Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dehydration HQ


 Last week my dehydrator arrived .Food drying is a way to preserve fruit, vegetables,  a food dehydrator  refers to a device that removes moisture from food to aid in its preservation. A food dehydrator uses a heat source and air flow to reduce the water content of foods. . Please do read more there is tons of information and it is very interesting.

All you do is prepare your foods  simply by washing, blanching, steaming or spraying with lemon juice. The lemon juice deters oxidation , slice, dice cube whatever you like or you go also go the easiest route with frozen foods,there's no preparation involved .Use tinned fruit .You then set the time and simply leave it alone. Timer goes off, Bingo Dried food stuff, you are dry almost everything. I cant wait to make beef  jerky.
I'm trying desperately to lose weight . I'm doing the 5:2 diet after watching the horizon programme. If you get a second do check it out it is fascinating. On the days I am not eating 500 calories I'm trying to up my intake of vegetables and fruits.
 I am a sweetie addict .As  Édith Piaf used to say: 'Use your faults, use your defects; then you're going to be a star' So with that in mind I have decided to make natural healthier sweeties.
I bought mine from amazon this is mine. Its arrived the next day There are lots to be had I picked mine because others have said it is important to have a machine that has a timer and a temperature gauge, many of them dont .I didn't want to spend a lot of money in case I didn't like the results.
                                                Baby chantenay carrots , thy are incredibly sweet ,sliced
                                       I cut tinned lychees in half ,  tinned pineapples ,
                                                        Plum cherry toms
                                                      whole lychees, apples.
 During my research to prevent discolouration of fruit it is suggested to dip them in a bath of lemon juice, I decided to see what happens without the lemon juice.
 Later I did kiwis, sweet potatoes, banana's.
It is suggested that harder veg should be blanched .Once again I decided to see what happens if I didnt blanch them so sweet potato was sliced on mandolin. I  added a tsp or so of olive oil and a shake of rosemary. I love fried sweet potato chips.
Kiwis, ,drying time 12 hrs .Texture;  crispish because of the seeds , and chewy a  . I cut these by hand so not too thinly sliced , these have turned out amazing they are like a sweet and sour fizzy sweet, I kid you not. I love these.. These where very ripe and tasted fine before the process, if they are a bit sour to start I might try and see what happens if I dip  them in a honey wash before drying .Delish!!! We all cant stop eating them
Tinned pineapple, drying time 12hrs, texture; chewy, delicious. Very economical, "Dole" the other day was 50p a tin I filled two trays with three tins. Next time I will spritz these with lemon or lime they are very very sweet when dried and needs a little acidicity. However it does mean it would only take one to satisfy that sweet tooth.
Tinned lychee ;Drying time 12 hrs. Texture, like a wine gum.  they are so good , I prefer them whole.
The pears are in amongst the lychee.They need a lot longer than 12hrs they where still squidgy. I will slice tonight's batch on a mandolin and the next batch will be cut slightly smaller wedge. They are delicious. I will also melt some nutella and dip the dried wedges for an alternative.

Cherry tomatoes :12hrs  delicious soft and we ate those very quickly.

I also did beetroot, the vac pack ones and these are a revelation, very easy to eat they were the first to disappear hence no pics. 12hrs cut by hand, yummy.
Bananas 1 medium I sliced into 18 slices , Drying time 12 hrs  cut by hand. they are crisp and delicious. Perhaps not as attractive as others but it really doesnt bother us, taste fab. I will try this dipped in honey just to try them out but it will obviously alter the calories, these will be for the Mr he loves honey. I had these with my porridge this morning it was delicious
Sweet potato I used only one ,mandolin sliced , 12hrs, these didn't float my families boat. I didn't mind them I will part steam them tomorrow, they were crisp but they tasted dried and raw , love the rosemary oil and salt. For future reference ; potatoes will have to be steam too.

I nearly forgot, I made yoghurt plop. I don't know what else to call them as you simply take a spoonful at a time and plop it onto baking parchment, I have a re~seable liner, level it off not to thinly and leave it for about 6hrs , they are delicious. I'm going to do drops next time.

To conclude, I'm happy with my machine I do feel the manual could be a bit better, it is very basic, more info on timings and a wider range of veg and fruit listed would be helpful .I'm not going to lie it takes forever .So far 12hrs seem to produce results I like, it does vary from person to person. The first day I stayed up until 4.30 am too frightened to close my eyes in case they perished. I have used it everyday so far and it does switch itself off so I'm now happy to leave it on whilst I sleep. I have lots of playing around with the temperature gauge, different slicing, etc to see results .
This is going to be very useful, especially for using all the veg and fruit we all buy far too much of and we throw away , now it can become a handful of delicious sweet bites..
Halfway through blogging I have prepare sweet potato , parsnips, plums and yet more banana. I will keep you posted.
So from dehydration HQ the experiment continues.


  1. I love having a food dehydrator, we do lots of different fruits and vegetables in ours. I'm glad you're enjoy it too. :)

  2. Dieting and weight loss through this may not event prevent heart diseases.

    Goji berry Juice

  3. You seem to being having lots of fun with this. Until I read your last post I'd never heard of food dehydrators but when I thought about it, I quite often pick up a bag of dried bananas, mangoes or pineapples in the supermarket to eat with my granola in the mornings.

  4. Hi there,

    So nice to meet you! My, you've been a busy bee, (more like, squirrel!), collecting and dehydrating all that goodness to keep you energized and ready for the winter! Kudos to you for all your intense research and work. Best of luck!


  5. Yummy! great tips on dehydrating everything looks so tasty, I want a dehydrater now :)