With summer approaching, gardens flourishing, fruits abundant, flowers blooming, preserve them by dehydrating. This simple machines will help you create potpourri, trail mix and other goodies to savor this coming winter.
Recommend this product?
WELCOME TO DEHYDRATION
My machine is the Magic Chef Food Dehydrator Model #469-1. It consists of the dehydrator base unit, with an on/off switch. This base unit has a fan forced heat to circulate the moving air for even drying. It comes with five trays to place your food and a see through cover. The trays are of open plastic grids to help air to pass through all trays. Not included is the roll-up sheet used to handling puree fruit for making tasty fruit leather. I purchased this extra, and found it very useful for Beef Jerky.
The instruction book gives many important safeguards for using this machine. I did not think that all were necessary, as some were such things as “do not touch hot surface” Well really???
Do not immerse cord, plug or other electrical parts in water, “they must think we are stupid”. Do not operate if cord is damaged., Oh Really!! Do not use outdoors, Come on Magic Chef. More do not’s, do not pour liquid in appliance base, do not operate around spray cans, do not place near gas or electric burners, or do not use appliance for anything other than intended use. All these instructions took up two pages, talk about Safety First.
PREPARING FOOD FOR DRYING
Actually this machine is so easy to use, your biggest work is preparing the fruits, vegetables or potpourri ingredients. Which I will get to later. There is more instruction to cleaning machine before use and after use. Do not put base unit in water, just wipe with damp cloth. Other parts may be washing in soapy water, or in top section of your dishwasher. The fruit roll-up tray should just be washed in soapy water and rinsed. Even suggests to use paper towels to wipe up dripped marinade or juices that drip on base. I must say these people are so thorough in their explanation.
I started with fruit, as I enjoy snacking on Trail mix while playing golf, good nourishment. I started with apples, I cut in half, core, place on cutting board sprinkled with lemon juice and slice thin. Sprinkle more lemon juice on apples to keep them from turning brown. Pat dry before placing on tray in dehydrator. Banana’s work good, but must use firm banana’s, peeled and sliced thin same as for apples sprinkled with lemon juice, drained and pat dry. I used plums, grapes (score skin), strawberries (my favorite) and firm apricots or peaches sliced thin, need lemon juice here also. I peel oranges, separate in half, lay flat side on cutting board and slice thin, very good flavor.
Now the drying does take some time, from 10-12 hours. I usually have to rotate some fruit as some dry faster. Start in the morning and should be finished that evening. To make my trail mix, I add wide coconut flakes, mixed nuts, and sunflower seeds and if the golf game is good, the whole world is perfect.
The only vegetables I have found the best luck with, was onions, garlic, mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes. Just slice thin and place on drying racks. I just have not had good luck with other vegetables. I am satisfied with these listed, so l don’t fool with the others they recommend. I keep these in sealed glass jars, and they work great for soups, sauces and dips.
The roll-up sheet works great for fruit leather and making meat jerky. The fruit roll-ups, use any cleaned fruits in blender, adding honey (not sugar) to sweeten and pour on roll-up tray and dehydrate for 8-10 hours. My grandchildren liked these and so do I as a snack.
My husband liked the beef jerky, I buy the lean beef roast or round steak and slice meat in thin strips. Marinade these strips over night in your favorite marinade. I use 1/2 cup Soy sauce, 1 clove garlic,2 T ketchup, 2 T brown sugar, 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to 2 pounds of meat cut in strips. Next morning put roll-up sheet in bottom and lay meat strips on trays to dry. Rotate meat as they dry usually takes 10-12 hours, remove roll-up sheet after marinade stops dripping.
POTPOURRI FOR ALL
This machine also works great for drying flowers, herbs and orange peel. Pick flowers after dew is gone, place in dehydrator as soon as picked. Depending on the thickness of the flower, the drying time will vary from 5 to 24 hours. If you grow your own herbs, such as Rosemary, Sweet Marjoram, Lavender or sweet basil, they worked great dried from 3-5 hours. I have dried orange and lemon peel, using a vegetable peeler, peel strips of only the colored part. This peel takes only 5-6 hours.
To mix up your potpourri, just toss your flower petals, herbs and orange or lemon peel. I use some extra potpourri oils to refresh the fragrance. These work great in baskets places around the house, or ornamental glass jars.
This instruction book tells you how to rehydrate all fruits and vegetables, but I never tried that. I enjoyed them all as they came out of the dehydrator. They list some recipes, several marinades, even baby food. I believe you will enjoy this dehydrator, it does take some time, but while it is working away, you can be doing other things. The cost is reasonable enough for anyone to give this a try. TO ACCEPT GOOD ADVICE IS BUT TO INCREASE ONE’S OWN ABILITY!!!!
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