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JUSTBIRDY's Photo JUSTBIRDY SparkPoints: (72,518)
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12/8/10 10:12 P

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A friend gave me a cheap Ronco-type model. It works ok for what I use it for. Can't believe how much easier it is to PFB with a dehydrator. I also like it because it is more earthquake-proof.
This year I dried tons of leeks and ground up lots of it, and also add it to soups all through the winter. Bulb onions don't store well here, so the dried leeks really come in handy in the early spring.

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CBEVNOW's Photo CBEVNOW Posts: 6,327
12/8/10 4:48 P

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Thank you all so much for the information, i will look into this.
Caroline

Im starting to take control of my life today. I will take care of me, love my self., be good to my self, I am strong, i can do this.


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AMY14609's Photo AMY14609 Posts: 221
12/8/10 12:26 P

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That's what I was told. My friend swears by his.

There are lot of other models out there that are cheaper - and this was an investment - but wow... it works great, easy to clean, light weight so it's easy to put away in winter when I'm not using it as much... and the veggies dry pretty evenly, the timer is a huge benefit (then you don't have to listen to it run - you can run it at night). I also like that the sides etc don't get hot.

I'm glad I got the unit I bought. :)

Made my way to single digit sizing one veggie at a time. :)


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PAUL324's Photo PAUL324 Posts: 1,272
12/8/10 12:17 P

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I also use the Excalibur the heat control and timer make it as close to automatic as you can get I have had mine for 5 years, First used a neighbors that is 25 years old with a lot of use have had to install a new limit fuse in it 10 years ago. They are built to use.



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AMY14609's Photo AMY14609 Posts: 221
12/8/10 9:46 A

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I bought an excalibur dehydrator - they have a few different sizes they range in size from about the size of small toaster oven to a mircrowave size. Depending on how big you need - with the gardens coming in this summer I was glad I went with the bigger version - and even then I had it running pretty much every night every weekend once the gardens were ready for harvesting!

This dehydrator was recommended to me by a friend that does a LOT of canning and dehydrating as they do the 100 mile diet - so when things are ready in our area, they are preserving a lot. they've gone through other types of dehydrators that didn't work as well or burned out after just one season... this one has lasted them so I fgured it would last me for sure as I'm not preserving as much as they do!



Made my way to single digit sizing one veggie at a time. :)


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JET150's Photo JET150 Posts: 8,376
12/8/10 6:20 A

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That does sound like a good system, Amy. It's humid in Wisconsin too, which might explain why it took forever to dry tomatoes in the oven. I'm guessing a dehydrator might use less energy too. The oven definitely heated up the kitchen. Thanks for the information. I too would be interested in knowing what brand you bought.

Jeanette
Madison, Wisconsin


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CBEVNOW's Photo CBEVNOW Posts: 6,327
12/7/10 10:32 P

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What brand do you recommend. I want to start drying foods, but i dont have a clue as to where to start.
Caroline
i was saying to my son the other day, i had green onions and i usually cut about middle of the green part and throw the rest away,and i said boy i hate to waste this, i sure could dry these. I only buy organic when i buy.

Im starting to take control of my life today. I will take care of me, love my self., be good to my self, I am strong, i can do this.


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PAUL324's Photo PAUL324 Posts: 1,272
12/7/10 12:19 P

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I dried onions for the first time this year, works great, just like fresh cut in anything you cook with liquid. you can also grind with a good blender or a coffee grinder makes good onion powder. Biggest thing none of my onions rotted in storage this year.



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AMY14609's Photo AMY14609 Posts: 221
12/7/10 11:54 A

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I finally broke down and got the dehydrator - using the oven in the hot-humid weather we get here in western NY (esp @ end of summer when everythig is ripening) was a deterrent to drying things for us. So, we didn't do much of it before.

With the dehydrator - my friend Leah and I do our canning during the day (usually spending the weekends canning and girl-chatting) then as we're finishing that up - we slice the veggies for the dehydrator and load the machine up - then I run it through the night (I have a timer on the unit I got).

This way I don't hear the noise of the fan (running downstairs when I'm upstairs, it's not adding much heat to the house, and everything is ready to be bagged in the morning before we start the next canning session.
emoticon

it was great routine for us!

Made my way to single digit sizing one veggie at a time. :)


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JET150's Photo JET150 Posts: 8,376
12/7/10 11:27 A

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Thanks for the information. We've only dried tomatoes, but cantaloupe sounds good too...
Do you have a dehydrator, or did you use your oven?

Jeanette
Madison, Wisconsin


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AMY14609's Photo AMY14609 Posts: 221
12/7/10 10:52 A

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I just have to say. I am SO glad I started dehydrating this year in addition to canning.

At the time I had no plan (wasn't ready) to start this current weight loss journey I'm on. But now, WOW - the work we did at the end of summer is really helping my efforts.

I am writing this while thinking about the salad I brough for lunch with the yummy sweet dried roma tomatoes. Mmmm, SO GOOD!

Of course we are also using a lot of the canned items at home for dinner - but the dired items are easy to take for snacks to work. I really want to experiment with more dried fruit next year. Dried cantaloupe is so sweet and delicious. (I ordinarily don't like melon, I'll eat watermelon, but cantaloupe - not a big fan.) But Dried - wow!

It's really a neat way to start introducing new foods to your diet that you might not have otherwise been interested in eating.

Just some random thoughts for the day that I thought I would share. :)

I hope everyone is having a great day! Stay warm!

Made my way to single digit sizing one veggie at a time. :)


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