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Passingtime2
08-19-2008, 08:36 AM
Now that I've got the hang of dehydrating, it's time to get serious about preserving some things.

I realized that the trays could be stacked on top of each other to save space and keep them on the bottom two shelves closer to the higher heat. So I built some more. I also realized the dehydrator needs to only be about 1/3rd as big and still hold 10 or 12 trays. Back to the drawing board for another revision. Will have pictures soon.

I sliced up 18 yellow squash and 8 zucchini. The yellow squash alone filled 3/4th a 5 gallon bucket and used all the dehydrator trays built to date.

My wife said enough is enough, so I'll do a rebuild and wait for the tomatoes to really kick in.

CityGirl
08-19-2008, 10:05 AM
I'm not too familiar with the dehydrating process. I've seen the inexpensive appliance type. The shelves in your picture, did you make those or did you purchase?
This has to be a better way of preserving a lot of fruits and veggies. I don't like frozen squash.

Melensdad
08-19-2008, 12:15 PM
We didn't have a garden this summer, so we are not dehydrating any food this year, but we use a small commercially available dehydrator that has about a dozen circular trays. Our favorite thing to dehydrate are various varieties of tomatoes to make our own "sun dried" type tomatoes and we dry them to a leathery texture so they are chewy. Some are stored in olive oil, they, along with the oil, can be used directly on things like homemade bruchetta or used to saute quick cooking things like crab cakes. It can also be mixed into some types of spaghetti sauce, but to cut down on oil we often just throw bits of dried tomatoes that have been stored in a ziplock bag into sauces. They can also be added, if minced, into salads, tossed on hamburgers, used in meatloaf, etc.

The dried tomatoes give a burst of intense tomato flavor to dishes.


I can't recall ever drying summer squash. We have dried a lot of various peppers, sometimes we will dry onions, leeks or shallots.

Passingtime2
08-19-2008, 08:46 PM
Last year we dehydrated several tomatoes in our counter top commercial unit. They have wonderful taste after being dehydrated.

This year I wanted to do everything on a larger scale, so I started playing around with my own ideas. I wanted to build something that would dry with no power. Got that part working so started working on some artificial heat and air movement. That seems to work ok so I'm ready for the next modification.

This year I blanched some yellow squash and then froze it. Don't know if we'll like that or not. Also dehydrated some after we fixed so much we were getting tired of eating it so often.