Last month I got lucky and came across a brand new Nesco Food Dehydrator at a garage sale. My sister Andrea has been drying fruits for a couple of years and we all beg her for samples of our favorites (mine being the cherries and cinnamon apples). I picked up the $70 dehydrator for a steal at $15.
I’ve experimented with different items over the last month and found a few that work well (strawberries, mushrooms and apples) and those that don’t work so well (blueberries and watermelon). Some foods require extra preparation before drying (blueberries: dip briefly in boiling water until skins crack cauliflower: blanch). The user guide has specific instructions for different fruits, vegetables, jerky and herbs.
This is a great way to preserve foods so I can enjoy them in the future. Dried fruit takes up less room and keeps better than freezing the fresh fruit. Of course right now my daughter is eating the strawberries and apples as soon as I can make them so there’s not much to store. I’ve been re-hydrating the mushrooms to use in omelets and other recipes. Drying your own fruits, vegetables and herbs can save you money and give you healthier snack options.