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I did a little "dry canning" today... Dehydrated 5 pounds of potatoes into hash-brown shreds. Can be re-hydrated as needed for hash-browns and potato cakes... Enjoy! Diane
Citric Acid, optional
PROCESS: Wash the potatoes, peel them, wash again, cut in half (large chunks) and boil for about 4-6 mins. Submerge in ice water that has a bit of citric acid sprinkled in the water (the cold water stops cooking action and the citric acid helps prevent browning of potatoes) Let the potatoes cool...pat dry and shred using a food processor - then lay out on dehydrating trays - dehydrate at 135-140 until dry (mine took about 5+ hours). Once completely dried, packed into jar/s - vac seal using a Foodsaver jar saver vac.
Yield: My 4-5 pound bag of Colorado Potatoes (Russets) made a quart jar full of shreds.
Cheat (easy) Method: defrost a bag of frozen hash-browns overnight and simply place on dehydrating trays to dehydrate - a great idea if you can find a great sale on the 6 pound bags.
Re-hydrate by pouring boiling water over potatoes and let sit 15 mins. then cook as usual/use in recipes.
Photos by: Diane Baker for Canning and Cooking at Home
Yes! I decided to take the "plunge" and buy my first dehydrator!! I did a bit of research and decided on a few things: I wanted a low cost unit, minimum 500watts, quieter motor with temperature control, a fan that blows downward into unit and if plastic- that it be BPA free. I got all of those. I found the Nesco FD-61 SnackMaster and Jerky Express. It's a basic unit with 4 trays and a fruit roll try included. Nesco's website also has many great recipes to offer!! I can't wait to make the Harvest Granola! My first try was marinating and dehydrating some "chip tip" beef (thin sliced beef, lean from my local butchers) this beef was the perfect cut to use for this first timer!! I used the marinade that Nesco offered in their recipe book that came with the unit. Once marinated, I dried the beef for 90 mins at the proper temp. What Nesco (and others) don't come out and say is that meats need to be precooked to at least 160 BEFORE you place into the dehydrator to ensure eColi and other nasties are killed off...you also can finish off your beef in the oven at 350 for 10 mins *this is what I did...since I didn't know this "cook before caveat" beforehand...My next 'adventure' was slicing and dehydrating peaches, bananas and apples. I will say - next time I will do bananas by themselves as they take approx 11 hours in my machine - where the apples and peaches take approx 7 hours. I do NOT pre-treat my fruit with lemon juice as some suggest - there is just 'no need' in my mind and since we live in such a low humid area - the threat of my apple slices turning brown were low...as you can see in the photo above - they look great and the taste is AMAZING!! the sugars concentrate when the moisture is wicked away and it leaves you with the amazing natural sugars and flavors!! Best Snack Eats Ever!! I will be keeping you all posted of 'future' drying adventures too :) Diane
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Diane Baker: Owner & Creator of Canning and Cooking at Home