Tuesday, August 03, 2010

DIY Recycled food dehydrator

Ok, first things first, humans have been using the sunshine to preserve foods for, well forever really.  Some of our modern delicacies like raisins and sun-dried tomatoes are still done in this manner.  Don't be afraid to try your own hand at drying food items.  It's fun, fresh from the organic garden and the power is free so it's an all around green living project.

I don't know what I was waiting for when I said last year that 2010 would be the year I'd actually go buy myself a food dehydrator.  Good thing I lacked follow through on that one. Instead I found out it's easy to dehydrate my food with no "special" plastic gadget.

This summer I'm working on some specialty items like a healing tea made from only the tips of my organic herbs and a special garden recipe Summer Sunshine beef soup mix.  In order to make these, along with some other items, I would have to dry and dehydrate some herbs, fruits and vegetables.  Of course being me, I tend to follow my whims and inspirations, I didn't really plan when or how I would do this.

One day last week we visited some friends on the mainland who have a HUGE garden.  It was the first time I was offered zucchini this year and I jumped at the offer. (Thanks Parks family!)

That night when I walked across the passenger only ferry (early dry dock for the Whatcom Chief this year) I was carrying 4 very nice zucchini in my bag 2 large and 2 mediums.

The original plan was to make zucchini bread but when I woke up the next morning it occurred to me that those zucchini would make a wonderful addition to my Summer Sunshine soup mix.

I had already been drying different herbs in shoe boxes and hanging them in bundles in the sunshine.  Why not cut up and dehydrate those zucchini?  But how?  My shoe box method wasn't going to do the trick for these fluid filled beauties.  That's when I began my recycling brainstorm.  Here's what I came up with.

Making a Recycled Food Dehydrator

Materials:
  • A plastic flat from the garden nursery.  I have many of these because we can't recycle them here, so I am always looking for a way to re purpose them.
  • Wire mesh scraps.  Hardware cloth with a 1/2 or finer works great.  (Alternately you could use window screen)
  • Tin snips or some other metal shears
  • Sunshine and time
Step 1:  Gather your materials.  Measure or eyeball your nursery flat to your mesh.  Cut the mesh to line the bottom of the nursery flat.  If using narrower scraps, just cut 2 pieces that fit inside and overlap them inside of the flat

Step 2:  Gather the item you want to dehydrate and add to the tray on top of the mesh liner.  On a sunny day things like herbs generally are dry the very next day, but items with more water like my zucchinis take a bit longer.


1/4 " hardware cloth
Step 3:  Place in a sunny area.  Choose a spot where it will be protected from wind, animals and rain.  This spot should also allow for air to circulate beneath your tray, so you may want to set it on 2 pieces of wood to elevate it slightly from the table or other surface.  I placed mine inside of my garden.  The fencing protects it from curious critters and raccoon prowlers.

Fresh sage leaves set out to dry for winter
Step 4:  Check your items daily for moisture content. If they are still damp toss or stir them and leave in the sun another day.  For long term storage your dehydrated food will need to be VERY dry.  Moisture remaining in the food is problematic and can be a place for mold to occur.  If your items need to be left out over night and you are concerned with flies or other insects (particularly when doing fruits) cover over them with another piece of your mesh or with some screen.

Step 5:  Once dried, store your items in labeled mason jars and use in your favorite recipes.  I'm saving mine for those gray winter days so I can taste the sunshine!

Here's some more photos from my sun drying adventures, so kick back, put your feet up and enjoy!



22 comments:

  1. What a great idea! I love cooking with fresh spices but I always have tons leftover. If I don't freeze it in time I end up tossing the spices which I don't like to do!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would like to exchange links with your site fatbottombags.blogspot.com
    Is this possible?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fabulous idea Christi and i can attempt some of them. Others, I may have to invest in a food dehdyrator, as the sun doesn't come out that often in Scotland, sadly :(

    ReplyDelete
  4. It is very interesting for me to read this post. Thanks the author for it. I like such themes and everything that is connected to this matter. I definitely want to read a bit more on that blog soon.

    Julia Benedict

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fantastic blog, I hadn't come across fatbottombags.blogspot.com earlier in my searches!
    Keep up the great work!

    ReplyDelete
  6. new follower from linky love
    theknitwitbyshair.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Pretty cool site you've got here. Thanks for it. I like such topics and anything connected to them. I would like to read more on that blog soon.

    Kate Smith

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow neat! This is a really great site! I am wondering if anyone else has come across something
    like this in the past? Keep up the great work!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Your phrase is matchless... :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow, pretty great post. How will I find that subscription?

    Mary Stepman
    spy detection devices

    ReplyDelete
  11. [url=http://www.decorative-concrete.me/]decorative concrete[/url]
    Not just is cement purposeful, it lends itself to some huge variety of style choices which may make a dramatic distinction in home landscaping plans, too as enhance house values. Additionally towards the conventional look, concrete can hold the ornamental appearance, really feel, and color of brick, tile, slate, or stone. Nowadays Cement Finishes have expanded to consist of an astounding array of decorative options. Occasionally referred to as a cement driveway or painted cement, Ornamental Cement is 1 from the most affordable methods to spruce up the entrance with a property. Even though Plain gray Concrete is nonetheless set up most typically, far more people today are catching on on the dazzling results achievable with ornamental cement, and seeing the instant curb attraction a ornamental driveway can give to any home, regardless of what the type. There are many causes why you should possess the vertical stamping in your cement slabs. They improve the attractiveness of the home and on the similar time, add worth on your home so that you will probably be benefited in case you promote your residence in future. The vertical overlays have various advantages in in contrast for the other possibilities offered. For example, it is possible to achieve an outstanding quantity of particulars in the style with this type of decoration. They are perfect to have the delicate and subtle hand curving that can be extremely exact. What's extra, there is no reason to walk around the floor to accomplish the stamping.
    [url=http://www.decorative-concrete.me/]decorative concrete[/url]


    [url=http://www.decorative-concrete.me/]decorative concrete[/url]


    decorative concrete
    decorative concrete
    decorative concrete

    ReplyDelete
  12. [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/flowers+shaped+vectors.html]flowers shaped vectors[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/wiisuper+mario+galaxy+2pal.html]wiisuper mario galaxy 2pal[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/peugeot+box.html]peugeot box[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/jonathan+jeremiah+happiness.html]jonathan jeremiah happiness[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/k+r+botkar.html]k r botkar[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/t+shirt+factory+vector.html]t shirt factory vector[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/shameless+us+pilot.html]shameless us pilot[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/bbf+maria+holic+08+avi.html]bbf maria holic 08 avi[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/jessica+e+grazi+carnaval+priv.html]jessica e grazi carnaval priv[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/myriad+pro+light+fonts.html]myriad pro light fonts[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/hot+gay+x.html]hot gay x[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/droptorrent+1+0+install+exe.html]droptorrent 1 0 install exe[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/rns+e+2010+dvd1.html]rns e 2010 dvd1[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/book+1+twilight+pdf.html]book 1 twilight pdf[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/titan+media+desire.html]titan media desire[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/after+effects+plugin+particle+illusion.html]after effects plugin particle illusion[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/itune+9.0.html]itune 9.0[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/evermotion+archmodel+59.html]evermotion archmodel 59[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/gay+bel.html]gay bel[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/packaging+torrent.html]packaging torrent[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/hackers+1995+dvdrip+300.html]hackers 1995 dvdrip 300[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/susanne+lombeck.html]susanne lombeck[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/movie+dvd+design.html]movie dvd design[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/mein+name+is+earl.html]mein name is earl[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/cyndi+lauper+320.html]cyndi lauper 320[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/vitor+ramil+tango.html]vitor ramil tango[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/ratchet+clank+3psp.html]ratchet clank 3psp[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/cheryl+cole+parachute+2010+jb59.html]cheryl cole parachute 2010 jb59[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/photography+studio+flash+site+template.html]photography studio flash site template[/url]
    [url=http://hoohi-mach.com/search/adobe+2010.html]adobe 2010[/url]

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love you're home made dehydrator! I wish we had enough sunshine here in the UK to be able to do that! I dried my home grown courgettes in my (sadly, plastic) dehydrator this year and am looking forward to adding them to stews and things this winter :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Damn, truly cool information. Where will I find this subscription?

    Whitny Swift
    bug detection

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi there,

    This is a question for the webmaster/admin here at fatbottombags.blogspot.com.

    Can I use some of the information from your post above if I give a backlink back to this website?

    Thanks,
    Harry

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey I think you have a great blog going here, I found it on Bing and plan on returning regularly for the information that you all are providing.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great post. Waiting for you to continue the topic.

    Julia Smith
    escorts in west london

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello there,

    Thanks for sharing the link - but unfortunately it seems to be down? Does anybody here at fatbottombags.blogspot.com have a mirror or another source?


    Cheers,
    Jack

    ReplyDelete
  19. Simply want to say your article is as tonishing. The clearness in your post is simply spectacular and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your rss feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Great page. Ready to read more.

    Joan Hakkinen
    ukraine escort service

    ReplyDelete
  21. Many thanks for taking the time to write this kind of beneficial post, it's recently been very helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Excellent assignment. Always keep blogging!

    ReplyDelete

Questions? Comments? I'd love to hear what you think!

AddThis

Share |
Related Posts with Thumbnails