I ordered a dehydrator yesterday and was wondering if anyone else had one and if so, have you done veggies with it, like zuchhini etc? and if so how are they? Any recipes?
I actually ordered it because of one of my dogs. He has allergies and now the vet seems to think it's food allergies and we can only feed him special allergy food. great. He is also addicted to rawhide chews and we found out that could be causeing his problems too. (he came to us addicted to them) So I ordered him some chews made out of yams and he loves them, but with the shipping, they cost almost 20 bucks a bag, so I decided to try to make them myself. They are just dehydrated yam chunks. The vet bills are running about 200 a month, so we have to get to the bottom of this...poor baby itches himself hairless.
02-21-2008, 06:29 AM
aawweeee, cat! I'm so sorry to hear about pup!
Rawhides are not good for dogs! I used to give to my dog and she loved them, but I heard they are not good nor safe for dogs. Also they can sliver and get caught in the dogs throat!
I also used pigs ears, and heard they are like us eating candy.
Poor things, so what do we give a dog anyway? I find the big bones last a long time and she loves hers... but then, if she were any other dog this bone she's been gnawing on would of been gone a long time ago! I'll stop and get her a new one!!!!!!
02-21-2008, 06:47 AM
I'm a dehydrator fiend :) We got ours late last summer and I really love it.
I was really looking for snacks when I got it, though this year I plan to use it just for saving local stuff for winter. I made bags and bags of apple crisps (we like them very crispy) plain, with cinnamon and with pumpkin pie spice. I dried as many pears as I could get, mostly with shredded fresh ginger dried on. For savory snacks zucchini chips are really good. I make mine with dill & onion salt or basil and garlic salt. Depending on your taste you can also make chips with daikon, turnip, and carrots. Sweet onions also dry into yummy snacks but may interfere with your social life ;) I dried them for cooking but discovered they taste really good.
I buy cheap mushrooms whenever I find them because mushroom powder is a great addition to soups and stews and meat or not loaves. I also made broth mixes with onion, celery, carrots and little bits of whatever veggies were in there. I'm already planning lots of tomatoes this year (think cheaper sun dried tomatoes) and greens. I have yet to try leathers but they're also on my list. I've seen recipes for all kinds of creative fruit leathers (including pumpkin pie) and for pizza leather.
There is, of course, a yahoo group that helped me get started. The members are friendly and helpful and don't seem to mind answering the questions every new person asks :) It's the preserving-food group.
Sorry about going on (an on) - I do love my dehydrator ;)
02-21-2008, 07:40 AM
I have an herb garden and I was thinking I could also dry herbs a lot faster with the dehydrator. I just ran out of dried basil and a freeze killed all my basil. I use it almost daily and am going through withdrawals and refuse to pay a fortune for fresh basil at the grocery store. I dried it the "long" way last year by just laying it out on paper towels for a couple of days, but figured maybe dust could have gotten in it.
02-21-2008, 08:17 AM
Hmm I think I might get a dehydrator too. About the dog.... I would try a texas elimination diet. If we can find out how many calories a dog needs in a day ( I suspect its similar to human per kg.) start him out with one type of meat and see how he reacts. then add to it slowly. Usually grains are the culprit for dogs. for chewing needs I would use knuckle bones of whatever animal your experimenting with. so for example if you start with lamb which is a good one to start with use the knuckle part of the lambbone. If you can get some organ meats of the experimental start thats even better. You need to suppliment them while your doing this.
Other common culprits for dogs are things like carpet chemicals. the dog can even be allergic to humans, birds or cats, fleas are another one.
Take a look at what breeders feed racing dogs.
I wouldn't give the dog vegetable chews very often. Dogs have a low tolerance of carbs and if he/she has been on prednisone they may be prone to developing diabetes. However, with the dehydrator making jerkey is an option. and thats good for them....
When I had working and obedience competition dogs, dogfood would only be about 10% of their diet. I couldn't keept them in good shape even with the very expensive stuff, especially the hunting dog. But the hunting dog would need over 6000 cal a day when he was working hard. I had to add quite a bit of meat fat and offal to his diet to keep him from going underweight or loosing fur.
If your using frontline for heartworm prevention you should not develop much of a problem with parasites if you don't cook the dogs meat which many people don't. I always cooked it and never had any problems from it.
02-21-2008, 10:01 AM
I don't have any experience with a dehydrator, but if I had one, the very first thing I'd make are dried unsweetened cranberries!!! :hyper: I cannot find them anywhere!!! I tried making them in a low oven, but they came out pretty crunchy. :p They'd be fine in baked goods, but you can't really throw them in salads and such as they don't have the right texture.
I think I'd be really tempted to dehydrate lots of fruit without sugar---oooh, like cherries! :love: Crispy veggies do sound yummy...I tried making zucchini chips in the oven, but they turned out soggy. :p
As for your poor puppers, I'm no expert (by far!), but have you taken a look at Dr. Pitcairn's book, New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats (http://www.amazon.com/Pitcairns-Complete-Guide-Natural-Health/dp/157954973X/ref=ed_oe_p)? The dog we had when I was a child had terrible allergies. My mom ended up having to make all her food. At one point, she lost all her fur (and she was a shih-tzu!), but with the home diet, she got much, much better. Dr. Pitcairn has several wonderful recipes for diets for those with allergies and explains how to reintroduce things to isolate what, exactly, they are allergic to. It's fabulous. Just a thought...
I know it must be really hard to do all the extra work and just as tough to see your pup suffer. :( I hope it all works out and soon!
Loriann, rawhides can be dangerous if a dog gets a small piece lodged in his/her throat. However, we feel that as long as we're in the room with the dog, we can do something about that, should it ever happen. :shrug: The books I've read say that the very best thing for a dog to chew on is actual bones (sturdy ones, not things like poultry where they can splinter). In lieu of that, you can use Nylabones (they're great and last forever...plus they're safe enough to leave with the dog all the time), consumable chews (like Nylabone's "Healthy Edibles" or "Velvet" Booda bones), or rapidly consumable things like Greenies (which have been reformulated and now are very digestable).
02-21-2008, 10:25 AM
About 20 years ago or so, my mom bought the Ronco dehydrator from QVC. Mom gave it to me and I made all sorts of stuff in it. Thin slices of watermelon have a fruit roll-up texture, very good. Very thin zuchini slices (even from the big humongous ones if you core out the seeded center) make a good potato chip substitute. If you cut then very thin, they even get crispy, so they're nice with a low fat dip, though they're a chewy-crisp rather than crispy-crispy though because as you chew them they soften a bit. They're on the sweet side if you don't salt them or soak them in salted water before drying (but still very good). If your dehydrator doesn't have a fan, drying tomatoes can be a gamble (a lot of people have success, but in central illinois my batch molded before it dried). Jerky is so good in the dehydrator, that it instantly became my favorite. I now use an American Harvester with a fan and variable heat settings. Although since I mostly make jerky, I think I need a second one if I want to do anything else. It's been used for jerky so much that the smoke flavor has embedded in the plastic liner or onto the heating element, as soon as I turn it on it smells of smoke.
My husband had a miniature dachshund when we met and after we married, when I would make jerky the dog got the fat trimmings. I would trim the fat after drying because it was easier to do with kitchen shears than with a knife while the meat was raw and slippery. Then I'd put the trimmings in a ziploc bag and use them as dog treats. The dog actually learned to SPELL jerky. He would go excited if he heard the word we would spell it, and it didn't fool him for long. When I made the jerky, (it takes about 6 - 8 hours to dry) he'd lie under the table the dehydrator was on the whole time the jerky was drying. He would actually start whining (very quietly so he wouldn't get in trouble) the last couple hours.
02-21-2008, 10:33 AM
:lol: kaplods! We have a mini dachshund mix and she does that whining thing, too! It's pretty quiet, and much preferable to barking, so it usually just makes us laugh. It's pretty cute. ;)
02-21-2008, 11:08 AM
It's funny how dogs know the exact limits you've set for them and take it to the very edge (kind of like kids). My parents had a maltese when my younger sisters were little (I was living at home with them while going to graduate school). The dog was not allowed to beg at the table, but was allowed to sit under the table as long as he stayed quiet and didn't whine.
So, instead he learned to periodically clear his throat or sneeze as a gentle reminder that he was under the table and would be very grateful for a handout if anyone was feeling generous. I was actually able to teach him to sneeze on command because of this weird habit.
He was very bright and quickly learned to bark to go outside to potty, but if no one was home to let him out at first he would go by the door, but quickly learned that we didn't like that. So, then if there wasn't anyone home to let him out, he would hide his business in the basement shower (cement, yucky and not really used as such). I don't know if he realized that the pee went down the drain or just figured it was the best place to "hide it" because it was the one place in the house that no one ever went. It made for easy cleanup, so everyone was happy.
Well as the dog got older and more arthritic I noticed a very funny thing. Late at night, especially in the winter I would hear him bark to go out (sort of). Instead of his usual loud bark, he would make a low growl/whine (that wasn't likely to wake anyone), do this a few times and then I'd hear him on the basement stairs heading to his bathroom. I know there's no proof, but it sure seemed like he knew he was "supposed to" ask to go out before using the shower as a last resort. Not wanting to go out in the cold, he had found a loophole in his training by "asking" too quietly for anyone to hear.