Jan 14, 2011

Why I Love My Dehydrator

A while back, I posted about making dried apple rings in the warming drawer of an oven. This was a test to see if my family would liked dried food. Not only did they like it, they love it! So for Christmas, I asked for a food dehydrator; I got the best dehydrator you can buy for under $100: A Nesco American Harvest dehydrator.

I love it! I've been dehydrating fruits and veggies like mad, and my only complaint is my family gobbles up the food almost as fast as I can make it. (I think some additional drying trays are in order!)

This is an affordable dehydrator (about $62), but it works very well. Here are a few things I love about it:

1. My kids gobble up the fruit I make in the dehydrator. The drying process makes the food taste sweet - like candy, even - yet it's still healthy.

2.. Dried produce lasts a long time (at least a year), take up less space in the pantry than canned food, and doesn't take up freezer space.

3. I thought I didn't liked dried food - but I've learned I actually don't like store-bought dried food. Home dried food is very different; it tastes better because there is no added sugar and preservatives.

4. Home dried food is cheap - much cheaper than store bought dried food! Aside from the food, the only cast is running the dehydrator, which uses very little electricity.

5. My dehydrator is quiet and more reliable than solar dryers would be in my climate.

6. Dried food is easy to use. Dried fruit is a great snack, dried veggies are easy to re-hydrated in soups and stews, and dried meat (jerky) is a great treat.

Do you use a food dehydrator? What are your favorite things to dehydrate?

6 comments:

  1. We love dehydrated apricots. I have to hide them for a while so we don't fly through them.

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  2. I'll have to try that teekaroo. My kids LOVE canned apricots.

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  3. Oh, Kristina, I HATE my dehydrator! It's a Ronco that we purchased several years ago, and we've been so unhappy with it, I've been tempted to list it on ebay. But, I keep thinking the problem is me, not the dehydrator. We've tried banana chips, but they turned black like spoiled bananas, had a strange odor and tasted bad. Same with our apple chips. I much rather prefer store bought than what our Ronco produced. Yours looks nice, and do I see a temperature gauge on the lid? Ronco's has only a cord, no gauge.

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  4. Loretta, I'm sorry. I've heard bad things about the Ronco. In fact, after scouring dehydrating boards online, it seems Nesco is the only brand to buy if you're spending less than $100. Sorry! There is a temperature gauge on mine and it lists what temperature to use for various types of food (fruit, vegetables, meat, etc.).

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  5. I've been buying a lot of dried fruit since I went on the dairy-free diet (I have a serious sweet tooth problem!) and at $2 a bag for the CHEAP brands (that last all of one sitting if both my daughter and I are munching), I've been contemplating getting a dehydrator. This is another tick mark in the "buy one" column for me.

    Right now, my favorite dried foods are mangoes and pineapples... wondering how those have done in your dehydrator, or if you've tried them at all?

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  6. I haven't tried drying pineapples or mangoes yet, but I hear they are great. My dehydrator comes with instructions for pineapples I know and I'm sure you can do mangoes, too.

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