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 Post subject: Dehydrating fruits and vegetables
Post Posted: Sep 1, 2018 11:50 am 
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Location: in a state of gratitude (well, I try to be anyway...)
A friend let me borrow her dehydrator. What fun!
I will get so much more out of my garden this way and enjoy more garden goodies this winter!!

But I have a question and can't find an answer on the internet. Surely some one in Pinecam land knows the answer.

Why are fruits processed at a higher temperature than vegetables? Everyone on the internet seems to agree that fruit is at 135 and veggies at 125, but nobody says WHY. I'm guessing it is a moisture thing, but it could be due to sugar, enzymes, specific bacteria... I have no clue.

Most internet info says to process tomatoes at 135. They are a fruit after all. But the manual to this specific dehydrator says to process tomatoes as a vegetable at 125.

Is that 10 degree differential significant???


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 Post subject: Re: Dehydrating fruits and vegetables
Post Posted: Sep 1, 2018 12:08 pm 
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I'm guessing it isn't really important. Many less expensive dehydrators
don't even have temperature control and they have recipes for both
fruits, leathers and vegetables.

I dehydrate a lot (just donated a smaller dehydrator to the Platte Canyon Community
Partnership thrift store in Bailey, by the way...) and my temperature control is more
using variables of humidity and how fragile the produce is. If you use a lower temperature,
you may need to extend the time.

I tend to stay with lower temps as some things dry around the edges before the center
gets there. Then the edges get brittle.

There may be some science to worry about but I have done everything from beef jerky
to Colorado red apricots, carrots to tomatoes and all ended up fine without a recipe.
If it's humid, I up the temps or fruit takes forever. Low humidity, I lower the temps so the
mushrooms don't get too hard.

When I do tomatoes I slice them, salt them very lightly to encourage them to give up
the moisture and often add Italian herbs. When they are dry, It stack the dried slices in jars.
Having them seasoned allows me to grab fistful, crush them between my hands and add them
to Mexican, Italian or American dishes as they cook. More tomato flavor needed, crush in
more tomatoes. I have done three or four bushels in a year to get me through the winter.
Or you can rehydrate your vegetables in water, wine or broth before using.
Happy dehydrating. I love it!!
Mrs. BGR

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 Post subject: Re: Dehydrating fruits and vegetables
Post Posted: Sep 1, 2018 1:20 pm 
Oh my, Big Time poster!
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Location: in a state of gratitude (well, I try to be anyway...)
That's helpful, thanks Mrs BGR.

So most likely it is just a time/moisture thing and not a science thing. That is comforting. I suspect 125 is better (to preserve more nutrients) but it could take forever!

I'm mostly dehydrating garden goodies to make a soup mix. Seems like a good way to preserve some food and prepare some easy meals.

But also drying broccoli leaves and kale to make a nutrient dense green powder - mostly for the chickens and my dog, but it may find its way into some smoothies too.

I have cherry tomatoes running right now! I pretreated with a citric acid bath and then I did add some sea salt just before I started it up. Time will tell...

It's very labor intensive, but so far I'm okay with that.

Well back to finishing up a batch of my yummy zucchini relish! :eat:


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