More on dehydrated pumpkin

Even though I’ve bought a food dehydrator, my preferred method of drying food will always be the sun. Why use ancient sunlight*, when you can use the current version without the cost and associated problems.

Last week I bought a full butternut pumpkin and only managed to get half done in the dehydrator.

With 34 ºC and northerly winds predicted for Melbourne last Saturday, I thought  I’d try the rest outside on the deck, in the sun.

My drying racks are simple wooden frames, with flywire stretched across. The flywire is actually wire (as in metal), because I figured the cheaper plastic stuff would soften and stretch in the heat and all the contents would end up in a heap in the middle. What I have has worked well for many years, long before I bought the dehydrator, which is really only intended for winter use.

As usual, I chopped up the pumpkin in the Thermomix. Out on the deck, the sun was already coming up over the yardarm. Look at that golden glow:


The second tray goes over the top to keep insects out. However many trays you make, you’ll always need an extra one for this job:


I haven’t shown it here (because I can’t find it), but I’ve also made a reflector out of a thick piece of cardboard covered in aluminium foil, which goes under the tray to reflect sunlight back up onto the bottom of the food.

I expect it to take a few days to dry out there (I always bring the trays in at night), but if we get a cold snap, I can use the dehydrator to finish off.

*fossil fuels

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While I was out on the deck I took a photo of the nearby garden showing the massed flannel flowers (Actinotus helianthi) which have self-seeded everywhere:

They really are beautiful. Hard to propagate (they don’t like root disturbance) but leave them be and they’ll do it the way nature intended:

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3 Responses to “More on dehydrated pumpkin”

  1. notsomethingelse Says:

    Yes, real sun is always best. Neat trays. Must make me some of those when I get the time.

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  2. narf77 Says:

    I am sure that Steve will make me some dehydrator trays like that. 34? I was complaining about 25 the other day! Pumpkin is a bit like the Tassie tiger here at the moment and I am lamenting its loss like one of my limbs. I LOVE pumpkin and since I managed to enclose and protect my compost heap from marauding chooks and wildlife the pumpkin vines are going great guns. I am going to train them up onto the chook roof to keep them safe from curcubit thieving wildlife till they ripen and give me enough pumpkin (hopefully) to dehydrate for the lean months 🙂

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  3. pruefreefood Says:

    Great trays I have some home made king billy pine paper making trays and silk screening trays that I can convert into trays like yours thanks for the idea, I was going to store them for future years but now I will put them in my new home(Van) to use for dehydrating projects yah! 🙂

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