6 Reasons Why I Love My Dehydrator & Giveaway

I was recently blessed to receive an Excalibur dehydrator from the generous folks over at Cultures for Health, and boy, have I been having so much fun exploring all the wonderful uses of this machine. There is no end to the creativity that can be developed as you learn to use this machine to significantly cut down on food waste in your home while making such wonderful nutritionally dense delights for your family!

Why do I love my dehydrator?

1. Get the most out of our food

I love how the dehydrator will help to preserve and protect the nutrients in our food. According to “Preserving it Naturally” (the companion guide that comes with the dehydrator), “Dehydration is the best way to preserve the essence of raw fruits and vegetables. When raw food is heated to an internal food temperature of 118 degrees or higher, for an extended period of time, its nutritional values begin to deteriorate, especially enzymes. Dehydrating does not subject food to the high temperatures associated with cooking, or traditional canning methods.”

The effects of water removal of dehydrated food is minimal except that some vitamin A and vitamin C are lost. I can also soak and dry my nuts and help break down the enzyme inhibitors that help our bodies digest them more effectively. Sprouting grains is another task that can be completed in order to break down phytates. There is an endless list of food ingredients that can be dried – fish, meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains – practically anything that has water in it.

2. Create fun, healthy snacks for our family

With a few simple steps, I can create granola bars, fruit leather, and jerky and let my dehydrator go to work. Thus far we made yummy soaked granola, fruit leather, and soaked nuts for homemade trail mixes and munching. What fun!

3. Save money

After the initial investment in the machine, you can prepare goodies at half the cost of store-bought brands. Plus, the dehydrator will take significantly less electricity than an conventional oven to prepare our food, cutting back on costs and helping be a good steward of our environment. According to the manufacturer, an Excalibur Food Dehydrator only uses $.04-$.05 of electricity per hour!

4. Easy to use

The Excalibur comes with a delightful book (Preserving it Naturally) with detailed instructions, recipes, and helpful hints on how to create anything and everything my heart desires. ;) I just adjust the temperature as needed and the machine will do the rest.

5. Perfect balance in drying

Unlike many other dehydrators, the Excalibur has the fan in the back of the machine enabling balanced and even drying. All trays get the same even heat.

6. No waste!

The dehydrator helps me to avoid food waste in my home. When veggies or fruit start fading, I can simply lay them out in the dehydrator and preserve them for future use. There is definitely some nutritional lose, as it is preferred to dry fresh ingredients, but they prevent them from going in the compost or trash. Stale bread can be turned into croutons. Old crackers that are starting to get soft can be re-dried to refresh their crispiness.

I have the 9 tray Excalibur dehydrator so that I can prepare many things at once and save on electricity and time in preparation. You can prepare nearly 25 pounds of vegetables in one day in this machine! It is large, but fits nicely on a shelf in our garage. It quietly hums in the background, and fills our garage with wonderful scents. The Exalibur dehydrator is definitely very sturdy, well made, and comes with an excellent warranty. Plus it is BPA free.

The only two things I do not like about this machine:

- The door – I wish it were able to pop open and slid in, but you have to remove it entirely. Not a big deal just annoying at times.
- The lack of a timer – there is no timer on this machine, but a simple fix of purchasing a small timer that plugs into the wall is a cheap alternative.

Protecting our food budget and getting the most out of our food, make this machine a valuable addition and worthwhile investment to any homemaker’s kitchen!

Now for the exciting news!

Cultures for Health is offering you the opportunity to win a 4 tray Excalibur dehydrator for your kitchen (retail value of $150)!

To Enter:

1. Visit Cultures for Health and enter your name and email address. Come back and share why you would love to have a dehydrator and how you would use it.

2. For a second optional entry, share about this giveaway on facebook, twitter or your own personal blog and let us know in a second comment.

3. For a third optional entry, follow @cultures4health and @passionatehome on twitter, and let us know in a third entry.

Note: If the winner would prefer the larger model, Cultures for Health will offer a gift certificate for the price of the 4-tray model so you can apply it towards the bigger one.

Limited to US and Canadian entries.

Giveaway Closed.

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

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1,288 Responses to 6 Reasons Why I Love My Dehydrator & Giveaway

  1. Rachel July 13, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    What a great idea for a giveaway! I would love to have a dehydrator to save on the things that get tossed out after harvest time, to transition into a more raw food lifestyle, and for my family’s overall health. Thanks for the opportunity! :)

  2. Quillen J. July 13, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    Everyone in my family over the age of 18 months loves to cook. We have been trying to decide which is the best dehydrator to get for a couple years now.

    I would love to be able to have one for my personal use and share for service projects at church. It would be great to use for gifts for teachers and friends, playdates, and for our food storage.

  3. Ashlee July 13, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    I love dried tomatoes in my recipes! Also, there are some yummy recipes my gramma used to make with a dehydrator that I’m excited to try and replicate…

  4. amydeanne July 13, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    I really have been trying to figure out how to be healther with my family. I’m overweight and I don’t want my kids to be (I’ve got 4 of them!).. so making things like fruit chips would be a benefit for us!

  5. jenna July 13, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    I would love a dehydrator to make fruit leathers, veggie crackers and other yummy/healthy treats.

  6. Britiney @ Consider the Lilies July 13, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    Following on Twitter!

  7. Britiney @ Consider the Lilies July 13, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    Wow! I had no idea you could use a dehydrator in so many ways. I’d try everything!! Thanks for a chance to win!!

  8. Jim Wade July 13, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    Entered, posted on FB crossed my fingers ,i’ve got veggies standing in line ready to throw themselves into the new dehydrator ,excitement is high!!!

  9. Betsy July 13, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    Made a fb comment about the giveway. Thanks

  10. Betsy July 13, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Signed up on the webpage, now off to share the giveaway on fb.

  11. Amy July 13, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    I’d love to win this. It would definitely help in my family’s quest to eat healthier!

  12. Charlea July 13, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    Also following on Twitter! :)

  13. Erin July 13, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    We would love to have a dehydrator – it would be a blessing!! We are learning to switch our eating habbits – change to all organic, support local farmers, do u-pick for items grown locally and this would enable us to buy more when they are in season and use them longer. We also enjoy hiking and trail mix type foods are sooo perfect for that type of experience – healthy yet handy. This would be awesome! Thanks for the opportunity!

  14. Erin July 13, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    I would love to try a dehydrator. I eat granola bars like no one’s business and love dried apples. This would be great!

  15. Charlea July 13, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    Posted to Facebook!

  16. Tessa July 13, 2010 at 10:58 am #

    I do not have an Excalibur but have borrowed a friends. I loved it! If I had one I would make fruit leathers for my kids, make crispy nuts for the whole family, and dry the extra veggies from my CSA.

  17. Natalie July 13, 2010 at 10:50 am #

    Hi Lindsey,
    I love reading your blog and I pray the Lord works through it and you!

    A dehydrator would be excellent addition in our family. While we always try to eat fresh (if we can) it would be prudent for me to put up some spring and summer fruits (blueberries, peaches, strawberries, etc) for winter consumption. My husband is a hunter and I could also make the jerky we love! I do not have a whole lot of extra storage but I could definitely find room for a dehydrator!

  18. Stephanie July 13, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    I would love a dehydrator to create healthy snacks for my girls….we are trying to get off fruitsnacks and goldfish, but boy is it tough to find healthy non-messy snacks that I can grab in a hurry for those on-the-go days!

  19. Sharna Reif July 13, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    i posted it on facebook,

  20. Megan July 13, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    I would use this to make beef jerky and drying herbs! I would love this!

  21. Rebecca July 13, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    I shared on my facebook!

  22. Rebecca July 13, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    I would love to win a dehydrator, I’ve been wanting one for ages but haven’t had the funds to purchase one! I would like to use it to dry fruits and fruit leathers and other healthy snacks for myself and my toddler.

  23. Kim Louis July 13, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    I would LOVE to have a dehydrator. We have been trying to afford one for a few months now and haven’t been able to. We have 4 adopted children (ages 3, 4, 5, and 7) with several sensitivities to preservatives and sweeteners. A dehydrator would give us the ability to make “on the go” snacks that they can take when we go out to our homeschooling co-op and other play dates. We would love to make jerky and fruit leathers and dried fruit for our children to enjoy when we’re not home to cook full meals. Winning this would be a HUGE blessing to our family.

  24. Esther July 13, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    I have three small children (all boys!) and work hard everyday to feed them the best food possible. I dream of owning a dehydrator to make healthy and fun snack for them… and for me too!!! Kale chips… yum! Thanks for this awesome giveaway!

  25. Sierra July 13, 2010 at 9:52 am #

    This dehydrator looks amazing and space efficient :) I’d love to have one for making sun-dried tomatoes, fruit leather (hubby would be so excited), banana chips, apple chips, and I am sure I would find a bunch of other uses as I went along as well. Thanks for the opportunity!! Giveaways sure are fun!

  26. Erica Burgan July 13, 2010 at 9:47 am #

    I used to have a dehydrator long ago, but didn’t use it much. Now we eat much healthier and I have the time to prepare so many things from scratch. Having a dehydrator now would be fantastic so I could make so many tasty snacks for my family!

  27. Danielle July 13, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    i would love to make my “crispy almonds” using this- it would free up my oven! I’ve also toyed with the ideas of making soaked granola and fruit leather. this would make a great tool for that:)

  28. Anna July 13, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    I shared about this giveaway on facebook. Thanks for the giveaway!

  29. Lisa O'Donnell July 13, 2010 at 9:32 am #

    I would love to win this dehydrator for seasonal fruits and veggies. The ones in the store are so expensive and I can’t justify the expense even though I love dehydrated food. I saw some dehydrated cantaloupe in the store the other day that made my mouth water! I would love to make my own.

  30. Anna July 13, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    I now follow cultures4health and you on twitter.

  31. Ceitllyn July 13, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    Shared on my FB profile! Thanks

  32. Anna July 13, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    If I won this dehydrator, I would use it to dehydrate soaked nuts, make fruit leathers, beef jerky, sprouted wheat berries, and more.

  33. Ceitllyn July 13, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    Wow, I wish there were resources like this when my kiddo’s were little!! I have never owned a dehydrator before. I would love to have a place to dry soaked nuts. I am very interested in soaking grains, instead of purchasing all the time, but there again – dehydrator! :) I would be able to put up some meats and herbs for the winter, maybe make some pet treats. My husband would adore homemade jerkey the healthy way. Thanks for the opportunity.

  34. Lisa O'Donnell July 13, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    I posted this giveaway on Facebook

  35. Michelle @ Traditional Simplicity July 13, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    Now following you and Cultures for Health on Twitter via @shelbylyn1982.

  36. Michelle @ Traditional Simplicity July 13, 2010 at 9:19 am #

    I would love to win a dehydrator! An Excalibur has been on my wish list. We love fruit leathers, granola bars, and just plain old dried fruit. DH would love to make his own venison jerky, too. So many uses on our “to do” list, once we get one.

  37. Alexis July 13, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    Following Passionate Homemaking and Cultures for Health on Twitter!

  38. Alexis July 13, 2010 at 9:00 am #

    Shared about this giveaway on Twitter :)

  39. Mary July 13, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    I am following Passionate Homemaking and Cultures for Health on Twitter

  40. Bethany July 13, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    Shared your giveaway on FB :)

  41. Mary July 13, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    I’m relatively new to this kind of thing and I would love to try making fruit leather and dried fruits.

  42. Alexis July 13, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    I would LOVE to have a dehydrator b/c I have lots of fresh fruit from the Farmer’s Market that I would like to dehydrate to use for other things and for the fruit to not go to waste! Also my husband LOVES beef jerky and would like to make it for him as part of his lunches!

  43. Bethany July 13, 2010 at 8:56 am #

    I would LOVE to make fruit rolls! My mom always made these for us growing up and I really miss the homemade kind.

  44. Steph July 13, 2010 at 8:38 am #

    It also saves space to dry food and keep it in jars in a cool place in the basement. A really good dehydrator would be nice to “put up” even more food for the winter months when you want to sit back and enjoy the harvest.

  45. Sonja Mishmash July 13, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    OH the uses are endless! Just think of all the fun and healthy snacks the kids and I could make and no more struggling with our cheapy dehydrator. Thanks for the chance. Love your site and visit it frequently, thanks for that too!

  46. Kelli July 13, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    We homestead and raise most of our own food, so for Christmas gifts we love to give dried apple slices, and beef jerky, dried herbs and other fruits and vegetables that have been home-grown. We preserve on a large scale, so the dehydrator gets a workout come harvest time. The dehydrator we have now doesn’t do the job as well as we’d like, and for quite a few years I’ve been hoping to someday have an Excalibur dehydrator, so I’m very excited about this giveaway! Thank you!

  47. Jody Shine July 13, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    Ohhhh! Crispy nuts, herbs, fruit, veggies, jerky–what wouldn’t I use it for???! :)

  48. Shalea July 13, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    I shared it on facebook. :) Thanks again for the giveaway opportunity!

  49. Shalea July 13, 2010 at 7:56 am #

    I’ve been wanting to invest in a dehydrator, but have not found one that I really like until I learned of the Excalibur from your post on it. It would perfectly suit all the things I’m hoping to use it for, and for many reasons it seems more efficient than any of the other dehydrators I’ve seen. We dry LOTS of apples from our trees in the fall, and are always looking for better ways to do it. But other vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc, would be made frequently. :)
    Thanks for sharing all of this great information!!

  50. Katrina July 13, 2010 at 7:49 am #

    I would love to win the dehydrator. I’m new to the Healthy and Green parenting and think that this tool would greatly improve the lives of my family! I would love to try making fruit leather, granola, drying herbs from our garden and much more. Thanks for the chance to enter this drawing! Blessings!