Some of you know (especially if you follow my Instagram) that I have been reeeeeally into adding more raw foods to my diet -to the extent that I my favorite cookbooks at the moment are uncook books of raw concoctions and creations.
One of the things that is pretty much a raw foodist necessity when making the really fun and intricate raw food dishes is a good dehydrator. Since hubby and I are also breeding meat rabbits now as well (first batch is due in a few weeks!) we really want to start making our own homemade rabbit meat jerky. So this luxury item has quickly become a kitchen staple in our home!
But ever since we started playing with our dehydrator (I mean play literally, it is hella fun!) we have realized that this is one of those items we never should have waited to own!
Here Are 5 Great Reasons to Own a Food Dehydrator
1. You are in control of the quality of food you eat.
Where was the food grown? Is it organic? Non-GMO? What the food gassed to ripen? How was it prepared? Does it have additional seasonings, added sugars, preservatives, artificial flavors? What it prepared on BPA free materials? There are just a fraction of the questions most of us cannot answer about our food when we reach for a bag of trail mix, dried fruit, snacks or jerky. I am a HUGE proponent of the slow food movement, where we renew the lost art of food prep in the kitchen, and take back control of the quality of the foods we feed to our families!
2. You will save money.
There is no question about it, making fresh homemade dried snacks costs a fraction of what a bag of the same would cost you at the supermarket. And the beauty of it is, once you plop your food items into the dehydrator, there is really no other work that needs to be done. It is easy, simple, and the foods dry quicker than you would think!
3. You can take advantage of in season foods and farmers market specials.
I deeply regret not owning a dehydrator when I was the manager of our local farmers market. I always had waaaay too many veggies and fruits on hand, and it was such a hassle trying to use it all or give it all away before it went bad. I did not anticipate how often I would use a dehydrator, not to make a specific recipe, but just to save food on the verge of passing its shelf life! Dehydrating inhibits growth of microorganisms and decay and dramatically increases storage life for food. The money you save in food you didn’t waste will pay for the dehydrator in no time!
4. You can create tasty snacks that are good for you.
No added sugars, no harmful or questionable preservatives, no high sugar fruits in the mix if you want… you cannot get much healthier than foods in their raw and whole state, and low temp dehydrating preserves around 90% of all the vitamins, minerals and enzymes of the raw food. It is a guilt free way to snack!
5. You can take advantage of your own garden by drying your fruits and vegetables to be used year round.
This is the one I am super excited about! We have a fig tree in the back that always leaves us swimming in excess figs, and in the spring, there are so many edible weeds in our region that make wonderful and flavorful teas… stinging nettle, milk thistle, clovers, etc. Not to mention, I am aching to try my hand at drying and powdering some of my home grown garlic! And then of course there is homemade and home raised rabbit meat jerky to make… Just thinking about it gets me crazy excited!
Nesco Professional 600W 5-Tray Food Dehydrator Review and Giveaway
The Nesco Professional Food Dehydrator (CLICK HERE to view the item on Amazon.com) is a newer model that is a step up from the popular Nesco Snackmaster Food Dehydrator, which enjoys a #1 Best Seller status on Amazon.com.
Just like the Snackmaster, the Professional model features Nescos patented Converga-Flow drying system to ensure even drying with an adjustable thermostat ranging from 95 to 160 degrees, which provides greater flexibility and better results. The 600 watts of drying power with top mounted fan means that there is no need to rotate the trays like many other brands require, and your food will dry in hours, not days.
This model also includes 5 BPA free trays that can expand up to 12 and the box includes a Fruit Roll Sheet, Clean-A-Screens and jerky spice and cure packets!
One of the neater features is that the whole unit is made with a contemporary granite Vita-Save exterior that blocks light, provides an excellent seal, and helps retain more vitamins and nutrients during the drying process. Oh! And it is not loud at all, I would say that the gentle hum is quieter than my microwave!
Hubby and I gave this unit a test run with some kiwis, bananas, and apples, and we were shocked at the speedy performance and even drying. While I prefer to see the food as it dries (especially when I am drying different batches in the trays) it makes it a little cumbersome to peek in on food when the unit does not have a timer, but what it lacks in the extra peeking, it makes up for in quicker drying times and even cooking.