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Can you dehydrate lettuce? If so can you tell me how? Will it rehydrate so you can use it for salad?
You can dehydrate cabbage, so I don't see why you couldn't dehydrate lettuce, in fact, anything that contains water can be dehydrated ... but, having said "yes" to lettuce, I wouldn't recommend it.
I will assume that upon re-hydrating the brittle lettuce leaves, they might turn to mush, rather like spinach when you wilt spinach leaves! Not much you can do with it (lettuce) aside from lettuce soup :-)
If you have a go, please let us know how it turned out!
If I store the dehydrated food exactly as you instructed ... in plastic bins in my garage ... how long will it last?
When dehydrated foods are vacuum-packed in quality bags with oxygen absorbers, Mylar bags, and airtight bins, you're good to go for years! The key is keeping light and moisture (and rodents!) away. Use opaque bins to help keep light out. Make sure to check your bags for any that may have punctured (a quick feel for any squishy bags is a giveaway, as all bags when vacuumed and sealed properly feel pretty hard) and remember to write the date on the food bags and rotate your stock!
My dehydrated foods – apples, potatoes, etc. pop the vacuum bag after it seals ... not sure what to do?
It's annoying, to be sure, and can happen ... and one thing to look out for is over-filling your vacuum bags.
Also, try to make the contents lie as flat as you can, prior to filling. I do this by adding the dried food and its oxypack to the bag, then clamping the bag in the vacuum sealer. Pat the top and bottom of the bag to make it (the contents) lie as flat as possible, before finally drawing the air out.
Also, check to see if your model of vacuum-sealer is maybe on too high a setting? Some models may have this feature, most do not, however.
Last comment is to check to make sure that you're not using 'cheapy' bags!
For great bags, please visit: DC Processing Equipment
I have been searching your site for the price of the oxygen packs. Could not find it anywhere. Maybe you don't sell them and it's just an info. site? Please let me know. Thank you!
Hi Julie, go back to the oxypack page and on the right hand side, you'll see ads for oxypacks (Amazon.com) – just click on them and you'll be taken to Amazon and you'll find all the prices you need – and sold by a trusted source. I get mine from Amazon too (and/or their recommended sellers).
I hope this helps you!
How long will vegetables keep when dehydrated and vacuum packed?
Dehydrated vegetables (and fruit) can last for weeks, and months, when packaged correctly.
First of all, use 3 Mil. 2-ply vacuum bags, (see link for great bags in the question directly above), and don't forget to add the oxygen absorber ... that is very important, as the absorbers keep the food safe by preventing mold-growth.
I find that rotating the food packages is the only way to go, so that means having a continual supply ... using the oldest packages first, and putting subsequent foods clearly marked with a written date stamp on it. Magic markers are great for that!
Aim to have three months' supply, i.e. create a batch one month, label it. Create a second batch a month later, label it. Create the third batch the following month – label it, and so on – by this time you'll actually be using the first batch in your recipes etc.
Can You Re-hydrate Fruit at all?
Curtis wrote in to ask if you can re-hydrate fruit. Yes you can, such as apples for apple pies. For the most part, we tend to eat dehydrated fruit as snacks, e.g. raisins, prunes, and apricots.
Can You Dehydrate Eggs?
Yes Mariana, you can dehydrate eggs, and I believe you can do this safely at home by scrambling the eggs first (don't add anything to them), heat gently until cooked through, then dehydrate. Of course, an easier way is to simply buy dehydrated eggs! Recommended site: Honeyville Farms.
HI! I'm new to dehydrating and have been having problems. I found your blog looking for answers! HA! I've tried fruit leathers several different times, each one different. I keep getting holes in them. They come out looking like Swiss cheese! Have you had this? Any clue what I'm doing wrong? THANKS!
Hi Sara – sorry to hear you're getting holy leathers! You may have been dehydrating them on too low a setting – and remember they *do* take a long time to dehydrate due to the fact that it sits on a solid plastic sheet, so we've only got air on the top of the product instead of all around it. Hope this helps!
I have an overheating dehydrator and looking for a work around. Also wondering if a full dehydrator is cooler than a partially filled one, or the temperature is cooler at the beginning because of moisture in the food? I have a problem with case hardening. Thanks.
Thanks for filling in the survey as THAT enabled me to answer your questions :-)
First of all, you need to find out why the dehydrator IS overheating, is it faulty? Does it get extremely warm? If you suspect it's faulty - send it back for a replacement if it's still under warranty ...
Second, the temperature IS set by the user and is kept constant by the sensor/thermostat, but, I agree with your suggestion that the air in the dehydrator would seem 'cooler' when you first start out due to the air in the dehydrator containing water and when the food dries out, the air could seem 'warmer'. A fully filled dehydrator will take longer to dry foods than a lesser filled one! :-)
And lastly, the case hardening is a sure sign of having the dehydrator on TOO high to begin with. It's very tempting to turn it up high to speed up the process! So turn it down to the recommended temperatures I give for each vegetable or fruit. THIS is where patience wins out! Thanks again for taking time to fill in the survey! :-)