Harvest Right: Freeze drying produce

Today marks the second week that I’ve had my Harvest Right freeze dryer, and I must say that I’m enjoying it immensely.

Freeze Dried Vegetables

I will admit that there can be a learning curve. It’s still a relatively new technology for homeowners; the first home freeze dryer sales began in 2013. The units are pricey. I spent a little over $3,000 on mine. Also, it’s food preservation. I see fewer people actively preserving food. Factor all those in, and you might not know anyone who owns what. I have one friend who owns one. Because of this, I did a lot of research online to learn, educate, and understand what to do if/when encountering problems. I¬†know of one other person who has a freeze dryer. We’ve been friends for several years and have discussed purchasing our freeze dryers for the last few years. They also purchased theirs from Harvest Right about eight months ago.

Portabella Mushrooms and bell peppers about to go in the deep freezer

Harvest Right Freeze Dryer – Slight Learning Curve

I’ve had a few hiccups along the way, all mine were related to vacuum seal error messages, and they were all because of my user error. My main issue was the gasket inside the window, which did not have a proper seal, so I received the dreaded “unable to achieve vacuum seal” error message. In my case, the tray, which sets inside the freeze dryer, was not pushed back far enough, and that is what caused the error. There’s a cord inside the freeze dryer that you need to (gently) place on top of the tray unit. Once that has been done, you can slide the tray into place, and the gasket will fit properly, ensuring a seal.

 

Meal Prep

I have yet to make any meals. Instead, I’ve been freeze-drying vegetables and fruit. Well, now that I think about it. I did manage to freeze dry ice cream in batch #4. It was a little ice cream. It might have taken up 1/4 of one of the trays, and I only added that at my daughter’s request.

Place food in the freezer before using the freeze-dryer.

From my research, I learned that freezing the food will reduce the time needed to freeze dry food. So, since I have a deep freezer, I’ve placed my food in the deep freezer before it goes into the freeze dryer.

Currently, Batch#5 is in the freeze dryer. Initially, I planned to freeze-dry the blueberries, shown above, in batch #5. However, I decided to postpone those to another time. So, instead, I added collards and pinto beans to the freeze-dryer. They should be ready late this evening.

 

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