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Dehydrator Recipes

 


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Dehydrating Tips: Yields of Fruits & Vegetables

From 25 lbs. of fresh produce you can expect to get about 4to 8 lbs. of dried fruit, or 3 to 6 lbs. of vegetables. Results vary depending on the portion of inedible parts discarded before drying

Dehydrator Recipes: Classic Gorp

  • 1/2 c. dried apples
  • 1/2 c. dried apricots
  • 1/4 c. dried peaches
  • 1/2 c. dried pears
  • 1/2 c. dried pineapple
  • 1/4 c. coconut flakes
  • 1/2 c. golden raisins
  • 1/2 c. cashews or blanched almonds


Cut apples, apricots, peaches, pears and pineapple into 1/2" pieces. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Package in airtight plastic bags and store in a cool dry place. Use within 3 to 4 weeks. Makes about 3-1/2 cups.

Dehydrator Recipes: Tangy Sunflower Seeds

  • 2 T. vegetable oil
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. celery salt
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups dried shelled sunflower seeds, raw


Preheat oven to 300 F. In a medium bowl, mix oil, soy sauce, paprika, celery salt and cayenne pepper. Add sunflower seeds. Stir until seeds are evenly coated. Place mixture in a shallow baking pan. Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Drain on paper towels. Makes 2 cups.

Dehydrator Recipes: Great Basic Jerky

  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cracked pepper
  • 1 T. brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb. lean meat, thinly sliced (3/16" to 1/4" thick)


In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except meat. Stir to mix well. Place the meat slices in a single layer on a clean, flat surface. Generously spread both sides with the salt mixture. Place the meat strips in a tightly covered glass, stoneware, plastic or stainless steel container. Marinate 6 to 12 hours in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally and keeping the mixture tightly covered. (For smoke flavor, you can add a liquid smoke product according to label directions, or smoke in a home smoker.)

Drying: Place strips on dehydrator racks, without overlapping. Dry at 140-160 F. for the first 3-4 hours. The temperature may be reduced to as low as 130 after 4 hours to finish drying, if desired. Occasionally blot the jerky with paper towels as it dries to remove beads of oil. Test jerky for dryness by cooling a piece. When sufficiently dry, cooled jerky will crack (but not break in two) when bent. There should be no moist spots.

TIP: If jerky is too brittle, brush on a little Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce to soften it.

Storing: Cool and cut jerky into 2 to 4" pieces with kitchen scissors before storing. Jerky containing salt and cured without a commercial curing preparation may be stored at room temperature for 1 to 2 months. If air humidity is low, the container should have a loose-fitting lid or one with holes punched in it. Good air circulation keeps the flavor fresher. If the humidity of the air is more than 30%, store jerky in an airtight container. Jerky may be refrigerated or frozen to increase shelf life and maintain flavor.

Jerky is a great travel snack. And a great snack or appetizer platter can be assembled with a variety of jerky and cheeses or cream cheese dips!

Dehydrator Recipes: Teriyaki Jerky

  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 1 lb. lean meat, thinly sliced (3/16" to 1/4" thick)


In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except meat. Stir to mix well. Place meat 3 or 4 layers deep in a glass, stoneware, plastic or stainless steel container, spooning soy sauce mixture over each layer. Cover tightly. Marinate 6 to 12 hours in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally and keeping the mixture tightly covered.

Follow directions for drying and storage under "Great Basic Jerky" above.

Dehydrator Recipes: Sweet & Sour Jerky

  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 T. brown sugar
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c. pineapple juice
  • 1 lb. lean meat, thinly sliced (3/16" to 1/4" thick)


In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except meat. Stir to mix well. Place meat 3 or 4 layers deep in a glass, stoneware, plastic or stainless steel container, spooning vinegar mixture over each layer. Cover tightly. Marinate 6 to 12 hours in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally and keeping the mixture tightly covered.

Follow directions for drying and storage under "Great Basic Jerky" above.

Dehydrator Recipes: Fruit Leather

Did you know the Hunzikuts (citizens of Hunza) were among the first to use fruit leather? Savvy people they must be, because delectable, chewy fruit leather is a nutritious treat that travels great (no crumbles to get on the car seats!) It's easy to make, too. Most berries are great candidates, as are cherries, apples, apricots, kiwi, nectarines, peaches, pears, pineapples and strawberries. In combination with those you can also use blueberries, citrus, dates, figs, guavas, papayas, rhubarb, bananas, grapes and plums. The possibilities are endless!

Wash and prepare fruit by removing any pits, cores, heavy skin, etc., and cutting away any bruised or spoiled portions, then puree. Tasting the puree will tell you whether to add sweetener -- most fruits need none, but you can use honey or light corn syrup (honey will overpower some fruits.) If required, add sweetener and retaste, repeating as necessary. Pour onto fruit leather sheets. If your sheets don't have a raised edge, leave enough room (usually about an inch) to allow for spreading during drying. Dry until it feels leathery and is pliable, with no wet or sticky spots (usually 6 to 8 hours.) Remove from the tray while it's still warm, then cut and roll up. (It rolls best while still warm.) Wrap individual rolls in plastic wrap, label with date and flavor, and store in a plastic bag or sealed container. To keep longer than a week or two, store in freezer

Dehydrator Recipes: Yogurt Leather

Add jam, fruit sauce or fresh fruit to home made or commercial yogurt, and puree. Follow the drying instructions for fruit leather. Freeze to store. Dropping puree on trays in spoonfuls instead of pouring will yield tasty bite size kisses that make great party treats!

Dehydrator Tips: Tomato Varieties for Dehydrating

Most tomatoes are about 94% water and only 6% solids. The plum-shaped Roma tomato variety can be as high as 15% solids. They're a great choice for for dehydrating, giving more yield and shorter drying times. Beware of low-acid tomatoes which may develop black spots during drying. Remember to let tomatoes ripen fully on the vine before picking for fullest flavor

Dehydrator Recipes: Dehydrating Tomatoes

1. Wash the tomatoes and remove the stems.

2. To remove skins, dip the tomatoes in boiling water, then immediately in cold water; skins will slip off.

3. Cut larger tomatoes in 1/4" slices (or halve the cherry variety.) To dry low-acid tomatoes, puree them in a blender and add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to each quart.

4. Dry at 145º F. until leathery or brittle. (For puree, line trays with fruit leather sheets before pouring.)

TIPS: Chop dehydrated tomatoes for chili, soups, stews and vegetable dishes. The dry puree can be powdered and converted into tomato sauce or tomato paste; this is a good way to make use of leather that has turned out too thin and brittle.

Dehydrator Recipes: Dried Tomato Soup Base

  • 20-25 slices dried tomatoes
  • 1 c. chicken broth
  • 1/2 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red chili pepper flakes to taste


Combine all ingredients into sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Simmer about 1 minute. This recipe serves one person. Multiply the ingredients by the number of people you want to serve. This soup may be eaten alone or vegetables, pasta, etc. may be added to make a variety of soups.

Dehydrator Recipes: Vegetarian Lasagne from Dehydrated Tomatoes

  • 1/2-1 cup dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 lb. fresh spinach
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 cup basil pesto
  • 2 C ricotta cheese
  • 24 cooked lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 lb. grated mozzarella
  • Extra olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste


Filling: Saute onions in olive oil until translucent. Remove from heat. Stir in raw spinach. Add half the Parmesan. Stir in pesto, ricotta, sunflower seeds and seasonings. Mix thoroughly. Grease 9" x 13" dish. Place layer of noodles in bottom. Speed 1/3 of filling on noodles then 1/3 mozzarella. Add dried tomatoes. Repeat, ending with noodles, mozzarella & Parmesan. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake 40 minutes at 350º F. Serves 8-10.

Re-Crisping Crackers & Other Foods

Don't throw away crackers, chips, cookies or cereal that have become stale. Re-crisp those items by placing them in a single layer on the drying trays and drying for 1 hour at 145º F.

Drying Bread for Bread Crumbs

Many recipes call for bread crumbs and you can make them quickly and easily in your dehydrator. All kinds of extra breads can be used. You can crumble dried breads by hand or process for a few seconds in a food processor. Store in air tight container until used. Herbs and spices can be added to make stuffing mixes.

Drying Methods

Sun Drying: Open-air sun drying can be an attractive alternative in hot and dry regions with little air pollution. One advantage is that large quantities of food can be dried at the same time. Disadvantages include slowness (foods that will dry in 6 to 8 hours in an electric dryer can take 4 to 5 days to dry in the sun) and insects -- even the finest insect netting won't exclude all of the no-see-ums attracted to your drying food, and larval infestation spells trouble.

Solar Box Dryers: These offer some advantages over open-air sun drying. Solar rays can be concentrated to raise temperatures and shorten drying times. With good construction, the insect threat can be reduced. As with open-air drying, you're dependent on the weather, and slight variations in conditions mean big temperature changes that will decrease the quality of the product.

Oven Drying: Your home oven might seem at first blush to be an ideal food dryer, but it actually has major drawbacks. Lack of circulating air makes oven drying takes 2 to 3 times longer than an electric dehydrator, and higher minimum temperatures cause loss of nutrients and flavor. Oven drying requires frequent tray rotation, and foods can easily become overly dry, making food tough or brittle. Because ovens create more heat than needed, energy costs are very high.

Electric Dehydrators: Advanced home food dehydrators produce superior dried foods quickly, conveniently, and economically. Close-stacking trays with even-flow fresh air circulation offer huge amounts of drying surface yet occupy little countertop space. The ability to adjust temperature means foods dry quickly and evenly without tray rotation, and the highest level of natural nutrition is preserved.

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