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Build this: Solar Food Dryer

April 29, 2008

solar food dryer, originally uploaded by christisinger.

Raise your hand if you like dehydrated bananas. Be honest, now. OK, so they’re too sweet for you. How about sun-dried tomatoes? How do we in the western world acquire these wonderful tasting and wonderfully nutritious foods? We buy them at ridiculously jacked-up prices in comparison to their fully hydrated counterparts.

I (J.) was surprised to learn that dehydrated foods have retain more nutritional value than their canned counterparts. Dried foods are also remarkably lighter and less bulky by 1/2 to 1/15 their original weight. That was not too surprising, but coupled with the nutritional knowledge is big for people who pack food while traveling. See, there’s no excuse for picking up that pack of cheesy-poofs on the concourse.

Now, it is really convenient to walk through your local Whole Foods-esque store, shovel some great dried food in a container and not think about how it got that way. What would you do if you could have these foods whenever you wanted? Imagine having a food drier of your own. Those of you with gardens could essentially have dried foods for very much reduced – almost free – prices.

N. and I recently received a really, really interesting book for our engagement party, that will (hopefully soon) help us to enjoy the sun-dried foods that we really enjoy. The Solar Food Drier by Eben Fodor, is not only very informative in the realm of drying and dried food, but also gives full instruction on the construction of a food drier.

Admittedly, I haven’t finished reading the entire book. However, that which I have read was very educational, and the instructions for building were not only very thorough but very easy to understand. In an effort to not spoil the rest of the book, I won’t go into greater detail, but I encourage you to go ahead and check this book out from your local library.

ps- if you’ve made or are making one of these, please hit us up with some objective advice!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2008 8:14 am

    Killer idea.

  2. rachel permalink
    April 30, 2008 4:50 pm

    I love the one that I built! I used mine yesterday to dry apples (with cinnamon 🙂 ) and it took less than four hours. Granted I live in Phoenix, but even when it was only 75 degrees here it still worked reeeeallly well. I can’t wait to start drying tomatoes.
    One thing I definitely changed from the book’s plan is the way the glass is attached. I built a frame for the top out of 1″X3″s and attached the glass with plastic mirror mounts. The glass overlaps the frame by about .75″. Much easier and allows a little flexibility for your glass size. I did put a little weather stripping between the glass and the wooden frame. You can kind of see it in the picture:
    I would highly recommend the casters as well, it would be a little cumbersome without them. If you have any questions shoot me an email and I’d be more than happy to help if I can. (rachel (at) rachelbess [dot] com)

  3. April 30, 2008 5:29 pm

    I recently had dried peaches at a party and they were so delicious! I don’t think I’ve tried anything besides dried tomatoes.

    I imagine dried food would make excellent meals to pack for hikes and such.

  4. June 17, 2008 3:17 pm

    Thank you for submitting this to my Blog Carnival.



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