Dehydrating food

Food topics, including recipes.

Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby rogo » Fri 17 Dec, 2010 2:52 pm

A lady at work had an open tin of apricots at home. She had her dehy going so thought she'd give the apricots a go. They turned out almost like a glace apricot. Sticky sweet and intense flavour. I'll give it a go in the near future using pears and peaches as well.

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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby melot » Wed 29 Dec, 2010 1:03 am

Have just returned home after a few days in Walls and then OT. Used an Ezi-dri dehydrator to dehydrate all our main meals, plus extra veg and also dehydrated yoghurt this time. I broke the dehydrated yoghurt into little pieces and added a little cold water to it in a small ziplock bag before going to bed. In the morning a quick squish in the bag produced yoghurt that tasted like the real thing and made our oat cluster breakfast cereal very yummy. I can also recommend the Adults dehydrated pineapple in rum from the Food To Go E-book thats advertised on this site, and found it works well with other fruits too like cherries and mango. Previously I've tried dehydrating stir fries with the meat & veg cut up very small, but although the flavour was excellent the bits of meat were often tough, having needed a long time dehdrating to have it fully dehydrated. This time I did more slow cooked & casserole type meals , so that the meat component was very tender. I then shredded the meat (as suggested in the Food To Go book)and found it not only dehydrated more quickly and evenly with the rest of the casserole, but it also rehydrated really well, so that our meals were the same texture as well as taste as the original meal I'd cooked at home.I'd started dehydrating in early Oct. and the food kept really well in vacuum sealed bags, unrefrigerated, but in a cool dry cupboard (as cool & dry as a Qld summer can be)until we ate them in mid- Dec. At Launceston airport the quarantine inspector said he didn't need to inspect dehydrated cooked meals or rollups/fruit leathers but he did wat to see any uncooked dehydrated fruit or veg that had seeds.
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby daznkez » Mon 03 Jan, 2011 6:13 pm

hi kerrin here i have been using a fowlers dehydrator (purchased in melbourne from their outlet) for a few years now. i find them great to use and the price isnt too bad ($149) but you may need to purchase additional rings. i run mine with either 6 or 8 rings which makes it a bit more economical. i also have a vacum sealer but have recently purchased a zipvac food storage system (from anaconda) this i would recommend to anyone who is dehydrating their own food as the bags are tougher than ziplock you can add water to them and reseal, you take them home wash then out and, reuse great for home dried meals. one thing i would be interested in is any information on freeze drying food. would love to do that next if possible. Any suggestions??? happy and safe travels to all :wink: :mrgreen: 8)
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby MikeM » Mon 03 Jan, 2011 9:23 pm

melot wrote:At Launceston airport the quarantine inspector said he didn't need to inspect dehydrated cooked meals or rollups/fruit leathers but he did wat (edit WANT?) to see any uncooked dehydrated fruit or veg that had seeds.


Thanks for the info melot,

But just to clarify what did you show him that had seeds? We are doing the OT in late January and we are planning on taking our own dehi fruits including apples, bananas, pineapple and apricots. Will we have a problem with Quarantine in Launceston?

Thanks.
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby walkinTas » Tue 04 Jan, 2011 11:09 am

If you core the apples there won't be any seeds, bananas don't have seeds, pineapples are usually harvested before the seeds are mature, and the apricot seed is not likely to make it to the dehydrator. :)

Uncooked dehydrated seed will remain viable, hence the Quarantine Inspectors will be very interested if you bring them into Tasmania.
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby MikeM » Tue 04 Jan, 2011 11:37 am

Thanks for that wT. One more fruit variety that I forgot to mention, dehi tomatos? We slice and dehi them to add flavour to various dishes and sandwiches. These obviously have seeds. Will this be a problem?
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby walkinTas » Wed 05 Jan, 2011 7:12 pm

You can get a complete list of what is and isn't allowed at the DPIW site. You will see that seed is on the list as can't, but ask. So I'd think that would apply to tomatoes, but you probably should contact DPIW (their number is at the bottom of that page).
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby Charlievee » Mon 10 Jan, 2011 3:35 pm

Hey guys n gals - thought I'd submit some ideas too. I did the Overland track a few years back, and just recently a first week or so of the AAWT. I made my own trail food for both walks. I've got a Fowlers Vacola EZ Dri as well. Had it for nearly 10 years now, still going strong. I pretty much "freezer bag" cook my hot meals, but put them in a small Sistema box with lid to rehydrate. I like the fact of it being a bit sturdier on the walls and I don't have to wash or throw out the bags. I love curries and chilli con carnes etc.... so these feature prominently on my menu, often to the disdain of my fellow walkers. As stated previously ; cut vegies n stuff finely, use the leanest mince or meat you can buy as the fat goes rancid. Chicken thighs are supposed to be not as chewy as breast meat when rehydrated... I prebag instant oats, brn sugar, sultanas and powdered milk into serves so all I have to do is pour it into my Sistema "bowl", add water, stir and tuck in. Another advantage of making your own meals is you can regulate the portions and spiciness. I found a lot of the prepackaged freezedrieds were bland and small in portions. I do like a good serve ; after a hard day I'm ravenous. Another nice treat is home dried fruit chopped up and mixed with Foster Clark's packaged instant custard powder. A sachet gives 2 generous serves. Also, I use couscous as my carb, it rehydrates very well and has a bit of extra protein as well. I generally put a bit more of the curry/meat mix (eg - 1 cup) to about 1/2 a cup of couscous. The couscous really swells up and absorbs the water. A little practice is all that's needed. AND - try these out at home BEFORE you hit the trail. It's much easier to handle a "food disaster" at home ! Hope this helps. Regards, CV.
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby melot » Wed 12 Jan, 2011 11:28 pm

Just regarding seeds in dehydrated fruit @ Launceston airport - I had kiwi friut and strawberries, both sliced very thinly & vacuum sealed after dehydrating. Don't know if they would have been a problem as the quarantine inspector had disappeared by the time we collected our bags & sorted out hire cars. I would probably just do these fruits as fruit leathers next time.
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby lovescoparia » Tue 30 Aug, 2011 4:28 pm

I've got a Fowlers dehaydrator and am very happy. Have been using it for about 5 years, and all my friends borrow it before their trips too. I really enjoy the whole process of planning, cooking and drying for a trip, and we get lots of envious looks from other bushwalkers at meal times.
I do a mixture of meals and individual ingredients. Most vegetables go really well, though broccoli tends to fall apart a bit when squashed in your pack later. Dried tomatoes are delicious as a snack just as they are, or you can add them to meals when cooking. Carrots, zucchini, pumpkin (cut small and cooked first), onions, spinach etc are all great - just put in ziplock bags and add a handful of whatever you fancy to the pot. THere is a guide with the dehydrator which tells you whether to blanch or half cook things first etc. I have found the drying times very variable - ie depends on how you have cut things, how cooked, and the humidity on the day. Sometimes things take twice as long as last time!
My experience with meals is generally good. Spaghetti bolognaise is always great. I do lots of vegetarian food, and that always seems to work well - like vegie curry, vegetable and pearl barley stew, chick-pea stews, vegie tagines (serve with cous cous) etc. We have even done tacos: have made and dried the mince, and had with grated cheese, dried tomatos, lettuce (lasts a few days quite well). The taco shells were a little broken, so next time would do wraps instead, but it was a good meal. I have done chicken curries, and cut the chicken really small, and soaked before cooking etc - and they are ok but the chicken is always a bit crunchy.
Combining supermarket dried meals with your own veggies is good: eg a pasta and sauce meal + mixed dried vegies and chopped salami; a ready-made risotto packet (eg mushroom flavour) then add your own dried pumpkin, spinach and some pine nuts. Take a powdered laksa mix, some rice noodles, dried coconut milk powder and you can add your dried vegies for a great vegie laksa.
Jerky is great. Fruit leather is good, and also flavoured yoghurt dried like a fruit leather and rolled up and eaten as is.
Dried strawberries are yum. Blueberries take ages and are nice but not worth the energy expenditure.
I love dried whole bananas too, but usually buy them from the health food shops because I am sure I could not do better.
Another tip: I made an insulated billy bag - I used a thin layer of foam as insulation (sold for making oven gloves and stuff) and the inner layer is a heat resistant layer I sacrificed an old ironing board cover to obtain. When you get into camp, boil some water straight away. Then add this to your dehydrated meal, sit the whole billy in the insulated bag (draw string at top so all sealed), and it can then soak staying nice and hot whilst you get camp all set up. The bag is also great for saving fuel: eg cook the pasta or rice for half its time, then pop the billy in the bag whilst you cook the rest of the meal, and it just continues to cook. Just drain when ready to eat. I got the idea from an old ski guide, and it really works.
happy dehydrating!!
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Re: Pot Cosy Cooking.

Postby andrewbish » Mon 19 Sep, 2011 1:05 pm

[EDIT by Moderator. This post and the following 5 posts have been split off from the Pot Cosy discussion, HERE.


The meal sounds pretty good. :)

..but I heard too late about the dehydrators at Aldi. :(
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Re: Pot Cosy Cooking.

Postby ULWalkingPhil » Mon 19 Sep, 2011 2:34 pm

andrewbish wrote:The meal sounds pretty good. :)

..but I heard too late about the dehydrators at Aldi. :(


Looking forward to eating it on my next hike.

The dehydrators that Aldi used to sell are still available on Ebay, for as low as 30.00. It's the exact same as I own.
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Re: Pot Cosy Cooking.

Postby photohiker » Mon 19 Sep, 2011 4:24 pm

Looks evil :D

What does it weigh per meal once dehydrated?

Have you considered vacuum packing it to keep it dry and minimise packing space?
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Re: Pot Cosy Cooking.

Postby ULWalkingPhil » Mon 19 Sep, 2011 4:48 pm

photohiker wrote:Looks evil :D

What does it weigh per meal once dehydrated?

Have you considered vacuum packing it to keep it dry and minimise packing space?


100 grams.

Yeh, considering vacuum packing, but the costs is a bit off putting.
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Re: Pot Cosy Cooking.

Postby ULWalkingPhil » Mon 19 Sep, 2011 4:57 pm

100 grams per pack and there very generous sized portions. I don't know if I will be able to get through the meal portions. Will try one of the packs out this weekend.
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Re: Pot Cosy Cooking.

Postby photohiker » Mon 19 Sep, 2011 6:10 pm

Phillipsart wrote:Yeh, considering vacuum packing, but the costs is a bit off putting.


Try ebay. Dearer than your dehydrator from Aldi, but not outrageous. Aldi probably has one too I guess.
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Re: Dehydrating food

Postby Mark F » Sun 06 Nov, 2011 3:23 pm

Vacuum sealers are remarkably expensive. I keep my meals in the freezer which helps keep them tasty.

For really low fat mince use kangaroo. It is Woolies in 1kg packs for under $8 - more environmentally friendly!?

A question - do you dry ingredients individually and then bag up your recipe from the dried ingredients or do you cook it up and dry it in its finished state.
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Re: Dehydrating food

Postby Macca81 » Sun 06 Nov, 2011 3:28 pm

Mark F wrote:A question - do you dry ingredients individually and then bag up your recipe from the dried ingredients or do you cook it up and dry it in its finished state.


I have done both, and i have a number of ingredients dried in the cupboard waiting for me.
I find that the ones you cook as a meal and then dry all together taste better, however having a few dried ingredients that you can throw together to make something can be handy, but the resulting dinner never quite tastes as good as if you had of had time to cook and dry a proper meal.
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Re: Dehydrating Food

Postby Wollemi » Fri 12 Dec, 2014 3:58 pm

If I may bring up an old, though still relevant thread, as I am joining in with the good work of SPRATS on Tasmania's West Coast in January 2015. It involves walking the coast, mapping and weeding - over three weeks, for the small group I am in.

melot wrote:Just regarding seeds in dehydrated fruit @ Launceston airport - I had kiwi friut and strawberries, both sliced very thinly & vacuum sealed after dehydrating. Don't know if they would have been a problem as the quarantine inspector had disappeared by the time we collected our bags & sorted out hire cars. I would probably just do these fruits as fruit leathers next time.


I have just rang Biosecurity Tasmania... who, when I asked can I dehydrate fresh tomatoes, was told no, as it has seeds - the product must be commercially dehydrated. This would most certainly apply to strawberries and kiwifruit, too.
When I rang this afternoon, I received a flat 'Hello'. When I asked which government department I was speaking to, the lady became confused, if not flustered. When I stated that the googled page had the Coat-of-Arms and logo of several States and Territories, she became curt. 'Biosecurity Tasmania'. I was told I could not bring fresh food in - which includes dehydrate fresh food, as they contain seeds. When I said that capsicum would be OK, then, as all seeds are removed. I was also told a very flat and short, no.

While on the phone, I had a large bowl of broccoli in the microwave, as one webpage or another photographed that being done. It is now on the dehydrator I have borrowed from my bushwalking club. As is a can of kidney beans. I had expected it to be full of fresh foods today, but I am confused, and only 2 of 5 trays are in use ATM.

I have found all quarantine people at Christchurch and Hobart airport very friendly, helpful and apologetic when before them with leather boots/rucksacks/tents/crampons/chocolate/pasta previously. But this woman in Hobart with the Kiwi accent... :(

http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/biosecurity/qu ... o-tasmania
States in the column that all Fruit and Vegetables cannot be taken into Tasmania from the mainland. Reading other pages strongly suggest that only commercially dehydrated foods can be taken into the island state.


FWIW, the last time I kayaked from Victoria to mainland Tasmania, I took a stack of oranges and kiwifruit that I dehydrated at home, and shared with my companions. I certainly broke the rules there by taking these foods ashore on various islands, all under the jurisdiction of Tasmania, of course. Actually, it occurs to me that many sea-kayakers would be breaking the rules, carrying fresh fruits from The 'Prom to Hogan and then Deal Islands. http://www.quarantinedomestic.gov.au/de ... mania.html

Not dissimilarly, I naively bought much fresh fruit in Deniliquin for a weeks rock-climbing at Arapiles. Then we crossed the Murray from NSW into Victoria at Barham into Koondrook (just NE of Kerang). At the border was the large signage and bins (44 gallon drums, actually), ordering one to deposit all fruit here... I reckon countless rock-climbers, grey-nomads and many other types of travellers keep going. At the time, I did not know how big Horsham is, and to what time their supermarkets closed. We had driven all day from Sydney, and time was getting on.
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Re: Dehydrating food

Postby icefest » Thu 25 Dec, 2014 4:28 pm

The biosecurity guys on the sprit of Tasmania were happy with home dehydrated meals. They asked if I would be eating it and said that should be fine. In fact they even called over their trainee and showed them my homemade food and explained to him that that would be OK.
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Re: Dehydrating food

Postby juz » Sun 17 Feb, 2019 8:06 pm

Hi All,
Need a little bit of advice. Trying to make some fruit leathers. I have a Fowlers dehydrator, but have misplaced the helpful book.
Can anyone advise a temperature and typical time to dry? Any other helpful hints?
Thankss very much,
Justin.
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Re: Dehydrating food

Postby Aardvark » Sun 17 Feb, 2019 9:03 pm

It will depend on the water content still in your mixture. Mine stays on for about 9hrs at 50- 55 degrees.
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Re: Dehydrating food

Postby juz » Sun 17 Feb, 2019 9:26 pm

Thanks, will keep an eye on it around then. That sounds good.
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Re: Dehydrating food

Postby whynotwalk » Mon 18 Feb, 2019 9:03 am

Hi juz - I've lost manuals in the past, and often find them on-line. So I had a look for a pdf of the Fowlers Dehydrator manual. This link to a download came up, although I didn't trust it enough to try downloading it. If your virus-protection is good, maybe have a look https://casinichannel.netlify.com/fowlers-vacola-dehydrator-4000-manual.html.

Alternatively this one (from Sunbeam) is fine, and should have some relevant tips. https://www.appliancesonline.com.au/manuals/dt5600/dt5600_operatinginstructions.pdf
Here's another potentially useful site http://www.dehydratorbook.com/fowlers-vacola.html

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Re: Dehydrating food

Postby juz » Tue 19 Feb, 2019 7:14 pm

Hi Peter,
Thanks for the manuals. They will be very useful. I had tried to find the Fowlers manual, but didn't have any luck. Dissapointed Fowlers try to charge $20 for the manual!
Thanks for the others though.
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