Dehydrator?

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jennyannlowe

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I was thinking about how to procure ingredients free, or from sources other than ordering from a supplier.

for example, my son loves oranges. Eats them by the bag. I was thinking about the orange peels....and I was thinking about how i could utilize them.

It just so happens on craigslist someone who lives close to me has a food dehydrator for $10 brand new.

So, besides citrus peels, orange, lime, lemon to dehydrate and ground up....what other ideas do you guys have for obtaining ingredients through dehydration of food stuffs? I ordered some sodium lactate, so I"ll be putting that in my soaps and I understand that is a preservative, so even if I am drying them out, it is a backup.

but are there other items that come to mind? Trying to decide if I should go get it.

Course Im gonna tell my husband, "look honey, I got this so you can make jerky!"
 

Obsidian

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I use mine to dry herbs/flowers for soap use and I've even dried carrot so I could grind it into powder for soap making. I use it a lot for food too, especially dried fruit like apples, pears and plums.
 

Seawolfe

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I use my dehydrator all the time for fruits and jerky and veggies. My latest thing is dehydrating cut onions and whole or half garlic bulbs and making seasoning mixes in my grinder. Oh and things for teas: citrus fruits and peels, fennel, apple peels.

However I have yet to dehydrate anything I use in soaps - Im not a big fan of chunks in my soap I guess. Oh wait - I did dehydrate a bunch of lavender for my garden, grind it up and use in soap mixed in and as a pencil line. That went well.

Any road I think a dehydrator is a great addition. And its easy to cut out liners from parchment paper if you are dehydrating small things.
 

shunt2011

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I make jerky and dehydrate fruits and veggies. However, Sodium Lactate is not a preservative. It will increase bubbles and make a harder soap for unmolding.
 

Obsidian

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Seawolf, try grating some carrots finely, drying, grinding then infusing into a oil. I got great orange color and all the goodness of carrot without having to add puree or straight juice which always overheats on me.
I never though about drying citrus peel for tea use, what a good idea.
 
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cmzaha

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I only find dehydrators good if you have a quality dehydrator. There was a time I think I purchased every round or what was popular at the time and they were not worth the hrs of electricity to run them for a batch of dried fruit/veggies. I now have an Excalibur which I have had for at least 10 yrs and love it. Only thing I am sorry about with my xcali is that I did not buy the larger one.
 

likeablelady

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food dehydrator

Yes, you should pick it up. I bought one this past summer, and they are not cheap. You cannot go wrong for $10
 

Seawolfe

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I only find dehydrators good if you have a quality dehydrator. There was a time I think I purchased every round or what was popular at the time and they were not worth the hrs of electricity to run them for a batch of dried fruit/veggies. I now have an Excalibur which I have had for at least 10 yrs and love it. Only thing I am sorry about with my xcali is that I did not buy the larger one.
I have a cruddy round one, but someday I will attain the grandeur of an Excaliber!
 

cinnamaldehyde

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For $10 you can deal with it not being the world's best deyhdrator! Totally jealous over here!

Dehydrate for soap... botanicals, flowers, herbs, citrus peel, citrus slices for decorating tops of soap, beet root (to powder)

Dehydrate for eating... fruits (my faves are pineapple and peaches), veggies (except cucumber - eew), ground meat, meat for jerky, soups, stews, pumpkin pie filling (mmm! Pumpkin bark), tomato sauce, salsa, fruit leather. If you do any camping or backpacking, a dehydrator will quickly become your best friend!
 

SoapingChick

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That sounds sooo cheap! I would get it, but that may be because you just wouldn't ever find them at that price in Denmark. Be aware they can really run up your electricity bill, if it's now powerfull it needs to run a long time..
With that being said, you can use it for any and everything, that needs to be dry(er). You can even make super healthy jerky and 'fruit-leather' (yummy!! no added sugar/salt or bad stuff and your own favorite combo's/seasoning - with your own delicious home-dried herbs!) and I'm thinking for soap making in particular, drying flowers/herbs, slices of lemon for decorations and maybe you can even dry stuff like pureed carrots or berries and then pulverize 'em to put in face scrubs and stuff..
Oh now I wan't one even more! Regardless of the power bill..
Good luck!
 

IrishLass

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Right here, silly!
I ordered some sodium lactate, so I"ll be putting that in my soaps and I understand that is a preservative, so even if I am drying them out, it is a backup.
Like Shari (Shunt) said- sodium lactate is not a preservative. But it is great for adding a bit of an oomph to your lather, a bit of extra hardness to your bars, and for making unmolding easier....and also for making HP batter more fluid and for helping liquid soap paste dissolve quicker.... and it also works as a humectant in lotion formulas. So even though it won't help you one whit on the preservative front, it's still quite useful for other things for sure! :)


IrishLass :)
 

jennyannlowe

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Hmmm... Maybe the preservative was a different "sodium something" ... I ordered the sodium lactate to add hardness. So far I like making goats milk and the batches I like best tend to be a little soft. And when it comes to additives that seems to be the one a lot of people use.
 

DeeAnna

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Sodium lactate as a preservative is a new one on me too. I learned today that SL is approved as an additive in meat and processed meat products like sausage. It increases shelf life and improves water retention. It preserves food by inhibiting the growth of anaerobic bacteria.

"...The Food Directorate has concluded that the available data demonstrate the efficacy of lactates as antibacterial agents against spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms in cooked and uncooked meat products and poultry meat products when used at levels of 2% to 4%. ... Lactates are therefore effective in extending the shelf-life of, for example, treated cooked meat and poultry meat products to several weeks depending on the product...." Source: Health Canada, http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/consult/nom-adm-0001/document-consultation-eng.php

I am not seeing anything definitive about the use of SL as a preservative in B&B products, including soap, however. B&B or cosmetic products need a preservative that offers long-term and broad spectrum efficacy. A preservative in bolgona with a shelf life of weeks might not be acceptable in a lotion that should have a shelf life of months. Not saying that info is not out there -- just that I'm not seeing anything reputable on a quick search.

http://chemistscorner.com/how-to-prevent-contamination-in-cosmetic-products/
http://chemistscorner.com/alternative-cosmetic-preservatives-what-are-your-options/
 

cmzaha

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That sounds sooo cheap! I would get it, but that may be because you just wouldn't ever find them at that price in Denmark. Be aware they can really run up your electricity bill, if it's now powerfull it needs to run a long time..
With that being said, you can use it for any and everything, that needs to be dry(er). You can even make super healthy jerky and 'fruit-leather' (yummy!! no added sugar/salt or bad stuff and your own favorite combo's/seasoning - with your own delicious home-dried herbs!) and I'm thinking for soap making in particular, drying flowers/herbs, slices of lemon for decorations and maybe you can even dry stuff like pureed carrots or berries and then pulverize 'em to put in face scrubs and stuff..
Oh now I wan't one even more! Regardless of the power bill..
Good luck!
A couple of the less expensive round ones would take up to 3 days of constant running. Guess what that did for the electric bill. But for $10 it is worth a try.
 

Steve85569

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We have a couple of electric and a home made stand alone screen box that is for summer use. Set the stand alone on the deck and dry things using the sun and reflected heat from the side of the house. It's amazing how much it will dry and how quickly.

If you don't have one get one even if you only try it for a little while and pass it on to someone else it's a good experience to have.
 

Obsidian

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I have a round one and it will dry apple slices in 5 hours or so, herbs only take around 1 hour. What took the longest is when I juiced some carrots, mixed most of the juice back into the pulp then dried it. I had to run the dryer daily for 2-3 days, I'll never do it that way again. I got some great concentrated carrot powder though.
 

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