Ever since we purchased this sleek, black machine about 1 year ago, I have almost not stopped talking about it. Well, not really...
That's the way that I am about things that I'm excited about -- that's a lot of the reason why my husband encouraged me to start this blog. He'd say, "Well, you are always wanting to share with others about great things that you have found, so this way you don't have to keep repeating yourself!"
I didn't know that I was getting that redundant.
At least he meant it as a compliment. And now you get to hear about one of my favorite things in my kitchen (well, actually, it is now in our pantry) -- our dehydrator.
I'll be sharing specific techniques and recipes for the dehydrator in the future, but for now, I just want to tell you why you should get one and what you can do with it so that you can benefit from the time and research that I put into our purchase.
First of all, why would you buy a dehydrator in the first place? Over the next few days, I'm going to show you how a dehydrator will help you:
- Save money
- Save time
- Increase the nutritional quality of your food
Today--the saving money part. Yes, the machine (especially a really good one like the Excalibur, will cost a good bit of money upfront. However, like other good "investments", it will quickly pay for itself. Here's how:
1. You'll be able to purchase food at a discount and then process it for use throughout the year. This past year we went to a local orchard and purchased as many half-bushels of apple seconds that we could fit in the not-so-big trunk of our ancient Nissan Sentra. I spent the next several days slicing and drying fruit and now we are still eating the dried apples from last year and they are delicious!
We've also been able to load up that same Nissan's trunk to capacity with discounted bananas from Aldi and then make dried bananas from them. And these are not processed with oil and sugar variety that are called "banana chips." No, these are wonderful chewy dried bananas that sell for about $10 per pound regularly. What a savings when you can score on some discount bananas for about $.19/lb and then dehydrate them! We sure looked like weirdos pushing our cart up to the register, but it isn't weird to live beneath your means!
2. You'll also save money by not making extra trips to the store. This is an often-overlooked part of savings that people forget about. If you have a well-stocked pantry and know how to make substitutions when cooking, you will find yourself running out to the store less often for that "one thing you ran out of" because you now have backups galore. Boy, do those gas savings add up!
3. Finally, you'll save money by being able to make specialty foods for your family without the "gourmet food" price. We made our own sun-dried tomatoes using last summer's harvest and they are still making their way into omelettes, pasta, etc.
We also made our own fruit leather and --
here's a BIG money saver -- flax crackers! No picture for this one (they all got eaten), but 4 ounces of these sell for between $5 and $5.99 on the internet right now. That's almost $24 per pound! Organic flax seed through my local buying club is just $1.40/lb. You'll love them and you'll love the price!
I recommend the same dehydrator that I purchased (The Excalibur). I know that it is not cheap. I'll go into its merits more later, but in a nutshell, it
has a great warranty
I guarantee you won't be disappointed. Join me again tomorrow when I'll share the time and space saving benefits of dehydrating.
What would you most like to dehydrate?