Dehydrating food preserves it, making it shelf stable. Dehydrated fruits and vegetables can be used for cooking, for baking or for eating out of hand. If you have more fruit, berries or vegetables than you can use before it perishes, a home food dehydrator like the one made by Deni allows you to make your own dehydrated foods economically. The Deni food dehydrator can be found at most retailers that carry small appliances.
Things You'll Need
- Sharp knife
- Vegetable peeler
- Steamer basket
- Lemon juice
Remove the trays from the Deni food dehydrator and wash with warm soapy water. Set the unit on a counter and plug it in. Turn the unit on and allow it to preheat for 5 to 10 minutes while you prepare the food for drying.
Wash fruits or vegetables. Small fruits and berries can be dried whole. Core or pit fruits, if necessary. Peel fruits and vegetables and slice to about 1/4-inch thick.
Steam blanch fruit or vegetables, if desired. Steam blanching is not necessary for fruit, but can improve the flavor of the finished product. To steam blanch, place 1 inch of water into a saucepan and place a metal steam basket over the water. Bring the water to a boil. Add the food, cover and steam for about 2 minutes.
Dunk blanched or raw sliced fruit or vegetables into lemon juice, if desired, to prevent browning.
Place prepared food in single layers on the trays. Do not allow the pieces to overlap. Place each tray into the preheated dehydrator and put the cover on top.
Open the vent in the lid and allow the dehydrator to work for 6 to 10 hours for sliced fruits and vegetables or 24 hours for whole small fruit or berries.
Tips & Warnings
- The Deni food dehydrator can also be used to make meat jerky. The raw meat must be sliced to 1/4-inch thin and marinated with salt before drying.
- Pureed fruit can be dehydrated into fruit leather using the solid fruit roll tray.
- Do not submerge the Deni food dehydrator in water when cleaning.
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