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Anyone else own a dehydrator? I bought one years ago when I had more money than sense, and whilst it's not used massively, I find myself using it a little more now than I ever did. I'm currently drying out a 6-pack of kiwi fruit - no idea what they'll turn out like, but worth a pop I figured (they were on special offer, but they're the kind of thing I'll eat one or two then stick in the fridge and forget about normally).

 

There are a few staples I do like cherry tomatoes, and pineapples (I love pineapple, but again it would end up going manky in the fridge if I didn't dry the leftovers out for later). One I heartily recommend is mushrooms - I dry them out thoroughly then blitz them to a powder in my coffee blender (it's more like dust than powder - super fine). It's amazing for adding to soups and stews to add a real depth of flavour.

 

So, does anyone else have one, and if so any recommendations? I like looking out for stuff that's super-cheap on it's sell-by-date and then just sticking it straight in the dehydrator. I'm wondering if there's any things that are particularly good that I'm missing, or any tips for doing anything more exciting than just drying out a raw ingredient.

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I just pulled the kiwi fruit slices out. I think they'd work a treat, but these are mouth-puckeringly sour. I think the fruit was going in (I licked my fingers whilst cutting it up, and thought it was far too tart (maybe that's why they were cheap). Will still scoff them (and probably squint each time), but will happily give these another go in future. I think they'll work really well if the fruit is half-decent beforehand.

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After something of a mis-communication I received one for Christmas from my parents, and I'm far too polite to re-gift it. I'd like to put it to use though. Mushrooms sound interesting, @MarkN, do you use any particular variety? I've heard porcini powder is the bee's knees but I'm wondering if I'll get similar results from a bog-standard chestnut variety.

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1 minute ago, revlob said:

After something of a mis-communication I received one for Christmas from my parents, and I'm far too polite to re-gift it. I'd like to put it to use though. Mushrooms sound interesting, @MarkN, do you use any particular variety? I've heard porcini powder is the bee's knees but I'm wondering if I'll get similar results from a bog-standard chestnut variety.

I'd like to try something more exotic, but so far I've just used regular white mushrooms. Sliced them fairly thinly, dried them out until they were properly done for, then blitzed them. I'd imagine you'd get more complex flavours from porcini (I did buy a flavour shaker of porcini powder once which was amazing if expensive). But honestly the powder I've got from basic white mushies is really good at adding a deep Umami hit to stews, soups, chili etc. I'd give chestnut mushies a go, absolutely.

 

As mentioned in my original post it's a gadget I bought when I had more money than sense, but genuinely it's one of the few that I'd keep now (and I've spent a silly amount on gadgets in the past, most of which regretted). The mushroom powder and the tomatoes are the things I absolutely love. Pineapple slices work a treat too, and all of my other experiments that worked are just an added bonus.

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Dehydrators are used a lot in raw/vegan cooking so that might be a good place to start for ideas.

Personally, I'd be looking to make things I could dehydrate and then turn into a powder for homemade crisp flavourings.
 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 01/02/2021 at 19:31, revlob said:

After something of a mis-communication I received one for Christmas from my parents, and I'm far too polite to re-gift it. I'd like to put it to use though. Mushrooms sound interesting, @MarkN, do you use any particular variety? I've heard porcini powder is the bee's knees but I'm wondering if I'll get similar results from a bog-standard chestnut variety.

Magic Mushrooms?

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