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I have recently been looking to make some nut butters and one of the main things everyone talks about is soaking the nuts then dehydrating them.

After googling all I can find out about is using the oven at about 150 degrees for 12 hours (maybe longer), or using a dehydrator.

I was wondering if there was a way to just leave them out for a period but that apparently causes internal mould to build up which is not good, and another alternative was possibly putting them in tin foil and putting them in a slow cooker. I would like to try the slow cooker approach as it seems a lot less cost but I have only found one instance of someone doing that and didnt really list their results.

So what is the most cost effective way to achieve the dehydration at home?

(p.s I am not mass producing I just thing its a waste of money leaving the oven on for 12 hours for a pot or two of nut butter)

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    If you're going to try the slow-cooker, don't cover it and don't wrap the nuts in the foil, or they won't dehydrate - they'll just cook. A medium or low setting would probably attain a similar temperature as the oven, though it might be less effective because of the lack of warm, dry, circulating air. As far as efficiency, that depends largely on your specific equipment. – logophobe Jul 25 '14 at 16:27
  • ok good advice, I am pretty sure anything is more efficient than an electric oven, and most ovens will only go down to about 150ish which is a bit too hot, I believe the optimal temp for dehydrating is about 105-115 but not over 120 or it destroys some of the vits and minerals. – Grofit Jul 25 '14 at 18:40
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Most dehydrating is about using as little heat as possible to dry the air out without cooking the food. On dry, sunny days, you can use the sun on a dark surface as a heat source.

Dark surfaces will absorb heat from the sun, heating the air which will lower the relative humidity and and warm the nuts which will 'mobilize' the water in the nuts so the air can carry it away.

  1. If you have a dark enamel pan, put a single layer of nuts in the pan and leave it in the sun for a few hours. Keep an eye out for hungry birds!

  2. If you have a black outdoor grill that sits in the sun, place a single layer or nuts on a pan or sheet of foil, and close the lid. Check every two hours.

Total time to dehydrate will vary on many factors including the season of the year (angle of the sun), outside temperature, relative humidity, type of nut, etc.

Because of the additional exposure to spores in the air, the nuts should be used before they can mold, usually within a day or two. To discourage mold growth, don't store the dehydrated nuts in the dark.

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