Friday, October 13, 2006

Review: Excalibur Dehydrator

To be filed under: favorite toys.

Our 9-tray Excalibur Dehydrator is one of the healthiest eco-friendly made-in-USA kitchen helpers ever. I used to dehydrate the surfeit of tomatoes we'd get at the end of the CSA season in the oven set on low with mixed results. This dehydrator circulates the air so you get nice even drying, has adjustable temps (we like low and slow to preserve enzymes), and have feel a bit Little House on the Prairie with all the food we are putting up.

We've made yummy beefalo jerky, apple chips, banana chip, dried tomatoes (my mom ate a whole bowl), veggie crackers, and I'm in the process of drying some spirulina bars.

We've also soaked/sprouted nuts and dried them, which makes them taste better and are easier to digest, and drying them at around 105f (temps are adjustable, you need higher heat for meat, etc.) preserves the enzymes. Hm.....think we like this? It's also supposed to be economical energy-wise.

Apparently you can also make your own fruit or yogurt rollups and millions of other things we have not yet begun to explore...

I also know (preggy ladies take note) that you can dehydrate veggies and things into a powder and reconstitute them in water or milk for nutritious LIVING baby foods when it's time for solids.

Hm, I guess I like this!


Anonymous said...

Hi Marie,

I LOVE dehydrated veggies. What a great snack as I have since given up, ahem, potato chips. Do you know of the nutritional value of dehydrated veggies? Do dehydrated veggies still keep alot of their good stuff?


GreenFertility said...

Hi Ali,

Yes, apparently if you dehydrate at 105F or less, it preserves all the enzymes and the food is still alive. I think the raw food followers of Ann Wigmore are all into that.

AND, dried apple slices and things have very much the mouth feel of potato chips! I've given up most chip type things as well, I'm sure you know about the acrylamide (cancer) thingie. In general, the gentler you treat stuff (e.g., cooking at low rather than High heat) the bettter it is for you.

Anonymous said...

Do you know if you can dehydrate walnuts that we just took all the outer shells off of? If so how long and at what temp?

GreenFertility said...


I would soak them for 12-24 hours first to sprout THEN dry them.