Anybody else using this method for food preservation? My wife and I began using it this year, and so far have achieved excellent results. The method reduces the weight of a product by an average of 60-90%, and the bulk by at least as much. We have rehydrated strawberries, tomato puree, zuchinni, squash, onions, peppers, and peaches so far, with excellent results. For example, 28 cups of tomato puree fits into a quart jar with room to spare. We have an Excalibur dehydrator, which is far better than the old Nesco stackable we used to have. It is well worth the expense for anyone interested in dehydrating food for long-term storage. We also got a Pro 2100 vacuum sealer, but have just acquired it, so I will update once we have used it some.
Vacuum sealing and dehydrating are the best methods I have found for preservation and storage of food. Whether you are storing up food for a "rainy day", or just tired of the canning game, this method deserves a look.
Great Idea... Elliot Coleman got me thinking along these lines also....
How do you dry in the sun?
I want to learn more - and do not think the Excaliber type dehydrators are up to par for my purposes for 2 reasons:
One they take electricity and that might not always be available when you need to dry the most.
Two. I am thinking of drying a few hundred pounds of just tomatoes and they sorta need to be dried as soon as they are ripe.
I would like to hear anyone's thoughts on using a hoop house to dry in as they get ungodly hot most any-time of the year and should work well though I have no experience in doing so.
For long term storage I am thinking of mylar heat sealable bags as it is my understanding that plastic allows air in over the long term.
There are vacuum sealers that will work with these mylar bags. BTW I get all my mylar at http://sorbentsystems.com/mylar.html
I am also interested in drying potatoes so let me know what you learn
I've been learning how to use the sun during summer, and then loving my Excalibur right now. The one I have according to the manual, costs 25 cents a day to run. The beauty of dehydrated foods is that once you are done, like you shared, vacuum seal it.
I'm wanting to get out video's how to dehydrated the very meals you enjoy for supper as well. I'm not certain on the shelf life of each dehydrated item, but I do know they last longer than canned foods do. So far what I've tested also tastes better when rehydrated than frozen or canned.
I'm looking for a good vacuum sealer, do let us know how you enjoy yours?
We eat a lot of wild edibles, and they dry nicely in the sun as well. My dehydrator has 9 shelves allowing me to dry a lot at a time. I believe whatever product you have, it needs to have a thermostat. No sense using the dehydrators that basically kill all your healthy enzymes. The Excalibur comes with a timer, and a thermometer telling you what foods to dehyrdate at what temperature. Speaking of which, I need to get offline and get some more deer soaking for jerky :)
This isn't a plug.....for anyone interested I did a video series on making Acorn flour. The season for picking is pretty much gone, but it may be something someone here will enjoy to do for next year.
Thanks for a place to share,
I have been using mylar bags and O2 absorbers from Sorbent systens for about 5 years now. The mylar bags work great. they do have the specs for each type of bag. They are especially good in the plastic buckets. I have been using an iron to seal mine and no problems there. 5 and 7 ml mylar is what I get. I did get some bags with the clear plastic window and found that if packed too full the plastic will split easily. No need to vacume seal if using the O2 absorbers as they do the same job as the vacume. Amazing really. My pocket does not like the price increases of the mylar bags. Would be happy to split an order with others. Did not get any potatoes dried this year. Hopefully next. If anyone is interested in splitting an order personal email is the best way to contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org.
I did not know about the sprouting seeds. Makes sense as they are 'alive'. I think I processed my extra in the vacume seal bags. Will have to go check, open a package and see how they do. Should have thought they'd be the same as planting seeds. Duhhhh. Thanks for the info! Nancy