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I read in your apple dehydrating prep steps that you use lemon juice strayed on the slices. I've always used orange juice to dip the apples in.
Is the lemon juice better? I've always had very good results with orange juice, but because I dip & drain the slices, they are a little wetter when the drying starts.
I'd appreciate your dehydrating advice - Dawn.
I'd never thought of using orange juice but if it keeps your apples from overly-browning, then I wouldn't worry about it. I guess OJ will make the apples a little sweeter, if anything?
Lemon juice is more acidic and that deters the oxidation process, (think ascorbic acid).
Thanks for taking the time to write in Dawn, appreciate it!
Two questions (with good comments) just in from JJ:
1) I understand the value of mason jars as being able to be sterilized, clear to see contents, etc. but one of the desirable effects of dehydrating is that with the water removed products are MUCH lighter in weight!
Besides Mylar bags, are there any other clear and sturdy container that isn't breakable and not heavy, like glass is? Also, I found a company that makes reusable canning lids (not the separate ring and lid type) ... are these also acceptable/recommended?
Hi JJ, thanks for the questions/comments!
I agree with your comment about products be lighter making them ideal for taking with you on rambling walks etc. Mylar bags would do the trick! IF you're going to use Mylar bags, then please make sure that the contents have been vacuum-packed and are in their own packet. Why? Mylar bags cannot be vacuum sealed due to the fact that both sides of the bag are smooth—making it pretty much impossible to withdraw the air!
Yes, you can use reusable canning lids provided you sterilize them like you would when canning. Thing is, though, with the screw-on/off lids, they're only good for very short-term use. The air is always in there, even with an oxygen absorber to help out. That's why I say short-term for mason jars—like a couple of weeks—with an oxygen absorber.
2) How long is "long term"? Some companies advertise their ready-to-purchase buckets as 25-year shelf-life. But if I dehydrate on my own with oxygen packs and vacuum-sealer bags (under Mylar) how long can I reasonably expect the dehydrated food to last?
Hi again JJ,
That's a question I cannot answer — as to "how long IS long-term!" To me, long-term is a couple of months, up to six-months. Some foods fare better; it depends on how well the food was dehydrated in the first place; and how well the food was stored (with oxygen absorbers, in air-tight containers, out of sunlight, out of heat).
This is another reason why I say "rotate your stock" often ... and when doing so, you'll discover any punctured bags, or bags that didn't hold their seal 100%.
If you can afford the buckets of food, then I say "go ahead" and get 'em! I think they are a great alternative for those who don't want the hassle of dehydrating food; but our site (for the most part) is for those who have produce in their gardens and don't want to see it go to waste.
Thanks JJ — Susan
Where do you get your oxygen tablets from? - Cynthia B.
Hi there Cynthia!
The oxygen absorbers I use are from Amazon. Why? They offer a great selection with fast shipping - along with great prices!