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Hi there, it's great to see you here again! I hope you're finding what you're looking for - if not, please consider taking one of our online courses over at Udemy! Thanks! Susan for Easy Food Dehydrating and Safe Food Storage

FAQ page 22

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Jake and Maryrose posted this on our Peas page: I have sweet peas growing in my garden this year and wanted to know how to dehydrate them, after they are dehydrated do you peel/rub the skins off?

Hi Jake and Maryrose, no – there's no need to peel or rub anything off the peas, we are talking about shelled peas (of course!) – and to be honest, you wouldn't "be able" to skin them after dehydrating "even IF you wanted to"!  Thanks for posting.

You mentioned that carrots need to be peeled, the majority of nutrients are in the peels. I always leave peels on my carrots, for the nutrition value. Is there a reason they need to be peeled to dehydrate them?

Hi Julie! Thanks for posting your question. I think a major reason for peeling is that it'll stop the carrots from having a thicker outer skin ... but that honestly is just a guess of mine. I agree that many vegetables' best nutrients are in the skin (think potatoes!) so I'd say go ahead and see how they turn out with their skins on. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And hey, if they turn out great - please write back and let us know!

Thanks Julie! – Susan

You have info on dehydrating cabbage. What's the best way to rehydrate it?  And, can you make coleslaw from dehydrated cabbage? Thanks, Penny

Hi Penny – thanks for contacting us. Just use quality cold drinking water to rehydrate your cabbage until it's as moist as you deem fit for your coleslaw. Use a glass bowl or jug. Please check out our page on re-hydrating on the site – cheers, Susan

Hi, Just bought my dehydrator. Can't wait to use it on the MANY squash and zucchini I have in my garden. My question is: I will be using a Food Saver Vacuum Sealer with Mason Jars. Do I still need to use the Oxygen Absorbers? Thank you in advance for your help – Marilyn.

Hi Marilyn – sounds like you are ready to go! I use oxygen absorbers for jars that won't be opened on a daily basis ... but like once or twice a month usage I would put an oxy pack in. For even longer long-term storage, I'd definitely use an oxy pack. You can tell when an oxy pack is "worn out" when there is no "popping" sound when you open your jar! Good luck with your squash and zucchini!

I just ran across your page in an internet search.  I wonder have you ever dehydrated yellow crookneck squash?  I have read online that some people recommend blanching first.  As I read your steps for Zucchini, I wonder if you have followed those steps.  Thanks in advance for any advice! – Michelle.

Hi Michelle – thanks for taking time to contact us via our website. I treat yellow crookneck squash the same as zucchini – so no worries there.

To be honest, I was in a rush and one day I skipped the blanching. There wasn't much difference at the end of the (dehydrating) day!

Go ahead and follow the zucchini instructions and skip the blanching if you wish. I love zucchini and yellow squash in this recipe: Ratatouille!

Cheers, Susan

Easy Food Dehydrating & Safe Food Storage

Rick asks: What are your thoughts on degorging zucchini before dehydrating it?

Hi Rick! It depends on how much you hate seeds! I know many folk don't like cucumber seeds, for example. Me? I love 'em! So it's a personal choice. I don't "de-gorge" – I just scrub, slice, and steam them. Thanks for contacting us!

I had my tomatoes turn black in the dehydrator during the drying time. My temp was 135. Why would this happen?

Hi Laurie. The reason for "blackened" tomatoes may be their sugar content. If dehydrated when very ripe, the high sugar content will turn them black during oxidation. You can try spraying them with lemon juice first (the very ripe ones) to help prevent the blackening. Thanks for posting! And better luck next time! :-)

Kathy wants to know: Can I dehydrate fruits and jerky at the same time?

Hi Kathy – I don't recommend it – unless you want your fruit to have "a meaty smell" or your meat to taste "fruity" ... but hey, you never know, you might start a new trend!

I have been trying to dry Chinese Yakisoba noodles. But when I dehydrate them they are dry but have an oily film on them. Do you know about this? What do I do about it? All moisture needs to be removed to store them.

Hi Jenny, I don't have much good news regarding dehydrating Yakisoba noodles. Why? Because they are deep fried in oil, and unfortunately, oil doesn't evaporate like water does. The trouble with oils/fats, as you know, they go rancid over time. There's not much you can do aside from vacuum-seal packing them with a FoodSaver (or the like) machine that just draws the air out.

I'll give a call-out to our readers over at Facebook to see if they have any ideas for you! Plus, anyone here reading this and knows an answer, please contact us so we can post it here! Thanks!

When you vacuum seal, why do you need oxy packs?

Good question, Lynn! Even though the food vacuum sealers do a very good job of removing air, they don't remove ALL of it, and the oxygen absorbers take care of that problem. Not only are they absorbent, but they prohibit mold growth thereby saving our dehydrated food from "going bad". The oxygen absorbers are non-toxic (good to know!) Always use "quality" vacuum-sealer bags, as some dehydrated foods become sharp and can puncture the "thinner" bags.

Here's a page for you to check out regarding the oxygen absorbers. Thanks for taking time to post on Facebook, Lynn :-)

Can you dehydrate fruit and hot peppers at the same time?

Hi Ava, I wouldn't recommend it personally BUT, and there's always a BUT! you could try ONE tray of each and see if the fruits "taste hot" or the peppers "taste fruity". Thanks for posting! :-)

UPDATE from Ava:

The pineapple I put in my dehydrator along with trays of smoked jalapenos, roasted california chiles and mexibell peppers came out great. No pepper flavor in the pineapple although I would not have been opposed to that. No pineapple flavor in the peppers. So I guess you can dehydrate fruit and hot peppers together. Although I did put the pineapple on the top rack! 

I don't have a dehydrator, can I use my kitchen oven? And if so, how?

Hi Sue, yes you can use your oven in a pinch. Trouble is it has to be set on the very lowest setting, you see, if you dehydrate the food "too fast", you'll end up with an outer crust on it that "is" dry – but the center will still be moist/soft and that's not good IF you're looking to put food away for long-term storage. 

I know it's a tough economy, but you can get a good dehydrator for around $70 on Amazon – they even have "gently used" ones for even less.  Thanks for taking time to post Sue. Have a "sue"per day! :-)

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SIGN UP for our Six Simple Steps!

Keep YOUR Food Pantry FULL!

Learn how to keep a full pantry –
for any reason or season!

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