Over the years I’ve accumulated a nice collection of really useful kitchen appliances: juicer, grain mill, professional blender, food processor, etc. This spring I added to my collection one of the last big items on my wish list:
Be still my heart.
I’ve owned a cheaper dehydrator for years. It came from a thrift store and it did the job. It wasn’t particularly fun or enjoyable to use, but it worked for me. This last year it started to show it’s age with cracking trays and ripped mesh sheets. My husband and I discussed it and he suggested that maybe I should just buy a good one, since I use it so often. Seriously? I was stoked!
I knew exactly what I wanted. And I knew exactly why I wanted it:
- Large, square shaped trays (as opposed to round with a whole in the center). The means no more wonky-shaped fruit leather. No more grains falling through the cracks into the dehydrator motor. Less wasted space in arranging items on the tray.
- Adjustable trays. You can remove the tray above if you’re drying something tall to give it more space. You can remove all of the trays to do something like mason jars with yogurt, or for rising bread. You can remove the bottom half of the trays to do pint sized jars of yogurt and still keep drying nuts or herbs or fruit on the upper trays. The possibilities are endless!
- Trays that slide out through the front. With a round dehydrator, I had to lift off all of the top trays in order to access something in the middle or on the bottom. With the front access, I can just open it up and pull out the exact tray that I want to see.
- A heating/fan unit along the back, rather than down at the bottom. This allows for more even heating of the entire dehydrator and items that finish more or less at the same time.
For all of these reasons, I chose to buy an Excalibur Dehydrator. I opted for the largest model, with 9 trays. To me, the small price difference made it well worth it to just buy the one that I ultimately wanted for the long term rather than saving a few bucks. There were a few times this summer where I actually had all 9 trays going, so it proved to be a good decision.
What exactly can you use a dehydrator like this for? Here are some of the ways that I’ve used mine so far:
- fruit leathers
- drying nuts (after soaking)
- drying sprouted grain (to grind into flour)
- for fruit- banana chips, apple rings, pear slices, plum halves, etc.
- for fresh herbs
- for vegetables- “sun-dried” tomatoes, onions, greens, peppers, peas, etc.
- raw recipes- flax crackers, granola, flat breads, cookies or treats, warming pates
- making yogurt (on low temp, use instead of oven, yogurt maker, crockpot, etc.)
- rising bread (creates a nice, warm space for bread to rise)
I’m sure there are even more uses, but these are the ones that I have personally tried. Despite the fact that it is a fairly large appliance (at least, the 9 tray one in particular), I keep it on my kitchen counter at all times because I use it that often, especially in garden harvest season but also just for my regular cooking and kitchen tasks. For anyone with a garden or who wants to preserve their own food in season, a dehydrator is somewhat of a must-have. For those who are just into preparing a lot of wholesome, real, homemade foods for their families, a dehydrator is an excellent addition to your kitchen!
I love my new dehydrator. I can’t imagine going back to using anything else. The quality and ease-of-use definitely match up to my expectations. If you’re considering purchasing a dehydrator for your own kitchen, I would highly recommend that you look into an Excalibur.
Now here’s the really good part…
I wanted to do something special to finish off my Blogiversary week. I wanted to offer something that would knock your socks off and would just really bless someone. Knowing how happy I am with mine, my husband got in touch with Excalibur and you can imagine my excitement when they agreed to let us giveaway a dehydrator!
Yes, one of you is going to win your very own 9 tray Excalibur Dehydrator!!!
To make this the biggest and best giveaway yet, we’ve tried to come up with as many ways as possible for you to get your entries into the draw! I need to remind you that in order to make each and every entry count (which I really want for you if you’ve worked hard to earn multiple entries), please, please, please put each entry item into a SEPARATE COMMENT. Thank you so much!
Here are the ways to earn yourself entries into this giveaway:
1) Leave a comment and tell me why you want to win this dehydrator and what you would use it for!
2) Post about this giveaway on your blog and leave me the url in a comment.
3) Follow me on Twitter (if you haven’t already).
4) Tweet this giveaway. (Or on Facebook, if you don’t Twitter)
5) Subscribe to my blog (new subscribers only, please).
6) Join the forum! If you’ve already joined, then you can start a new topic or leave a post on an already existing topic to earn your entry instead.
7) Buy a book! Any purchases of my books before this giveaway ends will earn you 5 (yes, five!) entries. My books are all on 25% off (including the Healthy Homemaking ebook, which I’ve just added to the sale). Buying any 1 of the books will earn you the entries, all I ask is that you leave a comment stating what you bought which I can confirm. (And yes, one comment about buying a book will suffice for all 5 entries)
Giveaway ends next Friday, November 6 at 8am, so be sure to get all of your entries in before then! Good luck, all! 🙂
PS I apologize for having to use a teaser post and for the missing sidebar on this page, but due to the nature of this giveaway I cannot run BlogHer ads at the same time because of the constraints of my contract. Thanks for understanding!