I'd long had my eye on the Excalibur brand as I had heard nothing but good things about them from people who owned them and the design made sense. They may seem a little costly but in reality are less expensive than a stove/oven and if you are a raw foodie the cost is easily justified. And if you're not? Well, it is an excellent way to preserve fresh fruits and vegetables while still retaining their nutrients. Some organic produce is only available in season and some gets very expensive out of season so it is possible to save money by preserving it in season.
However, justifying this to yourself and justifying it to your spouse are two different things! Since my spouse does not do the grocery shopping and really has no idea how much stuff costs that argument would not have worked - I had to find an angle that appealed to his understanding. About 6 weeks ago I got the thumbs up and sent away for my Excalibur and have since then been dehydrating everything under the sun and we will be well prepared in the event of a zombie apocalypse. He is utterly amazed at how light and compact dehydrated food is!
|sweet potato chips|
|tomato slices with Italian seasoning|
|crisp seasoned zucchini chips|
Besides the above I have also dehydrated red and green peppers, carrots, parsnips, celery, onions, hot peppers, apples, plums, shredded coconut, cranberries, cabbage, turnip, corn and a few other fruits/vegetables. I've used it to make beef jerky, and to dehydrate my soaked nuts and sprouted grains. I have a yogurt maker that I use, but I could take the trays out and culture my yogurt in it. The fruits and vegetables that I've done can be re hydrated and used as you would fresh in recipes or you can just snack on them dry. I especially love the pineapple - it's so sweet and chewy like a fruit roll-up! I think the dried and seasoned tomato slices would make a great pepperoni on a vegetarian pizza. You can use them as you would sun-dried tomatoes. The texture and concentrated flavor make them an interesting snack if you just want to eat them as is.
What I also like about the dehydrator is that you can use it to prepare food for a raw food diet. I've made a couple of different kinds of raw granola as well as a few different kinds of cookies. Delicious! I will be posting some of these recipes at a later date
|sprouted chocolate buckwheat granola|
|apple walnut raisin cookies|