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Your site has helped me out so much ... I am a newbie to dehydrating ... THANKS! I was wondering ... what kind of mandoline to you use? I saw in your celery section a black one in a photo. There are so many pros and cons for each one that I've researched that it is beyond confusing to make a choice. I thought it would be best to ask someone who uses theirs as much as you do to recommend. Thanks for the help!
Hi Christie! Thanks for writing in.
The mandoline I use is from Amazon.com and it's great. You can change the blades on it easily for different thicknesses.
The blades are 'self contained' in their own holder, so there's no need to actually 'touch' the blade ... but still be careful nonetheless.
I was just watching an episode of "MasterChef" whereby a blonde contestant forgot to use the guard and sliced off the end of her finger! Ouch ouch ouch!
use the guard.
Obviously it's OK to NOT use the guard when slicing
zucchini or cucumbers as they're long and create their own 'handles',
but when it comes to being 2-3" away from the blade, stick the guard on
it. It's not worth risking it.
The mandoline I use is manufactured by "Progressive". Progressive International HGT-11 Folding Mandoline Slicer
WE NEED YOUR HELP WITH THIS QUESTION!
We have a lot of fruit trees and I am trying to keep up with all the fruit. It is very time consuming to slice it all. Do you have any suggestions for a good fruit slicer?
I received your email last night, but wanted to think about my response a little more. However, I'm still not happy with my "overnight thinking". Why? I can't come up with a good answer for you!
The only suggestion I have is to get your family involved in helping you slice up the fruit.
I don't think a mandoline would be substantial enough - I can picture the rind getting stuck and accidents happening... so I'm "throwing it out there" for HELP! Thanks in advance :-)
***THANKS, READERS, for your helpful suggestions thus far! Here they are:
Raymond, from Australia, wrote in with his use of fruit:
A lot of my fruit is used in jam and chutney, so I mince it on a electric meat mincer. In summer we freeze, and in winter cook on our wood stove, drying any time there is excess.
And Katee also wrote in and suggested this:
I make sure that my knives are of good quality and sharpened frequently. A quality mandolin is also very helpful.
This just in! Paulette in Canada adds: How to cut tons of fruit? For strawberries and other small fruit, I use an egg slicer.
Susan also wrote in to tell us this: To the person who has 'tons' of fruit to slice . . . depending on what it is, I use my food processor. I filled the small tube with strawberries and got gorgeous slices.
Can I use an oxygen reducer in a Ziploc bag without a vacuum sealer? I do not plan on storing anything longer than a year? Thanks for the site. It has been very helpful.
Hi Hiwanda - so glad you are finding our site useful! Thanks for writing in.
The Ziploc bags are not good enough for LONG term storage. They're OK for say, keeping foods in your fridge for a couple of days. The oxygen pack can only do "so much" – its job is to help prevent germs and mold growth. So if you're constantly in and out of a Ziploc bag, there's really not much point in using an oxygen pack.
The oxygen packs come in very useful when you use the proper food sealer bags (or the bags I recommend on the site).
Yes, I know it's an expense – but if you want to keep food for a year, then you really do have to use the food sealer machines, along with their recommended bags, and an oxygen pack. Note: you can also store foods in mason jars, with an oxygen pack, but that's for foods you don't use on a daily basis - maybe once a week or so.
I don't want to keep any foods longer than a year either, so I rotate my stock every three months or so.
Do I need an oxygen pack in a mason jar if I vacuum the jar with the machine and the lid pops in?
Thanks for taking time to write in with your question, Elizabeth. Regarding mason jars: if you're using their contents on a daily (or almost daily) basis then I'd say "no" to the oxygen absorber. However, if you're storing your goodies in the jars for 'long term', and I assume you are because you've taken the trouble to vacuum the air out of it, and you're storing it for more than a couple of weeks without the jars being opened, then the answer is "yes".
Fatima posted this on Facebook:
Do you think the dehydrated cloves could be eaten like chips by someone who likes garlicky flavors, or would they be too hard, card board-like, or otherwise flawed so as to not work out as a garlic snack?
Hi Fatima! You could try it! I'd suggest using elephant, aka Mammoth garlic, as it's a little milder and would make bigger "chips" – but hey, if you like strong garlic, then use regular garlic. Either way, they won't go to waste because you can crumble/grind them up for use in recipes. I've never eaten 'garlic chips' before - so please post back if you "like them" so we can let others know too! Have a super day!
Is a little citric acid to keep the color from changing OK?
I am one of those people who are disturbed by discolored foods - Wendy
It's totally OK to use citric acid i.e. lemon juice to stop discoloration.
It's funny though, the potatoes may "go brown" when dehydrated, but when re-hydrated, they go pretty much back "to white/normal!"
Thanks for posting!
Laura wrote in to ask this: Hi. Am dehydrating apricots for the first time, but not to use in jam, just to eat as is? Do I still need the sugar, corn syrup, etc, or can I just dehydrate them as is? Thank you.
You've just made me realize that my little headline on the "dehydrating apricots" page might be a bit misleading – so I'm grateful for your question!
You can get away with simply washing the fruit, cutting in half, remove the pit. Then push the fruit "inside out", known as "popping the back." Spray with lemon juice. Try drying a couple of trays that way. If they're not sweet enough, then go the whole hog route using the sugar, syrup, and water.
Thanks for taking time to write in Laura!