Yield: 1 servings
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Remember that MOVEMENT OF WARM AIR is the principle of the dehydrator.
Conditons at all times should encourage the movement of air. Food and herbs should be arranged with open spaces between pieces to expedite drying. After the original wilting or shrinking, materials can be consolidated to make more rooms. Loosely arranged material is the rule of thumb.
TEMPERATURE CONTROL requires the use of a thermometer to help the operator become familiar with management of various materials to be dried. Temperatures should range between 95F and 105F, but not more thatn 110F. The warmer temperatures require closer supervision so that drying may be stopped at the ideal point. Temperature is controlled first by proper regulation of the heating unit, and second, by.... VENTILATION. The top cover of you dehydrator is more that it may seem. It provides both work surface and ventilation control, vital to proper dehydrations. Top must be open to allow for removal of moisture from the drying foods, and to help control the temperature. Amount of opening will vary, but usually about two inches is adequate. The dryer top isdesigned to be a functional work sruface, for preparation and packaging of dried materials. TRAY CARE is simple and easy. Wiping with a damp cloth is often all that is needed. When necessary, trays can be washed and brushed, towel dried and replaced in the dehydrator to finish the drying cycle. DON'T OVERLOAD YOUR TRAYS. They'll hold a lot, but too much weight will cause strain on the trays. Reasonable care in handling will assure a long life for the trays, and unit. LOAD LIMITS. If operation instructions have been followed, the dehydrator should work at full capacity. However, if for instance, all trays are filled with moist fruit, the drying may seem slowat first.... but temperature checking and TRAY ROTATION will assure that dehydration proceeds successfully.
Tray rotation simply means to KEEP THE FOOD NEAREST COMPLETION ON THE BOTTOM, so that moisture from other trays won't be transferred to the nearly dry material. Remembering that heat and the moisture with it, rises. TURNING THE TRAYS a quarter of a turn each time you check the contents of your dryer, will also help ensure even drying. DRYING VERY JUICY FOODS (Fruit Leathers) is easy with the help of plastic wrap like Saran Wrap, or Handi-Wrap. Parchment paper can be used for 'baking' Granola and breakfast cookies. If you need to, only cover half of the drying surface on each tray so that as you stack the trays, you can alternate. (right half of bottom tray, left half of next one, etc) STRONG SMELLING FOODS such as fish, should be dried seperately, but may be place directly on the tray. Wash trays after such use to be sure that any odor or residue will not affect the flavor of whatever is dried next. CAREFUL STORAGE is vital for keeping foods at peak quality. Correct storage must eliminate MOISTURE, AIR, AND LIGHT, and at the same time, remain convenient.
For this purpose, fairly heavy plastic bags are both functional and reuseable. Store small quantities of everything, an amount suitable for your own family's needs. This not only makes it simpler for you to use your stored food, but also prevents contamination of large amounts of food should a small quantity, for any reason, begin to spoil. This is REAL food, no addedcolors, no chemical preservatives, and can be mighty tempting to a bug. Careful storage will prevent possible insect infestation. Glass container are excellent too, but they do require more shelf room. Careful consideration must be taken to seal jars securely, so that no air or moisture can enter. With all the stored foods, and ESPECIALLY herbs, DARKNESS IS VITAL. LABEL EVERYTHING. Labeling is part of packaging. It is quite disconcerting to pick up a lovely package of herb tea, and wonder just what herb it is! (When drying several kinds at once, this can happen within MINUTES of bagging it) In the herb kingdom, there are many look alikes and even smell alikes. The correct NAME AND DATE should be apparent at a glance. Origin: Dry It - You'll Like it, circa 1973.
Shared by: Sharon Stevens, Jan/95.
Submitted By SHARON STEVENS On 04-05-95