Archive for ‘Dehydrating Food’

December 30, 2010

Dehydrating Papaya

Many years ago, I learned that Papaya was good for digestion and an upset stomach.  I remember buying them like a bottle of  vitamins or Tums.

Since going through the change, I’ve dealt with stomach issues and since purchasing my dehydrator have been wanting to get my hands on some.

It’s kind-of embarrassing to admit but, I had no idea what a Papaya looked like!  So when shopping, I didn’t know what I was looking for!!  HA!

Today at Sams, they had Papaya’s for $3.95.  Couldn’t believe it – Snatched it up.

The texture of a Papaya is similar to Honeydew Mellon and the seeds inside do actually look like pepper.

Reading up on the time/prep for them, I learned that you can save the seeds, dehydrate them too and grind them down as a meat tenderizer.  Just like pepper.  Amazing!

(Did you notice I didn’t peel it?  Peel it first!)

Yes.  The seeds in there too.

One place says 12 – 15 hours and another says 12 – 24 hours.  So, I’m just going to leave them in all night and see what we have in the morning.  I’m sure they’ll be fine.

As far as I know there’s no such thing of over-dehydrating –  Only under-dehydrating.

Just checked them.  They’re doing great.

Update 12/30:

After 16 hours they are complete… seeds and all.

When they were cooling before going into the jar, Mike chewed one of the seeds and said they do taste a little like pepper.  Go figure.  Looking forward to marinating some meat with ground papaya pepper.

Now to receive my new mill.  Tomorrow would be nice but I won’t be surprised if it isn’t until Monday (boo hoo)… you’ll be the first to know!

Update 1/3/2011:

Just read yesterday that you should steam Papaya and Pineapples before dehydrating!

I’ll have to purchase another, steam it before dehydrating and see / taste  the difference.

I’ll let you know!

December 14, 2010

Florida’s Frost

Talk about food prices going higher. Well now, Florida’s below zero temps will add to that in the next week or so.

Today, I went to my farmers market to pick up some oranges to dehydrate.

They seemed a little small but beautiful orange color. I bought three bags. Each bag had 6 in them for $1 each.

So home I went with my 18 oranges, two small bags of sweet potatoes (also $1 each), one package of baby carrots (both that I will also dehydrate tomorrow) and salad stuff for dinner tonight.

They smell so good!

I pulled out my apple slicer/corer/peeler hoping to slice nice even pieces, but unless I’m missing something, it doesn’t ‘slice only’. Yes, I did look through the manual several times but I think I’ll just do an online search. Just can’t imagine that you can’t just slice!  I’ll have to purchase a slicer so I do end up with consistent slices & equal drying time.

So I pulled out my knife that I usually slice my bread with because it’s the only one that I know for sure is stainless steel. (Reason being that in a few videos I’ve watched it’s mentioned that anything other than stainless steel will make your fruit discolor). These oranges are too pretty to mess up just because of a knife.

Out of the 17 oranges (minus one I ate), I filled 4 trays.  Oranges take approximately 12 hours?  I’ll be back with the exact time it takes when finished.

Now the ends I’m wondering if they can be dehydrated for orange peel that a recipe might call for?  Another search!  (I’m sure I could grind the dried peel down as powder also)… once I purchase a grinder!!

Tomorrow I’m going to do the sweet potatoes and baby carrots.

December 11, 2010

Apple Roll-Ups & Dehydrated Bananas

Success!  Well, close.  Okay, it’s like being a little pregnant!  You either are or aren’t.   They need a little work, ha!

My apple, yogurt roll-ups came out very tasty.  They were a little too thin.  For being my first attempt, I’m very pleased.  They may not have been perfect, but as long as they are edible, I’m happy… for now.

What I learned:

First ~ Using plastic wrap was a little bit of a challenge.  The heat from the dehydrator ‘shrunk’ it, kind of.  In Tammy’s video, she used a zip lock bag while taping it down with duck tape.  I just tucked it under the tray screen and had to adjust it a couple of times – I’d like to avoid this in the future.  Next time, I’m going to use the duck tape (once I buy some).

Second ~ Wish I had watched Tammy’s video again right before because I did miss ‘most’ of her steps:

  1. I didn’t cook my apples!  You don’t have to, but I think I would like the results better.  Today’s blueberries will be cooked.
  2. I didn’t add corn syrup or lemon juice (although, I did spray them with lemon juice right after sliced).
  3. When they cooled just a little, I rolled them up with plastic wrap which was fine.  Personally, I do like Tammy’s using wax paper and will do that from now on.

Here’s a picture of my sickly looking dehydrated roll-ups:

My banana chips came out great.  Didn’t put them in until 11am and took them out around 9:30pm or so.  I could have taken them out sooner.

Before I left for my jewelry demonstration, I did feel they were okay but chose to dry them some more and hoped they would still be fine.  Did a taste test and they are.

Have them now in a jar for snacking

Now my concerns are freshness and shelf life.

Just received my Oxygen Absorbers on Wednesday and after some research on them, I’m finding out that once you open your package of absorbers, they activate immediately… all of them.

Since that is the case and I’ve ordered a package of 200 at a pretty good price of under $19, including shipping, I want to be sure to take as good a care of them as possible.

Before I start, I want to have my vacuum sealer, little baggies and vacuum bags ready so to do this as quickly as possible to preserve my oxygen packets.

What I plan to do is use snack sized sandwich bags placing 10-15-20 in each.  Place all my little baggies back into the original vacuum packed bag it came in and place that into another larger vacuum packed bag.

Will this preserve my unused oxygen packs?  I don’t know.  We’ll have to learn as we go.

December 8, 2010

Today’s Dehydrating Plans

Plan the plan, not the outcome!

Since the other day I planned on doing Strawberry banana roll-ups (not sure where I thought I was getting strawberries in December) and didn’t. Today my plan was to dehydrate bananas that I purchased the other day along with trying my hand at blueberry yogurt roll-ups.

After making my plans, I was reminded that I am meeting a girlfriend for breakfast and this evening a jewelry demonstration at 7pm.

Because I like putting my food in early, around 6:30am, this seemed to throw a wrench into my plans, but no. I’ll do breakfast and come back to start my food.

The bananas were pretty green when I purchased them @ 3 Lbs / $1.49. Today, they’re looking ready. In the meantime, I’ve purchased lemon juice and found a restaurant store supplier close-by where I bought three serving trays and a sprayer to put into my bottle of lemon juice to spray my fruit so they don’t turn brown on me.

The roll-ups and bananas both get set on 135f. The roll-ups take approximately 6 hours and the bananas 8 hours. I want to put them both in at the same time.

The reason being, the other day my blueberries took forever. After reading further, it may have had something to do with putting lemons in several hours after the blueberries and frozen veggies. I’m not sure, but what I read was try not to put things in later because the moisture from the latter, may be absorbed. Makes sense to me and thought I’d incorporate better planning right from the start.

My hope is to video what I do, but unfortunately, I’m unable right now to find my battery charger for my camera which is dead!  Prayers have been in to St. Anthony several times to help me find it.  He always comes through for me!