For Mothers Day this year I asked for an appliance. No, not jewelry, not flowers, not clothing and not a spa day, but an appliance. Let me tell you, it was the BEST Mothers Day gift EVER! I did not ask for just any old appliance, I asked for an electric food dehydrator. I figured that this was, first of all, a big investment that would take time to same for, so if I used my “gift” allotment I could purchase it sooner than later. Also, dehydrators are up there with canners when it comes to homesteading food preservation gear and I have already found so many uses.
This is the Dehydrator we purchased. It is an Excalibur 9 tray and its massive.
Excalibur Food Dehydrator
I can dry 2 bunches of bananas, a quart of strawberries and a few kiwi all at one time. Its great! My boys love the fruit so much I have not been able to test out the storage ability of the product because it all is eaten in just a few days. I am more of a salty snack kind of gal, so I am guilty of devouring 6 zucchini made into chips in just 48 hours, yes they are that good!
There are no real “recipes” for dehydrated foods. Just follow the manual that comes with your unit (and you can do just as well with a $30 unit if you don’t want this giant in your home). Different items have their own times and temps that should be listed in your manual. I like to play around with the flavoring, such as; cinnamon, honey and maple for sweet and BBQ, Asian, curry and garlic for savory.
A dehydrator is also a multi-tool. It can dry process fruits and vegetables, make jerky of all kinds, re-crisp crackers and cereals as well as proof dough. Here are a few examples of items I have made so far:
Banana and Kiwi Chips
Kale Chips; garlic, Asian, curry and taco
Zucchini Chips; BBQ and salted Chia
What have you made in your dehydrator? Anyone looking into purchasing one soon?
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