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DEHYDRATING

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Mmmmmmm........numnumnum....sounds delicious Mother, thanks!

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Yeah, Mother.  What Annarchy said.  We've got some apples that we need to use.  Any particular oil?

MtRider :thumbs: 

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Any oil you normally like will work, MtR.  I've used various over the years.  I use a light olive oil or avocado oil now because we've become picky about what we use.  Melted coconut oil gives them a nice taste too but if the apples are cold it tends to solidify in spots.  

 

Over the last, ummm, decades I've most often used an old rectangled ten tray dehydrator I bought for a dollar at an auction twenty or so years ago.  I use it for a whole lot more than just fruit and veggies.  It's a great tool for getting more raw foods into the diet.  I have/had several dehydrators.  DH made a cabinet sized one years ago that held a bushel of produce at a time, I've used vehicles as dehydrators and made sun Jam and sun dried tomatoes on pieces of glass. I've dried on sheets on low roofs like the pioneers did.  I've even used an antique cabinet sized egg incubator to dehydrate 'horse and goat' cookies.  It worked beautifully.  This old ten tray one keeps humming along, bless it, and I use it often.  Yesterday it held herbs.  Today it's full of bananas. After that I hope to make zucchini chips.  

 

Can an you tell I like to dehydrate things? :grinning-smiley-044:

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HARVEST GRANOLA  (from the American Harvester dehydrator cookbook)

5 c rolled oats                                                                                         1/2 c date crystals

3/4 c brown sugar firm packed                                                                 1 c pecans or almonds, chopped

1/2 c wheat germ                                                                                      1/3 c salad  oil

1/2 c dried apples, chopped                                                                      1 tsp vanilla

1/2 c honey                                                                                                3/4 c melted margarine

1/2 c sesame seeds                                                                                   1 tsp cinnamon

1 c raisins

Mix together very well so that all ingredients are distributed evenly.  Adding dry ingredients to wet ingredients makes a crunchier granola.

Spread onto a Fruit Roll sheet. Dry at 145° until crunchy. Crumble and store in an airtight container.

 

NATURAL GRANOLA (back-to-basics-dehydrator pdf)

3 cups rolled instant oats                                                                       1/2 c honey

1/2 c wheat germ                                                                                   1/3 c firmly packed brown sugar

3/4 c raisins or dried cherries                                                                 1 cup chopped nuts

3/4 c chopped dried apples                                                                    1 tsp vanilla

1/2 c chopped dates                                                                               1 tsp cinnamon

Mix all ingredients.  Spread out on plastic wrapped (no foil unless non-stick; no wax paper) or fruit roll trays.  Dry until hard, then store airtight. 

Ideal for snacking or breakfast.

 

GRANDMA’S GRANOLA BARS (Excalibre)

prep: 30 mins         Dehydrate: 4 hrs

1 1/3 cups Brown sugar                                                                          1/2 cup Sunflower seeds, crushed

1 cup Walnuts, crushed                                                                          5 cups Oatmeal

4 tsp Vanilla extract                                                                                4 cups Dried fruit

1 cup Cashews, crushed                                                                          1 cup Peanuts, crushed

8 tbsp Butter                                                                                           1 tsp Sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thoroughly blend nuts and oats. Place in a baking pan with sides and toast in oven for 10 minutes. Stir 3 times so they won't burn.

Combine honey, brown sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and salt in sauce pan and simmer stirring constantly.

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix all ingredients including dried fruit. Dump your granola mixture onto a cookie sheet, plastic cutting board, or piece of wax paper. Evenly compress and spread the mixture so your bars won’t fall apart when you cut them.

Cut into bars and dehydrate at 115° for about 3 hours.

 

 

Working to pull all my dehydrated foods recipes into ONE cookbook/file.  Want to print it out...in case, ya' know?

I keep running into all these cool recipes I had stashed away and not seen in a while!

 

Edited by kappydell
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Dehydrator is busy! Seven trays of tomatoes on the dehydrator.  Tuesday was produce auction at the Mennonite store we deal with.  Bought 2nd's from Mennonite store, 20# for 6.75$  Bought 2 boxes (40#'s) and the last of the first box is on the dehydrator.  So far I've been able to get the full 20# in a half gallon jar.  I made some dessicant packs and put a good sized one in.  When this last 7 trays is done and cooled, I'll put them in the jar (I crush them) and then vacuum seal the lid with the dessicant inside.  Went back today and bought four more boxes (80#) and a 10 bag of candy onions.  Jarred up six half pints of the onions, and they've all sealed and cooling down.  I'll increase the number of trays on my dehydrator when I start the next batches.  Having tomatoes for tomato powder etc., is crucial (in our opinion) in a possible life changing event.  Tomato powder is so expensive.  We love the candy onions so decided to jar up some half pints of them also, like we did the Vidalia's.  The candy's are cheaper though :-)  

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I just made a simple granola (I think?).  About 6 cups of rolled oats,, a pinch of salt, about 3 tablespoons of ceylon cinnamon, and enough honey to make it mix up well.  Spread it evenly on leather trays.  When cooled, I add dried cranberries and pecan bits.  When we put some in our yogurt, we add about a half tsp of flax seed. 

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Ground up all the venison, (got to use my new Kitchen Aid), seasoned 1/2 for mesquite & the other 1/2 for hickory. Spent all day smoking & dehydrating it in the barbecue. Yielded a gallon bag of jerky, which will be vacuum sealed later today. 

 

The mesquite jerky was a little moist on the underside, when I took it out to put the hickory in, so, I put it on some aluminum foil between some plastic sheets, within an hour, it was curled up and brittle. AZ sun.... it’ll dry anything crispy, in no time flat.  

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Today my soc security check came in, so we went grocery shopping.  We were out of EVERYTHING...last month our friends needed a loan so we gave them one, and lived off stores for the month.  It sure was nice to replenish things.  Plus I got some bags of frozen vegetables to dehydrate (I love the no blanching part, especially when it is over 90 degrees).  Got extra carrots, too, 'cause I calculated out that the carrots are darn near the same price per pound whether fresh or sliced, blanched and frozen (and we like carrots)!  Our garden still struggles with the heat, though I am dehydrating as much as I can before we have to re-plant.  Only the okra, peppers and melons seem to like this long, drawn out hot and humid spell.  All dehydrate nicely.  We are already eyeing places to try to add more raised beds.  We are almost out of flat spots, terracing may be an option soon, but oy! lots of work.  

 

So tomorrow I will start dehydrating those frozen veggies - 3 lb carrots, green beans, 2 lb broccoli and 4 lb of my favorite mixed veggies (no lima beans, they dont re-hydrate as well as the carrots, snap beans, corn & peas do).  I thought M was going to complain, but she feels like I do, that we need to step up our preps so we can hole up if needed after the 2020 election.  Emotions are running very high, antifa is starting to actually drill and practice their tactics, and we are concerned that whoever wins we will be better off away from public places.  

So we are increasing our prepping, getting our ducks in a row.  Even if there is no untoward issues, lining up ducks is worthwhile, if only to keep things orderly.                                                                                                                                                                     image.jpeg.21d5bceb9b2111ac5b2743c626ac627d.jpeg

 

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LOVE your ducks!!!!  

 

MtRider  .....always like mine in a row too...but lately they've been :darthduck:  uncooperative!  Hmph! 

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Started the dehydrating, and while I was at it I inventoried the meats in the freezer.  Trying to figure out what I will start canning, I guess.  Prices are starting to rise on meats, especially beef.  Flooded pastures means buying more feed which in turn means higher meat prices.  Needless to say they rarely (if ever) return to their former levels when they come back down.  I may have to start collecting vegetarian recipes if meat gets much pricier!  Or start hunting, fishing, and trapping for meat.  

(Critter....its whats for dinner....but don't ask what it is.....LOL)    Now that would make me quite cranky. 

                                                        

Edited by kappydell
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The dehydrating went well.  Lots of teeny tiny shrunken veggie pieces, look like little gems piled in the jars (with oxy absorbers, of course!).  The 4 lb of broccoli II found more in the freezer!) dried down to 1 quart jar; the carrots shrank (shrunk?) to a mere 2 cups.  The mixed gave me 5 cups, and the green beans gave me 2.  Next I did some apples I had - peeled until my hands got tired & clumsy-fingered so for safety I called it a day after only peeling & slcing 5 pounds.  I am experimenting to see which anti-browning dip works best for me.  This time I tried citric acid, but was not impressed, still had beige apples.  Next time I'll try ascorbic acid powder, after that lemon jucie, to see what I like best.  Fruit fresh is a combination of acetic & citric acids mixed with sucrose (sugar) so I can replicate that too, without the sweetening, of course.  

Anybody know what the shelf life of ascorbic acid powder is?  I have 2 lbs of it, don't know if it expires or not.  Nuclear War Survival Skills book says it keeps forever, but other sources claim it changes in composition after a couoles years.  Cant find anything definitive, and cant find out whetheer osygen or lack of it would extend shelf life or not.  Cant even find any scientific research on it.  Gotta be somewhere..

.image.jpeg.fa66de0e010ba14207a60c646bf6a372.jpeg

Edited by kappydell

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I think this answers my own queston....

Ascorbic acid is given a shelf life of 3 years from date of manufacture. After 3 years, ascorbic acid is usually found to have lost about 1-2% of its potency through oxidiation.  L-Ascorbic Acid, 8 lb Pail [asc8c] | DudaDieExpiration Date / Shelf Life
L-Ascorbic Acid, 8 lb Pail [asc8c] | DudaDiesel Biodiesel Suppliessel Biodiesel Supplies
Not that I consider 1-2% terribly bad, its far less than would be lost if I canned orange juice, for example....and it looks like oxy absorbers could extend it (no oxygen, no oxidation, right?)  Just the same I think I might get some fresh stuff. 
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I’ve been collecting Mexican oregano leaves as they fall off the plants and sun drying them. My spice jar is 1/2 full and I was able to collect some seeds too!  I am very excited about that. I use a lot of it in Mexican cooking. 

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How does mexican oregano differ from the stuff in the spice racks?  I like my spices....I keep blends in a shaker and add them to my servings of foods (M can;t do many spices).  

 

This last payday there was a good sale on steaks & bottom round roasts (for canning as stew meat) but we could not afford to buy this payday. Next time, maybe.  

Even at reduced prices (as they rise faster than usual this summer due to weather issues & lack of pasturage) I think we will be eating smaller portions - eating an entire pound of steak is a nice luxury, but an expensive one - less will do until prices come back down - hopefully - I go into sticker shock every time I shop for meats lately, LOL.  :imoksmiley:

Edited by kappydell
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Mexican oregano tastes different, it’s hard to explain. The Greek oregano seems peppery. I’d like to get some Italian oregano, just for the taste difference. When I get home, I see if I can explain it, and post pictures of the two different plants I have.

 

And Ambergris, I hope that’s right, I had to bring one plant indoors to save it, one died, but, the last 3 seems to be hanging in there.

 

 

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The garden (summer version) is winding down, except for the heat loving stuff....peppers, and okra mostly.  I chop & freeze the green peppers for use in omelets.  Okra dehydrates easily (though it is a little slimy when you put it on the fruit leather sheets....it dries up).  They also rehydrated nicely and taste very good.  I blanch them 2 minutes, then dry at 125 until brittle.

Oddly, the yard long beans I planted taste more to our liking when they are older & longer.  They seem to soften up when cooked better, so I am dehydrating some of them as they are ready, too.

The sweet yellow long peppers I have had good luck dehydrating as well.  They require blanching to keep good color..without they turn brown.  I think I'll pickle some, too.  

 

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