Food Dehydrator Info

You are experiencing the full potential and complement of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes nature provided in that compact package. There's no nutritional loss due to the heat of cooking, nor loss of water soluble vitamins and minerals. If your apple was organically grown, you aren't ingesting artificial preservatives, food dyes, or other man-made chemicals, simulated sugars, or 'enhancers'.
Dehydrating is the best way to preserve the essence of a raw apple, as well as other fruits and vegetables.

Dehydrating doesn't subject foods to high temperatures associated with traditional canning methods. For safety reasons, low-acid foods are heated to temperatures of 240F degrees in a pressure canner. High-acid produce reaches a temperature of 212F in a water-bath canner. When a raw food is heated to an internal temperature of 120F or higher, much of it's nutritional value is lost, especially enzymes. Canning also leaches out water soluble vitamins and minerals, which further depletes the healthful qualities of raw-living foods

  Excalibur ~ More Dehydrating Tips and Techniques

  • Bread Making Assistant
  • Pasta Tips
  • Recrisping Crackers and Other Foods
  • Drying Bread for Bread Crumbs
  • Drying Photographs
  • Composting Aid
  • Humidifier
  • Air Freshener / Aroma Therapy
  • Save Money with Leftovers
  • Washing and Drying Trays
  • Kitchen Dryer

vantages:

Bread Making Assistant

Excalibur commercial food dehydrator – bread making assistant The perfect environment for raising bread exists right inside your Excalibur dehydrator. Remove the trays from the dehydrator, set the thermostat at 115ºF and allow the unit to preheat. Place a shallow pan of water on the bottom of the dehydrator. Insert a tray directly above the water and place the bowl of dough on the tray. Cover the dough with a cloth to keep it from drying out. Allow the dough one-half to one hour of time to rise. When it has risen, continue with preparation according to your recipe.

An Excalibur is the perfect assistant if you use a bread machine. Depending on the model, it takes 3 to 3½ (or more) hours to complete a single loaf of bread. During the same time, you can prepare dough for many loaves of bread. Let your bread machine do all of the hard work for the initial kneading. Use the dough setting and remove the dough before it starts the first rise. Place the dough into an oiled bowl, turn the dough over to oil the top, and cover tightly. Place in the refrigerator. (Or freezer*) Put your next batch of dough in your bread machine and repeat. When you have enough loaves for a baking session, place these in your Excalibur for the first rise. Punch down, when needed, based on your recipe. When ready, shape into loaves and bake as your recipe directs. Based on an estimate of 30 minutes for bread machine preparation, using an Excalibur will allow you to produce 4 loaves (or more) of bread fresh baked bread in the same 3 to 3½ hours your bread machine took to produce 1 loaf!

*Make dough by hand or using the dough cycle of your bread machine and store in the freezer. On baking day, remove from the freezer. Use your Excalibur to expedite the final preparation steps for baking."

 

Pasta Tips

Excalibur No need for separate pasta racks! Place strips of freshly made pasta in single layers onto your drying trays. Dry for 2 to 4 hours at 135ºF. Store in airtight packages.

Dry cooked pasta (smaller varieties work best) and break into bite size pieces, if applicable. Store in air tight containers. It rehydrates in 2-3 minutes in boiling water. Add some cooked pasta to heat-and-eat microwave meals.

Powder some of your dried vegetables in a blender or food processor. Add the powder to your pasta recipe for a change of pace. Also adds another level of nutrition to your pasta in addition to being a tremendous flavor enhancer. Check some of the commercially prepared pasta for ideas. Then, experiment with amounts and combinations of vegetable powders according to your flavor preferences. You may elect to try basil and tomato, asparagus, beets, mushrooms, spinach, carrots, to name a few. For ease of combination, add your vegetable powder to your beaten eggs. Stir in the powder and let it sit for a few minutes, then continue with your recipe. Start out with 1 tablespoon of dried powder for each egg in your pasta recipe, then adjust according to your tastes. You may need more or less, depending on the intensity of the flavors of various vegetables.

Drying Bread for Bread Crumbs

 

Put your extra breads of all types in your Excalibur to dry for making bread crumb recipes. Dry slices, burger buns, dog rolls, and other breads until they are crispy. Crumble by hand or process for a few seconds in your food processor. Store in air tight containers until needed. Add your favorite herbs and spices to create stuffing mixes for side dishes or poultry stuffing.

 

Recrisping Crackers and Other Foods

There is no need to trow away crackers, chips, cookies or cereal that have become stale. Recrisp those items by placing them in a single layer on the drying trays and drying them for 1 hour at 145ºF. 

 

Drying Photographs

 

Dehydrator  

To dry photographs, treat and wash as usual. Shake or squeegee off the excess liquid and place on the drying trays. Dry until no wet spots remain. (Note: Dry only photographs that have been printed on resin-water stock. Other types will wrinkle unless pressed flat.)

Save Money with Leftovers

If your family doesn't like leftovers, many of them can be dehydrated for future use. Dehydrate cooked meats to use later in rice dishes, tacos, camping stews, and soup mixes. Dehydrate cooked vegetables to be used for instant cup-of-soup mixes. Turn applesauce and other fruits into fruit rollups.

When you have to purchase produce in fixed amounts, but don't need all of it for a recipe, dehydrate the leftovers. Good candidates for this are celery, bunches of parsley or other herbs, carrots, and vegetable tops when your recipe calls for the bottoms. Another candidate for this are bulk packages of all types of foodstuffs when unit pricing indicates those packages are the best bargain. When you open the container, use what you need for your immediate usage, then dehydrate the rest.

Washing and Drying Trays

 Excalibur dehydrator trays are dishwasher safe. However, you may prefer to wash them by hand. In that event, you'll find these tips to be useful.

  • Wash your trays and inserts, then place them in the Excalibur for drying. In just a few minutes your trays will be dried and stored away, too. If your sink is too small to wash the trays, purchase a plastic storage box just a little larger than your trays.
  • Fill with hot soapy water and use it as a dish pan. Store your ParaFlexx sheets in the storage box, between uses.
  • A vegetable scrub brush makes quick work of any bits of sticky fruit that may have stuck to Polyscreen sheets. It only takes a couple of minutes soaking time in hot soapy water to release those bits.
  • An easy way to rinse flexible Polyscreen sheets is to stack them in your sink. Use your sprayer to rinse all of them at the same time. Since the sheets are flexible, they should fit all except the very smallest kitchen sinks.

 

Composting Aid

Use your Excalibur to assist in producing fine compost for your garden. During winter months many people have problems incorporating kitchen leftovers into their frozen compost pile. Dry those leftovers, instead! Dehydrate potato peelings, coffee grounds, and other non-fat organic kitchen wastes. Store the dried products in a covered container under your sink. No smell, no muss! When the weather permits, add the contents of your container to your compost bin.

Humidifier

When cold weather forces the thermostat higher and higher, the humidity in many homes becomes lower and lower. Humidity can drop so low that wooden furniture begins to shrink and nasal passages begin to suffer. Place a shallow pan of water in your Excalibur to provide another source of humidity for your home. Set the temperature to suit your needs. The higher the temperature, the faster the Excalibur will evaporate the water.

Air Freshener - Aroma Therapy

Many experienced with a dehydrator have noticed the delightful aroma that many drying projects perfume the air. This is a side benefit while those projects are drying. This benefit can be enhanced by using your Excalibur as an air freshener when it's not in use for other purposes. Add any combination of ingredients, wet or dry, to your dehydrator to achieve this goal.

Dry fresh evergreen branches
Dry a wet sponge containing a few drops of vanilla flavoring
Make your own scented candles and keep them in your dehydrator.

Kitchen Dryer

Use your Excalibur to dry a variety of items. For example, you can place small, hand-washed, clothing items in your dehydrator to dry them. Or, you can place children's wet gloves and mittens in the Excalibur when they come in from playing in the snow. An added bonus is that they will be warm and toasty when the children go outside again.

Toss your damp dish towel in for a quick drying when you finish the dishes. Did you know that a damp dish towel, hung inside the cabinet under your sink, dries slowly due to lack of air circulation? This provides extra time for bacteria, molds, and fungi to grow.

Speed up drying of many types of crafts projects by using your Excalibur. If your children are making paper mache projects, dry them in your dehydrator. Simply remove as many shelves as you need to make space for the project. Select drying times and temperatures according to the needs of the individual craft projects.