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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

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Linda just posted this to the site via Facebook: Can you dehydrate cucumbers?

YES! Treat them the same as zucchini inasmuch as wash, slice and dehydrate – but there's a time-saving step with cucumber ... no need to blanch!

This is my first time at this site so I apologize if this topic has already been covered.

My question: when using vegetables from the garden, or perhaps a farmer's market, is it necessary to blanch the vegetables before dehydrating in order to eliminate enzymes, etc?

Hi Ann, thanks for posting your question. No, most veggies don't need blanching so I recommend that you look at the specific vegetable on our "dehydrate vegetables" page.

It doesn't matter that it's from your garden or have purchased elsewhere. Thanks for visiting and we hope you enjoy more of our site! :-)

I'm a little confused with the process. Just to confirm, you vacuum seal the dehydrated food with no O2 abs.You then place in Mylar bag also without 02 abs. I've never used a vacuum sealer but from what you are saying,is the vacuum seal removes the O2. It was my understanding from other sites that vacuum sealing does not remove all the O2. Please advise. How long can  food stored this way last? I want it to store longer than a year.  Thanks.

Hi Toni, I'm sorry that you're having a hard time understanding the procedure! Here are the steps:

1) Prep the food (wash, slice, dice etc)
2) Dehydrate the food
3) Put in Ziploc bags to condition (overnight)
4) Put conditioned food into vacuum sealer bags WITH a 100-cc oxypack per bag, vacuum seal it/them
5) Put the vacuum sealed bags (that have the 100-cc oxypack in them) into a mylar bag (which keeps daylight out) and you can put in a 300-cc oxypack tucked inside the mylar bag. Do NOT attempt to vacuum seal the Mylar bag - won't work - and it doesn't matter because our food is already vacuum sealed in individual packs.
6) Seal (don't vacuum) the Mylar bags and use marker pen to write on the date and the bag's contents.

In step 5, I wrap my vacuum sealed bags in plastic wrap to stop sharp corners from puncturing the other items on the bag... just as a safety precaution.

The vacuum sealer won't remove all the oxygen, that's correct, and that's what the oxypacks are for ... to draw out the last bit of oxygen and they also inhibit mold growth.

Food can be stored for years this way ... but, and there's always a but ... PLEASE rotate your stock. I rotate mine every three months. Any punctured bags (you'll be able to tell because they go squishy and aren't as "stiff" as they were when first vacuumed) please throw them out.

Sure, this is a LOT of work; but when "it" hits the fan, we'll have food on hand and we'll be able to feed our family plus help out others in need if that be the case...

Thank you for asking for clarification and I will post your question and my answer to Facebook too.

Easy Food Dehydrating & Safe Food Storage

Hi - can you tell me the correct temperature to dehydrate fruit and vegetables?  I have seen 135 but then read not to go over 115 or it will kill enzymes? 

Hi Cindy – Unfortunately we can't have it both ways regarding the loss of good live enzymes ... to dehydrate fruit and veggies, most dehydrators use the setting of 125°F and 135°F so that it dehydrates properly. Look at it this way: better to have "some" food than "no food due to loss of enzymes while dehydrating", should big trouble hit the fan ...

Will a cheap dehydrator work?  One that just plugs in and has no temp gauge? Or would my oven work better?

Hi Amber,

I class Nesco brand as "cheap" (as in "affordable") dehydrators, but I'm sure there are even cheaper ones on the market. Have you thought of going the eBay route to save dollars, if that's the issue?

I wouldn't really like to trust a dehydrator without a temperature gauge to be honest.

People have used their ovens with some success, trouble is, it isn't a constant heat as you may have to crack your oven door every now and then to bring the temperature up/down to 125°F to 135°F ... seems too much like hard work to me!

Shell out a few bucks for an entry-level dehydrator, such as the Nesco. Check out eBay, or Amazon!

Thanks for taking time to write in, appreciate it!

Is it possible to dehydrate vegetables so that they are totally crispy? Not just dry but totally crispy? Also, do you sell any dehydrating machines? Thank you.

Hi Ted, thanks for taking time to write in. Yes, it is possible to have veggies totally crispy especially those that contain a lot of water to begin with, such as carrots, squash, cucumbers ... but some veggies have more natural oils/fats in them (albeit in small quantities) that may cause them to remain "flexible" after dehydrating.

Regarding selling dehydrators directly from our site: no, but here's a link to our page where I discuss two of my favorites, the Nesco and Excalibur brands.

There are ads directly to Amazon on those pages whereby you can purchase those dehydrators, or, of course, spend time on Amazon looking at other brands and reading the reviews.

Hi, I'm new to dehydrating and enjoy hiking along the Bibbulmun Track in Perth, Western Australia.  In winter we can experience temperatures of 15 - 25 degrees Celsius.  I would like to dehydrate foods in advance for hikes of 2 or 3 weeks in length and would like to know, if you freeze dehydrated meat can it be thawed out then used in 2 - 3 weeks?

Hi Giselle, what you need the dehydrated meat for is absolutely perfect for that situation! The only suggestion I have is to vacuum-seal the dehydrated meat in small packets; that way you're not opening a large packet/bag with the chance of some of the meat spoiling before you get chance to eat it! 

Send us some photos of your hiking trails – would love to see them!  Cheers, Susan.

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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!

Click the little girl's basket of
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