The benefits of having your own food dehydrator are great! These wonderful little un-ovens can make tons of delicious and healthful treats, help you store your garden harvest so it doesn’t go to waste, help you build your food storage supplies and allow you to retain the nutrients of foods that would be lost during cooking.
Now I am not a raw foodist but I do appreciate the teachings of that lifestyle and believe there is enormous value in trying to eat as much raw food as you can. We all know that the soil our food is grown in is depleted in nutrients and is only getting worse so we need to keep as much of what is available as we can.
Obviously growing your own food in soil that you have enriched naturally is the best and you can reap more health rewards by doing so. Saving as much of your harvest (or store bought if you need to) for use in the winter is a wonderful way to save money and increase your nutrient intake. If done right you can start to store more for longer term use and know that as food prices start to sky rocket you are eating healthier and cheaper food than you can buy. If you employ a quality dehydrator you can increase your intake of nutrient dense food while making all kinds of wonderful dishes.
I do not have an affiliation with the company Excalibur who makes the type of dehydrator I chose to buy. I only can tell you my experience with my own dehydrator and you can choose for yourself. I did some research before buying a dehydrator and chose the Excalibur because of the reputation it seems to have all over the internet I read tons of reviews and compared other machines and decided this one was the right one for me. Now it is much more expensive than some of the others on the market but the quality and longevity made it worth it to me and I won’t have to replace it every year or two.
There are literally thousands of recipes you can make with a dehydrator and that is just in the vegan world. You also can dry flowers and other arts in the machine so keep that in mind. I will start to post some of the recipe I have made with my dehydrator and put them all in the “dehydrator” category so if you are looking for vegan dehydrated foods you can just go through my list. There are so many wonderful recipes out there on the internet you could look for a year and probably not get to the end. Pintrest has some awesome ones that I have yet to try but will be doing so soon.
One word of caution, my dehydrator does put off a little bit of heat and since you are drying food for hours at a time it can get toasty in the room it is in. I like to use it in the fall and winter since it is chilly during that time of year and it is doing double duty, heating my kitchen and making my food. In the summer I might put it in a room in the basement, in the garage or even out on the covered porch if I want to make things and not heat my house.
If you do decide to buy a dehydrator because you want to store your food and keep the nutrients and enzymes intact you should look up all the particulars that go along with it. Some that I have learned so far are; never heat above 115° to keep all the enzymes and nutrients in the food (above that starts to kill them), store your food in air tight containers to prevent bacteria growth, I prefer to use my food saver to pull out all of the air and then I seal that in Mylar bags to keep them from the light, store the food in a cool, dark and dry place. Rotate your food so you keep the freshest food (you can store food anywhere between 1 year and 30+ years!), when re-hydrating be sure to use the liquid since all the nutrients are in that liquid, when drying keep it thin to shorten drying time. Now of course there are tons of other “rules” but these are the basics and are all pretty simple.
I have added some picture of the wonderful things I have used my dehydrator for which include, flax crackers, coconut flax cracker, vegetables, soups I have made from those vegetables, banana pancakes, fruit roll ups, dried apples, sweet lemons and bananas, flax pancakes, raw pizza, and kale chips . I will continue to make things with it and will post as I go along to share.