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During all of this research on canning foods and growing veggies, I started to become pretty curious about dried foods. I’ve enjoyed dried apples, apricots, and especially mango. Could I do it successfully on my own?
I read reviews of the available dehydrators. Excaliber and Nesco seemed to be the most popular. Given that I’m not sure I’d like drying foods (or eating them after), I wasn’t about to spend the money on a big machine like Excaliber. So I got a good, affordable, and mostly respected Nesco machine. (Specifically, Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro)
I’m pretty happy with the ease of use. You just put sliced food on the trays, stack them, plug it in, and set the temp. Then let it whir all night.
To experiment, I grabbed out some food that was on the older side and sliced it up.
I made up one tray of strawberries, 1 1/2 trays of sweet potato (for the pups), and 1 1/2 trays of zucchini (tossed with olive oil and salt to make chips).
The strawberries were pretty chewy and I like that they are tart and not overly sweet.
The zucchini chips were best right out of the dehydrator. I ate half of them nice and warm, but the rest went from crispy to chewy within a few hours.
Then the sweet potato chips. Supposedly dogs really love these, but mine would have nothing to do with them. I had to dip them in peanut butter to get them to eat some. I probably won’t do that version again.
Anyway, a curious and fairly successful first try at drying foods. I have a slew of apples now that I’ll try with, and I’ll probably sprinkle some with cinnamon sugar before drying.