Recently, I decided to pick up an Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator. I checked out many stores online and even locally, finding the best price at Wayfair.com. I finally made the decision to purchase the economy dehydrator, which did not come with a timer. This is not an issue for me considering all I would need to do is jot down the time I started the machine and make sure I check it in 8 to 12 hrs depending on what I am drying. I have had the dehydrator for about a week at the time of writing this and I have run it almost everyday.
The first things I dehydrated in the Excalibur where frozen vegetables that were fixing to hit their use by date. I use many frozen veggies in soups and stews as well as other recipes. This made the perfect chance to try out my new toy. The next day I took a pilgrimage up to town to shop for more groceries and picked up several more items to dehydrate. I began getting more into dehydrating because recently my wife and I became “empty nesters”. After the last 19 years of cooking meals for 2 to 4 extra mouths, I am finding it difficult to cook for only two. For this reason, I believe the dehydrator is a great investment.
Over the last couple of months, we had also moved into a new house. We took the chance to downsize and take a one bedroom located in the next town over from where we were living. With this, the refrigerator and freezer are much smaller with little to no extra room for extra or installing a new one. With this limited space, the dehydrator would also prove to be a great investment. This would make even more space by dehydrating the fruits and vegetables and putting them into jars and zipper bags. I have found we go through them regularly; therefore, I am able to keep them fresh in the zipper bags as opposed to storing them only in jars.
It is also a good investment because of how far from everything we live. We have a few stores here in town but nothing that you can sustain your diet or even call a grocery store. If anything were to happen, we are able to keep a 30-day supply on hand at any given time using the dehydrator. So far, the only treat we have is wildfires; however, I have noticed the winters getting strange as well.
One of my favorite things to keep on hand is chilies. Whether they are Habaneros, Serrano, or even Ghost chilies I find having these is a great addition to any food storage or for everyday use. In the photo, I am using my slicer to cut up Serrano peppers to put into the dehydrator. These took around 10 hrs to process and will go great in many dishes. Along with these, I have done Habanero, Manzano, and even jalapeno peppers to add to chili or stews.
For snacks my wife really enjoys banana chips and I love strawberries. These along with dried tomatoes I keep in the zipper bags to allow for easy access during the day. I am also in the process of trying cantaloupe and other fruits to make as trail snacks. These as well as many other ideas will be done soon as videos for my YouTube channel. Since I am slowly making a return to the internet I am wanting to do many different things. One of which is dehydrating medicinal plants for easy storage and use. I am also hoping to get to dehydrating wild edible plants like berries and even legumes. It’s worth a shot right?
And yes, I did make beef jerky…it just didn’t last long enough to get photos…