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-   -   Dehydrating chop: The easiest way to store and serve fresh foods! (http://www.parrotforums.com/parrot-food-recipes-diet/55749-dehydrating-chop-easiest-way-store-serve-fresh-foods.html)

Kiwibird 07-25-2015 09:07 AM

Dehydrating chop: The easiest way to store and serve fresh foods!
 
I know that some people struggle to get enough fresh foods in their birds diet. It is time consuming to prep it every morning/evening, making large batches requires a large portion of the freezer for long term storage and no matter how well you make it, defrosted chop is just never quite as nice as fresh.

I am fortunate I do have the ability to get fresh in Kiwi's bowl every day, but I also like to supplement with chop to keep the variety of foods wide. Here is how I prep and store chop:

Step 1: Choose a WIDE variety of either fruit or veg (I personally do not like to mix them). My last batch included a bell pepper, beets, broccoli, cabbage, kale, corn, tomatoes, sweet potato, jalapeņos, zucchini, carrots + lemon and lime juice as a natural preservative so veggies can be dehydrated raw and without chemicals.
http://i1293.photobucket.com/albums/...ps3nrhfrmm.jpg

Step 2: I run my veggies or fruit through the Omega juicer with the blank disk in (it basically just grinds them up). I find using the juicer to be faster for large quantities, but a food processor works just as well for the task. Then I mix it all up in a huge bowl (I believe this is a 6 quart bowl).
http://i1293.photobucket.com/albums/...psormnjuef.jpg

Step 3: I spread the veggies onto silicone sheets on the dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 110 degrees (which preserves the enzymatic activity of the living, fresh foods) for about 18 hours (may be more or less depending on where you live, humidity ext..). Then I break up the dried mix and store in an airtight jar.
http://i1293.photobucket.com/albums/...pscxeycqhf.jpg
(Can you believe ALL those veggies dehydrated down to THIS???)

To serve: You can serve the dehydrated veggies 2 ways. Dried, which will not spoil if left in the cage all day OR you can re-hydrate them by soaking a small amount in water or juice for 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately and pull from cage after about an hour or two if you soak them.

JerseyWendy 07-25-2015 09:11 AM

Re: Dehydrating chop: The easiest way to store and serve fresh foods!
 
Absolutely PHENOMENAL, April!!! Thanks so much for sharing this! :D

Allee 07-25-2015 09:26 AM

Re: Dehydrating chop: The easiest way to store and serve fresh foods!
 
Thank you, April! As Wendy said, this is a wonderful idea for a thread.

Blancaej 07-25-2015 10:09 AM

Re: Dehydrating chop: The easiest way to store and serve fresh foods!
 
Wow, that is great! I have considered getting a food dehydrator for my fids. Thanks for sharing! :D

Terry57 07-25-2015 12:46 PM

Re: Dehydrating chop: The easiest way to store and serve fresh foods!
 
Thank you so much for this thread, April! I have also thought about getting one, but had no idea what to do with it after that!

Ann333 07-25-2015 12:51 PM

Re: Dehydrating chop: The easiest way to store and serve fresh foods!
 
Wow very helpful thanks!

Kiwibird 07-25-2015 01:06 PM

Re: Dehydrating chop: The easiest way to store and serve fresh foods!
 
Glad everyone is finding this helpful:)

Just a couple additional things to keep in mind:

1. As mentioned, I do fruit and veg chops separately. The reason being, when dehydrating veggies tend to come out quite "crisp" whereas fruit, being high in sugar and pectin, comes out "chewy-er". Fruit chop also requires the extra step (after fully dehydrated) of pulsing through the food chopper into tiny, tiny pieces (kind of the size of a "crumble" topping) so it will rehydrate well (if you plan to re-hydrate).

2. If you are getting a dehydrator, be sure to consider whether the less expensive stacking kind or the more expensive pull out tray kind will be better for your needs. If you only plan to use the dehydrator every once in a while, the stacking kind work fine, but if you're using it weekly or even more often (like I do) invest in the pull out tray kind. MUCH easier for frequent use!

Flboy 07-25-2015 02:14 PM

Re: Dehydrating chop: The easiest way to store and serve fresh foods!
 
Awesome! You are making your own pellets!
Which dehydrator Do you have?

deque 07-25-2015 02:23 PM

Re: Dehydrating chop: The easiest way to store and serve fresh foods!
 
Thank you so much for this post. I LOVE this! It's so warm here in Florida and my kids are in an outdoor during the day.

Question: apx. how long does it take to dehydrate a tray?

Kiwibird 07-25-2015 02:36 PM

Re: Dehydrating chop: The easiest way to store and serve fresh foods!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Flboy (Post 506819)
Awesome! You are making your own pellets!
Which dehydrator Do you have?

Actually, I have been working on how to make pellets;) I tried the pasta extruder on my Omega, but that didn't work so well. Now I have another idea I'm going to try soon. I'll be sure to share IF it works (I have actually been working on the pellet project for several months now:52: It's not as if pellet manufactures give away their secrets so I have to figure it out myself;))

I have a Raw Rutes dehydrator. Kinda pricey, but made in the US and all stainless steel. It will last forever! Plus, it's got a timer and removable trays and racks so it's super easy to clean. I love it!
Raw Cubed 8 Tray Eating RED Dehydrator by Raw Rutes | Raw Rutes
They have a few smaller ones too:
Dehydrating ? Raw Rutes

I used to have a Nesco dehydrator I gave away to a forum member. I use my dehydrator for a lot more than bird food, but if thats all you'd use it for, this one would work and is really affordable!


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