Last week my husband did some work for a customer and they had several cases of blueberries and offered him two cases. That meant he came home with 24 pints of blueberries.
Luckily I'd been using the Dehydrator to make beef jerky and dried banana slices and crispy almonds [affiliate link] for our upcoming trip; otherwise, I would probably have not even considered the option of drying the berries.
I found in my dehydrator that I can dry eight pints at once, if I'm really careful to line up all the blueberries carefully.
Here they are after they are all dried out. Some of the littler ones were so small they were falling through the cracks.
As you can see they shrink down to half the size.
First I dumped each pint of berries into a colander and rinsed with water. Then I put a kitchen dish towel on a cookie sheet and dumped the blueberries onto the dish towel. I handled every single blueberry because a few were mushy and I didn't want to put mushy blueberries in to be dried.
When the blueberries had been in the dehydrator for twelve hours, I rotated the shelves and switched them all up so they would be in a different position.
When they were done, there were a few of the biggest ones that weren't done. So I ended up keeping those out from the ones I was planning to store because I figure they will go bad and ruin the others.
This is the first time I've dried fruit of any kind. My son has made beef jerky in the past, and that is the only thing we've used the dehydrator for until now.
I was thinking I should dry some carrots and squash and other vegetables to go along with the beef jerky, maybe I could brew a pot of water and pour over the dried items and make some kind of soup. I would probably have to cook the vegetables prior to drying them. At least partially cook them.
In the past I have just frozen any excess fruit like this, but since I'm not eating much fruit on GAPS, I didn't think that would be the best idea since it doesn't last forever in the freezer.
I also got a chance to use the FoodSaver that my boss gave me! I only had a short length of the plastic left but I was able to make a few packets of vacuum sealed trail mix (made with my crunchy almonds, dried blueberries, dried banana slices and dried apple slices).
Oh, and I found an Excalibur Dehydrator on Craigslist for only fifty bucks! But I guess someone got to it before me because the seller never responded to my email or phone call. Darn. I am so tempted to invest in one. I have heard they are a lot nicer than the round ones because you can lay everything out straight, plus the fan is in the back pulling from all of the shelves, and there are nine shelves! Thirteen square feet of drying area.
Do you have a food dehydrator? Do you use it regularly?