The Richmond Register


January 10, 2014

How does one dehydrate anything?

RICHMOND — I recently dug out my electric dehydrator and decided I was going to learn some new things about dehydrating fruits and vegetables.

It has been a wonderful learning experience. I will share with you some of the items I dehydrated.

Dehydrate oka

This is one of my favorite veggies. In the Deep South, where I was born, oka was a staple that loved the hot weather. The more you cut off the pod, the more returns.

I ate some dehydrate okra once and thought I should learn how to do it. I started to do it in the oven which can be your dehydrator if you do not have an electric one but then I remembered the one packed away in my storage. Enjoy my recipe. Since okra is now out of season I used bags of the whole pods.


Two large bags of frozen okra

1 cup of olive oil

Cajun seasonings and garlic salt (my favorites)


Wash okra to get the pods wet in order to attach the oil and spices. I pour the oil over the pods in a bowl and toss well. Add the spices and toss well again.

I placed the pods on the dehydrator trays and turned the machine on high heat. This took me about a day and a half to get the results I wanted.

Test the okra from time to time to see what degree of crunch you like. I like mine as crunchy as I can get it.

I then store it in a sealed container. This makes a very filling snack, and it is high in fiber as well.

Some folk’s think the microwave could be a good dehydrator. I beg to differ. Other ways to dehydrate is in an oven, using the sun by itself or a conventional electric oven.

I will tell you why the microwave does not work to take the moisture out of things.

One day I had done two crochet doilies, the old type like our grandmothers use to starch and put over a bottle to make the ruffles work. I belived I was smarter than those old folks back then and thought I would starch the doilies and put it in the microwave to get the moister out. WRONG.

It took the moisture out all right … and caught the things on fire. Nearly burnt the microwave up. Could not tell what color my doilies were that I started with.

So, pay attention to what one can and cannot use the micro wave for.

Shopping for fruits

vegetables to dehydrate

Many times certain fruits and veggies are on sale in the produce departments. One can dehydrate some of these to use at a later date. Some that I do quite often are: onions, bell peppers, peaches, celery, pineapple.

However, bananas are what I like to do the best.

Dehydrate bananas

Soak the whole peeled bananas in lemon juice. Let it soak for five minutes. The lemon juice prevents browning. One can use orange juice as well.

Remove the bananas from the juice and slice into equal thicknesses. I let the bananas drain off any excess juice.

Place on dehydrator racks or on some type of open wire rack for your oven process. If you do these in the oven make sure the oven is at 125 degrees. It takes about 18 hours in the oven and about the same in the dehydrator. I use the dehydrator at the highest temperature.

These are great in trail mixes you might make or purchase. High in potassium and low in fat.

Dehydrate tomatoes

Another favorite item to dehydrate is tomatoes. They take longer as tomatoes are made of a great deal of water.

I try and use whatever is on sale. I love to use these in recipes such as sauces for pasta dishes as well as soups.

I do not peel the tomatoes as I want to get as much fiber in my meals as possible. Some folks may want to peel them.

I do hope you try some of my ideas epically if you love okra like I do. As a kid I even ate it raw.  Have fun dehydrating.

Arritta Morris holds a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and a master’s degree in counseling from Eastern Kentucky University. She is certified as a food service specialist by the School Nutrition Association.


Text Only
  • GinaNoemugpic.jpg Growing and cooking with herbs

    We all want to eat food that tastes good. One of the most common ways we tend to make food taste good is by adding salt. Unfortunately, most American diets are too high in sodium. Diets high in sodium can raise blood pressure, which can lead to many major health issues including heart disease. Herbs provide a great way for us to limit our sodium intake while still consuming flavorful foods.

    May 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 04.18 Food .jpg It’s egg party time

    I love this time of the year because eggs really do go down in price during the Easter season. I have some new recipes on how to fix eggs besides the coloring part.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 03.21 Jacksons.jpg Let’s go to Jackson, and I don’t mean Mississippi

    The Jackson I have been to this week is right here in Richmond. If you get to 203 S. Third St. in Richmond, that is where you will find “Jackson’s,” owned and operated by Sean Jackson.

    March 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Shop your refrigerator, part two: Casseroles

    Last article, we wrote about making soup out of leftover ingredients you have around the house. With this winter giving us one more round of snow early in the month, a hot bowl of soup turned out to be a good way to stay warm while staying home.

    March 13, 2014

  • Let’s have a Mardi Gras party in Kentucky

    It’s the time of year when the people in New Orleans celebrate a festival called Mardi Gras. Many states now do the same. Some call it “Fat Tuesday” which I have never understood till I went to New Orleans (five times) and saw all of the excitement for myself.

    February 27, 2014

  • Beat the winter blues with meatballs

    When it’s this cold outside it’s nice to warm up with some good comfort food.
    I can think of few things more wonderful than the smell of simmering meatballs coming from the kitchen while I cuddle with my two young children, and a few good books, on a brisk winter day.

    February 27, 2014

  • 01.31 Red Velvet Cookie.jpg Bake up some red velvet, white chocolate cookies

    After the kids come in from building snow forts and making snow angels, I like to have big cup of hot chocolate with extra marshmallows. But if you really want to indulge after playing in the snow, try these melt-in-your-mouth cookies.

    January 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Liz Denny.jpg Home cooking bonds the Culton sisters

    Fours sisters from the Culton family share a bond of good home cooking.
    The sisters are: JoEtta Culton Dunn, Joyce Culton Smith, Betty Culton Oliver and Kathy Culton Smith.

    January 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • 01.17 cooking pie pic .jpg Rogers loves cooking

    Barbara Rogers started cooking as a teenager in high school. She was inspired to cook by her high school home economics teacher Dixie Edwards.

    January 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • GinaNoemugpic.jpg Keeping food safe during emergencies

    Today’s article is one I have submitted before, but the information in it is worth reading again.
    The food in refrigerators and freezers represents a significant investment. Winter storms can cause power outages that may last from a few hours to several days before electricity can be restored.

    January 10, 2014 1 Photo