....

                      meat will generally have its own oils that will keep it from sticking together....fruits on the other hand will sometimes require a "dusting material"...a quick and easy media is oatmeal powder....it is relatively tasteless...and works well....you can also use nutmeg and cinnamon....but would change the flavor quite a bit....which can be good or bad....depending...your call.

                      -storage....

                      one of the easiest ways to store is in ziploc bags...we use this...cause it never last that long...:). You can also roll in parchment paper and store in tins (no direct contact with metal)....or if in a humid climate...in bags...in jars. Which ever you choose...the biggest thing is not to reintroduce moisture to anything until you want to....I like using the desiccant packs..(they can be made from the drying media for flowers and coffee filters....and a staple.) Do not store in an area with too much light...and look in on it frequently for the first couple weeks....a dot of mold can spread quickly....which brings up another good point of not storing in large lots.

                      -re-hydrating...

                      you can use broths or juices to rehydrate....try not to use sugars or salts in the solution you are soaking in...as it will inhibit absorption. it may take as little as an hour...to a day to rehydrate....so planning ahead is paramount.

                      Hope this helps
                      Live like you'll die tomorrow, learn like you'll live forever.

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                      • #12
                        I also store my dehydrated stuff in pint canning jars. We fill them pretty full and use the seal-a-meal jar sucker to seal them. The lids are on just as if they'd been canned.
                        "If Howdy Doody runs against him, I'm voting for the puppet." - SkyOwl's Wife, 2012

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                        • #13
                          I can't wait until my garden produces so I can try all this! Thanks!
                          This kitten has claws......

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                          • #14
                            I pack my dried foods into canning jars and vacuum seal them with the attachment for my Foodsaver machine. They keep for years this way. You could also just vacuum seal them in bags but sometimes the seals on the bags don't keep. You can fit a bushel of diced peppers into two - 2 quart canning jars ( wide mouth).
                            www.organicwheatproducts.com

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                            • #15
                              The National Center for Home Food Preservation has about the best info anywhere for dehydrating, canning, etc.

                              http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/dry.html

                              Most vegetables isn't hard to dry but I would stay away from fruits except maybe apples, most commercial fruit is Freeze Dryed, not Dehydrated because of their high moisture content.

                              I too put my stuff in jars and then vacuum seal it. I also highly recommend checking these often for any signs of mold. Be sure not to skip the conditioning off step before you package your food.

                              Have you picked out a Dehydrator??? There is a huge difference in models and makes a difference on how your stuff will turn out. I have the square Nesco but if I could have spent more, I would have gotten a Excalaber!

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