Ellie, I think you'll really like the strawberries. Remember that the fruit really thins out as it dries so if you're strawberries are small, I would recommend slicing them in half and drying. If they are nice and big, make sure the slices are at least a 1/4" thick for best results. The first time we made them I sliced them too thin and they broke up into a crumbled mess. We still ate them...added them to cereal and oatmeal which was very tasty.
Playingoutside: it was interesting reading about the figs and to also read where cranberries take too long to dry and can be boiled first. I will not start with cranberries. I bought some strawberries, maybe I will start there.
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Fitness Minutes: (12,394) Posts: 518 4/28/08 1:16 A
We have had a dehydrator for years and I love that thing! Dried watermelon, cherries, apples, and strawberries are soooooo yummy! We make lots of jerkey too. Everytime we plan a trip or vacation, I make up a bunch of dried fruits to snack on in the car. Much better than other sugary snacks. I think the strawberries are our favorite.
My kids favorite is making our own fruit leathers. We puree apples (or used unsweetened applesauce), bananas and strawberries. We and add a bit of lemon juice as a preservative. They don't last long, but I refrigerate them to make sure they stay fresh.
One way to check for "doneness" is to take a few pieces out and let them cool for about 30 minutes. If they feel like there is still moisture in the fruit, put it back in for another hour or two. I have to do that with jerkey because depending on the thickness of the meat, the drying time can vary a lot.
We got ours from the local Wal-Mart store and they have all the accessories. My DH is the main one to use it and he does jerky and apple slices. We've never done cranberries, but we do LOVE dried cranberries so I'd be interested to know if it would work. Hopefully someone else can let us know, or maybe I'll just need to try it and let ya know.
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Fitness Minutes: (133,196) Posts: 14,634 4/26/08 5:35 P
Hi all: I have a dehydrator. Probably the infom. one I have had for quite a while. I have used it, but not a lot. I don't really understand it completely and my hd doesn't like it being left on for 24-48 hrs to dry things. He is an electrician and thinks it should not be on while we sleep. I have to agree it is probably not the safest thing to do.
I found it hard to know when they were actually done. They say in a recipe to leave for 24 hrs but did not seem dry enough. But maybe they were, I had nothing to go by to know.
Sparkle when you Dad did it were they soft like you get with dried fruit in a bag?
I might dig it out from storage and try it again.
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Great topic! I too await some advice about features to look for in a dehydrator. My son dehydrates venison to make jerky right in the oven so I suppose if we looked around we could find recipes to do our fruit in the oven too... Lily
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Fitness Minutes: (15,505) Posts: 4,089 4/26/08 2:45 P
I have a friend who has a dehydrator she doesn't use anymore and said I could have it. I'm looking forward to getting it from her.
Also, I have another friend who has been buying freeze dried fruits from costco. They come in apples and strawberry & bananas. They aren't bad and nothing but fruit. I like them. They are great for the children to take to school for snack and/or keep in the car and not worry about spoilage.
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I don't have one, but my Dad used to and he loved it. He used to dry everything. I think he bought it through a late night infomercial. It had several rings/layers to dry foods. He loved drying fruits. He said they tasted so much better than anything he'd ever bought. Plus no sulfates!
I'd be interested to hear what everyone has to say, as he bought his, probably, 15-20 years ago... and I truly hadn't thought about it until you just mentioned this.
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SO, I'm fed up with the amount of sugar that is added to dried fruit and looking online for a place to order some no-sugar-added stuff. I've found several good options (dried cherries, peaches, etc.) but when it comes to CRANBERRIES - Oh My! Where dried (no-sugar added) cherries hover around $9-10 per pound, dried (no-sugar-added) cranberries cost about $7-9 per 2oz! Insane! Since they are so cheep to buy fresh, why not invest in a dehydrator, my husband asked.
So... who's got one that they really like? How expensive is it? Do you dry cranberries? How does it work? What's your favorite thing to dry? Tell me EVERYTHING!
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