Garlic Ahhhhh……garlic! Everything I read about dehydrating garlic recommended moving your dehydrator to your porch, or better yet, your garage. I could see Warning! Warning! signs flashing all over those posts. I just rolled my eyes. You see, my family LOVES garlic. We practically sleep with it under our pillows. We put it in nearly everything and double the amount in recipes that call for it. Having the savory smell of garlic waffling through the house only brought about mouth watering anticipation. I was to soon discover the evil side of garlic.
On one of my many trips to Costco, I picked up a 3 lb. bag of peeled garlic cloves. I judiciously cut off each end of each clove then sliced each one 1/8 of an inch thick. So far, so good. The aroma was strong, as anticipated. I spread the slices out on the “just enough” 6 trays and turned the settings to 140 degrees for 12 hours.
Within the first hour, my nostrils started to burn. At the top of the second hour, the burning intensified and spread down my throat and up to my eyes. I escaped to my front porch ( ironically, just where I should have put the dehydrator) with my poor dog in tow. For the next 5 hours I camped on my front porch, only venturing into the house when mother nature called. Finally, after 6 hours, I was able to resume my activities in the house, as the garlic had mellowed to to a more subdued pleasant aroma. The dehydrator will be relegated to the front porch on the next batch. And oh….It was worth it. The garlic came out with the most pale beautiful toasted color. I put it in near everything.
Mushrooms Just picked up a pack from the grocery store. Sliced thin, they turned out crumbly perfect.
Hash Brown Potatoes A big box from Costco works well. I could have gone to all the trouble of peeling and shredding, but I just wanted to see how they dried. I Spread the hash browns on the trays and at 140 degrees for 12 hours, the potatoes came out crispy dry. I still would like to try shredding my own in the future as the pre shredded seemed a little mushy and have a hunch they have been par boiled at the very least.
Green Chilies We love Mexican food but I am about as “gringo” as them come and can only handle the mildest chilies. Huevos Rancheros is a favorite breakfast of mine so keep several small cans of green chilies in my pantry. But for dehydrating, I went to cash and carry and picked up their large can. Without rinsing, I plopped them on the trays at 140 degrees for 16 hours. They turned out only slightly rubbery but maintained their color and taste as well as re-hydrated well.