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Anita from Georgia posted this on our "Six Simple Steps" page in the Facebook comments section: "We just ordered our Nesco Food Dehydrator and extra trays and can't wait to use it! We grow some of our own veggies and buy from local farmers markets when we can. Looking forward to using your tips and guidelines for prepping and storing food.
God bless you and your family for sharing your knowledge!"
Hi Anita! Thank you very much for your kind words. Hope you have lots of fun with your Nesco, I love mine! Just made some banana cinnamon rolls: see: Banana Cinnamon Rolls – scrummy yummy! A great treat. But for those times when we need to have food put away, visit the veggies and fruit pages and long-term food storage pages too!
Yvonne wrote in to ask: Do you have to rehydrate or can you just munch on the dehydrated food?
Hi Yvonne! You only need to re-hydrate when you want the foods to resemble their fresh state. Fruits like bananas don't need re-hydrating: banana chips or fruit leathers. Many people like zucchini chips too!
A good reason to re-hydrate foods is for use in meals, like sliced carrots, or sliced potatoes – those two veggies for instance might not be great eaten in their dehydrated forms.
Thanks for contacting us!
I do a lot of dehydrating for long hiking trips, and have found that the canned chicken ( that looks like canned tuna) in the supermarket (yes sounds gross) is the only chicken I've been able to dehydrate that re-hydrates exactly like it was prior. Taste and texture on re-hydration is perfect for chicken, just remember to buy the low fat canned chicken.
Hi Sarah! That's really great to know! I actually have been known to use the "canned chicken" in soups and chicken salad! :-) And yes, the low-fat stops rancidity when storing "long-term". Thanks so much for posting!
"Does the cauliflower rehydrate well?" asked Tina on Facebook via the re-hydrating page.
Hi Tina, yes it does! Even though it looks pretty brown after dehydrating, it plumps back up to just about the same whiteness as when it was fresh! Thanks for posting - have a super day.
Yolanda just posted on the bottom of the cauliflower page this important question:
"Why blanch the the cauliflower?"
Hi Yolanda, when you blanch vegetables you keep the color of the veggie and it stays crisp.
It also helps in the dehydration process as blanching breaks up the fibers ... so we don't get "case hardening" ... i.e. a tough outer skin!
If you use frozen veg, the manufacturers have already done the blanching so you can just go ahead and dehydrate right away from frozen!
Thanks for posting!
Sara posted on the "Conditioning" foods page this great question/idea: Can I condition fruits and veggies in a glass baking dish covered with plastic wrap?
My quick answer was: Hi Sara! Yes, I have no problem at all with your suggestion!
Judy posted on our "Fruits" page this question:
Coconut, I love dried coconut best method would be what? Do not want to waste this wonderful fruit.
Hi Judy! Thanks for your question regarding dehydrating coconut.
The obvious advantage of dehydrating it is it lasts longer than fresh – it'll remain edible for a couple of months. Because I have never personally dehydrated coconut, I did a bit of research. According to posters in other forums, the best way is to shred it and then dry it. I did notice that the FDA states that in order to kill salmonella, coconut needs to be dried above 160°F – so we could do that with our dehydrators.
In a study published in Applied Microbiology in 1967 it was reported:
Raw, unprocessed coconut supports the growth of salmonellae as well as that of other enteric bacteria, salmonellae being particularly resistant to subsequent desiccation. Original contamination is not due to carriers or to polluted water supplies, but to contact with bacteria-containing soils followed by dispersion via infected coconut milk and shells. Pasteurization of raw coconut meat in a water bath at 80 C (176 F) for 8 to 10 min effectively killed such bacteria, did not injure the product, and provided a prophylactic method now widely used by the coconut industry. Appl Microbiol. 1967 May; 15(3): 471–475.
I hope this helps Judy!
Does it make sense or is it OK to dehydrate canned products, such as canned fruits or beans, pumpkin and so forth, to cut down on prep time and to save on blanching time?
Hi Rose, thanks for taking time to contact us. It's perfectly fine to dehydrate canned goods (and frozen goods) for the same reason: to cut out blanching time (and prep time!)
Wishing you well, and keep warm up there in PA!
Tony also contacted us to ask about dehydrating ginger and galangal: "Hi there, I was wondering what will the best way be to dehydrate ginger and galangal? I can't find much on the web! Many thanks, Tony"
It is such a good question that I have featured it in our next newsletter, so sign up for the newsletter if you are not already subscribed; its sign-up box is at the top right hand side of the page you're on now (and just about every page in full-site view), or at the bottom of the home page in smartphone view.
If you miss it, back issues are available for viewing – when you are signed up for our free newsletter!
Linda posed on Facebook this good question: Can you dehydrate raw bacon, to use later for salads, soups or breakfast.
Hi Linda, the first thing that comes to mind is that most bacon consumed is already cured so if you do dehydrate it, do it on the highest temperature setting as we do for ALL meats. Any lower than 160°F and bacteria survives. Otherwise, cooking raw bacon at home is dangerous because the fat doesn't render well. I know my Nesco™ and Excalibur™ that I use do have the higher temperature settings, so check to make sure that your dehydrator can go that high. I must admit I'm on the fence. I don't make beef jerky from raw meat either – (that has to have the spices etc to cure the meat) - therefore I always dehydrate PRE-cooked meat.
I have read through the questions and answers but did not find anything that addresses dehydrating gooseberries. Do they need to be boiled liked blueberries or can they go in as is. They are frozen. Thank you, Kathy.
Thanks for taking time to contact us. You ask about your frozen gooseberries – well, you're in luck! Fruits (or veggies) that have been frozen are great for putting straight on the dehydrator trays! You're good to go. Set your dehydrator between 125°F and 135°F – not sure how long they'll take because they're frozen, and I don't know how much water they contain - but I'd guess at least six hours! Just keep checking in on them.