The products on this page are my recommendations for products that I personally use and highly recommend. I am hoping you will like some of them too.
The first product that I TRULY LOVE is the Excalibur Dehydrators. I spent about a week researching dehydrators before I decided that the Excalibur was the one for us. I like the fact that the fan is in the back of the unit and not on the top or bottom so I don't have to rotate shelves. I also liked the timer option so that I can set the timer and let it run during the night, it is surprisingly quiet.
I bought my 3900 Excalibur a few months before our garden started coming in. Bill and I were looking for a way to preserve the food from our garden that would last long term and yet not take up much storage space. We thought about canning but knew nothing about it, canning jars are expensive and it takes up a lot of space. Another point for me since I live close to an earthquake fault was in case of even a minor quake all my hard work could be literally shatterd. Freezing was another option but there was the space issue again, with only one freezer that was already almost full we had to come up with another plan. Another down side to freezing is that if the power is out we could lose everything in the freezer. The ice storm of 1994 and no electricity for 25 days is still vivid in my mind. We had gotten some long term dehydrated foods not to long ago and were pleased with it but it is expensive. After considering all of our options we decided to try dehydrating our own foods.
I can honestly say that our dehydrator has been in use since the day it was delivered. Pineapples, strawberries, green beans, peas, corn, lima beans, tomatoes, onions, squash, zuchinni and cucumbers are just a few of the things that we have dehydrated.
Our personal favorite is the "fruit leathers" that I make. I pureed strawberries and banana's together and spread the mixture on parchment paper and dehydrated it until it until it was leathery. I took it off, tore it into strips and then the kids started eating. I can't seem to keep enough "fruit leathers" made. Unlike store bought Fruit Roll Ups I know exactly what is in mine.....good wholesome fresh fruit without any preservatives or additives. I just bought a case of fresh locally grown peaches that I can't wait to dehydrate and make some leathers out of.
My husband's favorite is his dehydrated tomatoes that he salts and puts Tuscan Sunset, a Pensey Spice, on. He calls them his "Tomato Chips" . He's looking forward to fresh tomatoes from our own garden in January!
What I LOVE about dehydrating is the quality of the food once it is re-hydrated. The corn taste as though it came fresh off of the cob. The green beans and onions were the same they tasted just like fresh.
I dehydrated 40 ears of corn and it dried down to 2 quart bags. I am storing all of the food that I've dehydrated in a large clear plastic container which I keep in the house where it is cool, no refrigeration necessary.
This dehydrator has paid for itself in just two months with the produce that we have processed from our own garden. Last year we lost a good bit just because we couldn't eat it up before it went bad. The 3900 Excalibur has been just what we needed to preserve our food with no refrigeration or freezing and little storage space. I LOVE MY DEHYDRATOR!
Click on the links in my right column and it will
take you directly to the Excalibur Website. Clicking on the image of the dehydrator will take you directly to the Gardener's Special Page which is what I used.