Another Step to Self-reliance


Here is my latest acquisition – a food dehydrator.

2012-02-02 01I have dreamed of getting one for many years but it has never quite made to the top of my list of priorities.

My girlfriend had this one which she no longer used and asked if I was interested so I bought it from her.  I have lots of ideas of things I will be able to do but my first project on the weekend will be to pick the ripe bell chillies and dehydrate them.  I intend to grind them once they are dried, using the spice grinder attachment for my food processor.  Hopefully, powdered chilli will be another thing that I can cross off my shopping list forever.

Do you have a dehydrator?  I would love to hear how you use it.  Please share your ideas, successes and any failures.

8 thoughts on “Another Step to Self-reliance

  1. You will love your dehydrator! Mine runs almost continuously in the summer drying herbs and tomatoes for winter use. I often make my own paprika, too, from pimento peppers (chiles). If you do that, be sure to slice your peppers very thin, because a thick-walled pepper can take FOREVER to dehydrate if you don’t increase the surface area by slicing thin. (Learned that one the hard way!)

  2. Thanks Jennifer for the tip about slicing the peppers. I am looking forward to experimenting with lots of things.
    My main goal will be to dry sliced onions. We grow onions here during the winter, although you would laugh at our so called winter. The daytime temperatures are usually 16 – 19C (60 – 66F) and the coolest night would be about 2C (35F). It does not stay cool for long enough for the tops of the onions to dry off before the warmer, wet weather sets in. I have to pick them with the tops still green so they can’t be stored in a cellar. I usually dice them and freeze in 150g packs ready for use. It will be nice to have another option.
    I have also heard of drying thin slices of pumpkin and then grinding it into pumpkin flour.

  3. I have an excalibar food dehydrator , I don’t use it that often these days, but used to do a lot of dried tomatoes they are so delicious, dried bananas, my favourite is dried apricots, have done figs, apples,kiwi . when I was on the raw diet I made flaxseeds crisp bread/crackers. always been going to do mangoes but we usually eat them all, or I puree and make smoothies or icy poles. might try beef jerky one day …oh I haven’t dried any herbs…I don’t ever think I would ever part with it, people usually think its a microwave …

  4. Apples – I buy a bag of apples (or use mine when I have them), slice them up with a dinky little machine which peels, slices and cores, then dehydrate them. Fabulous for snacks!

  5. I bought one a couple of years ago as we had an abundance of home grown tomatoes. Dried them but it seemed to take days and then DH put them in jars and covered with oil. They all went mouldy. Not sure what we did wrong, but anyway haven’t used it since.

    I guess if I had any spare time I would definitely have another go, the apples and bananas sound great.

  6. That is disappointing when you put in the effort and things don’t store as planned. I like the idea of semi-dried tomatoes in oil but I think the remaining moisture is the source of the mould so not sure how I would handle that. One day when I have tomatoes I might just try a few and then eat them straight away – that won’t be difficult. 🙂

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