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?