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 four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

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

  1. Laura MacNeil July 10, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    I entered on the site and shated on my facebook account!
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=649200081

  2. Olivia July 10, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    I love cultures for health and I’ve really been wanting a dehydrator! I would use it to dry nuts and help preserve some of the bounty our CSA brings! I would also like to be able to have a warm place to store my sourdough that I purchased from cultures for health :)

  3. Wildflower July 10, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    I would love a new dehydrator!!! I have a smaller, less costly model that is not very efficient or robust. I would love to make healthy dried fruit snacks for my little girl (almost 2 yrs old)! She loves dried papaya, pineapples, raisins and dates. If I had a more efficient and less expensive way to make them it would be fantastic!

  4. Olivia July 10, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    I shared this on facebook!

  5. Jodi July 10, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    I am following both Passionate Homemaking and Cultures for Health on Twitter! THanks!

  6. Jodi July 10, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    I tweeted about your giveaway! I love your blog and my water kefir grains are from Cultures for Health!!! (and my piima starter and a few other yogurts we have in our house!) http://twitter.com/GranolaMom4God/status/18211615444

  7. Jodi July 10, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    I would heart to have a dehydrator because (first) I have heard so many amazing things about this particular dehydrator. I have borrowed my mom’s dehydrator for far too long and need to give it back to her. I really want to use one regularly–for more than just drying my almonds. I would love to make beef jerky!!!

  8. Judi Stansky July 10, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    I am a single, retired diabetic woman who has taken control of my health by giving up all of the convenient, junky, unhealthful stuff that used to find its way into my home. I’m lucky to have several farm stands and markets in my area that provide wonderfully fresh fruits and vegetables, but I surely could use a system to help me put by what I can’t use immediately. A food dehydrator would help me to make healthful snacks and keep my retiree’s budget on track. Here’s hoping!

  9. Janelle July 10, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    I’ve been working toward feeding my family more whole, natural, organic foods. I never thought I’d use a dehydrator enough to make it worth the money–then my friend showed me something amazing! The other day she was drying sprouted grains to use for bread. I had never even thought of that! In the past I thought of dehydrators as tools to dry fruits and veggies…and since my children eat plenty of these–and we live in a place where good, fresh produce is available year round, I didn’t quite get it…now I know there are so many other uses for a dehydrator…it’s one more thing on my “must have” list for healthier eating.

  10. Jessica Lynette July 10, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    This would be such a blessing to win!!
    We are traveling to West Africa this November and I would use this to dehydrate fruits and vegetables my grandparents (missionaries there for 60+ years) are not able to purchase – like strawberries, peaches, apples, etc. I can’t take fresh, but dried is the second best and I would love to do my own so as to avoid the preservatives and sugars and price tag of store bought!

    Of course beyond that practical application we would enjoy the snacks as a family too :)

  11. Elizabeth Dahl July 10, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    Following on twitter!

  12. Elizabeth Dahl July 10, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    I just signed up for the mailing list. I need a dehydrator so badly. My husband and I are gluten intolerant, so we really need a dehydrator to make almond flour. We have apple trees at our disposal, so I’d make lots of dried apples and fruit leather, and I also really want to stock up on more dehydrated food for emergency purposes!

  13. Evelyn July 10, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    I am pretty sure I would use this about every day in the summer! So much great produce to store away :) Of course the winter would probably get great usage too when I could focus on beef jerky when there isnt so much fresh local produce.

  14. Michele Showalter July 10, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    First of all I just want to say that I absolutely love your website! Thank you so much for providing such a wealth of information! Because I was living with psoriasis for 20 years, I decided to see a naturopathic doctor, and with his awesome guidance I went through a cleansing program and learned how to eat more healthy food. My psoriasis has improved 80% in the past 2 months! We are what we eat! A dehydrator is the next appliance that I would absolutely love to have, not only for myself, but for my family. Since I learned that I had candida albicans, I have had to avoid yeast, gluten, milk, sugar, processed food, and many other foods in the past 2 months, and a dehydrator would be something I could use to make crackers, wraps and flat bread to eat with healthy dips/spreads and veggies. I would also like to learn how to make my own yogurt using a dehydrator as well as healthy snacks for my kids! I’m slowly reducing the amount of processed food they eat, but it would be much easier if I had a dehydrator to help encourage healthier eating! :)

  15. Mona Young July 10, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    I would love to have a dehydrator. Canning is not for me for health reasons and this would be the second best way for me to preserve our food. Thanks for the chance to try to win one.

  16. christal July 10, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    I would love a food dehydrator b/c its so hard to keep things fresh when you’re constantly on the go and sometimes you forget what you have until its too late!

  17. Susan July 10, 2010 at 9:14 am #

    I have been wanting a dehydrator to make healthy snacks for awhile!

  18. Katie July 10, 2010 at 9:12 am #

    I’ve been wanting an Excalibur for a while so I could take snack preparation for my family to the next level. :o )

  19. Melody Joy July 10, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    I’m following you and cultures for health on twitter!

  20. Julie July 10, 2010 at 9:01 am #

    I would love one of these. I have been looking at one for a long time but, I currently have a round dehydrator and them temp just isn’t very even. I would love one of these as I eat alot of raw fruits and veggies and love to make raw desserts on the dehydrator. This would allow me to make more at a time and trays that slide out would be easier than trays that stack upon one another.

  21. faith July 10, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    I posted back on facebook about your giveaway too! I sure hope i win!

  22. Melody Joy July 10, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    I would love to have the dehydrator because it would make preparing sprouted flour much easier. Also, I’d love to try my hand at making jerky and it would be great to have some dried fruit on hand for on-the-go snacks!

  23. faith July 10, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    I would love a dehydrator to put away some of our summer garden bounty! I love to make soup mixes with dried veggies in it for winter! And, fruit leather! we have so many abundant summer fruits around new jersey! blackberry fruit leather makes my heart skip a beat! my kids love healthy snacks and my hubby loves my creativity! i adore the kitchen! what a fabulous kitchen tool!

  24. Heather July 10, 2010 at 8:55 am #

    I have been dreaming of the Excalibur Food Dehydrator for so long… It will be a blessing to any family! I would use it to feed my family nutritious and yummy gluten-free snacks, homemade raw yogurt, and our favorite snack from our years in Japan “hoshi imo” dried sweet potatoes. Oh, my mouth is watering already! Thank you for this opportunity and thank you for always being so generous in sharing your knowledge, wisdom, and family with the rest of us.

    P.S. I don’t have a facebook or twitter account or a blog of my own but I have told my friends about your extremely helpful site.

  25. Melody Joy July 10, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    I tweeted about the giveaway!

  26. Sarah July 10, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    Great post and sweet giveaway! I would love to try to make beef jerky as well as all the other things I do with my round dehydrator. The extra space would be incredible!

  27. Jaime Layton July 10, 2010 at 8:22 am #

    I entered at Cultures for health!

  28. Jaime Layton July 10, 2010 at 8:21 am #

    I shared on FB

  29. Monica July 10, 2010 at 7:50 am #

    This would be great to use in drying herbs. We just tried fresh plantain on swimmers itch and it worked wonderful. Living up north, our growing season is short for everything. A dehydrator would help preserve those herbs and other things when things are frozen up here! Oh, some of us love our Swedish Fruit Soup which is made from dried fruit. It’s one of our Christmas traditions.

  30. Nancy Jacobs July 10, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    I would LOVE a dehydrator to help me build up my food storage.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    Nancy

  31. Frannie July 10, 2010 at 7:46 am #

    I have an old dehydrator from a rummage sale 10 yrs ago. It’s awful and doesn’t have a timer, temp guage nor does it dehydrate evenly. I’m ready for a new one to make my boys some good snacks. this would be such a blessing
    Frannie

  32. LaDonna July 10, 2010 at 7:44 am #

    I follow both on Twitter. My Twitter ID is @mom2kchmwr2001

  33. Jennifer July 10, 2010 at 7:44 am #

    I would use this for my daughter. I’m trying to only feed her healthy foods. So far it’s working but as she gets older I know it wil be harder and I think this would be a great tool for that.

  34. Karla July 10, 2010 at 7:43 am #

    I would love to have a dehydrator and make my children healthy fruit and nut snacks and more instead of spending all the money to buy them at the health food stores. The first thing I would make would be cinnamon apples rings! I would also be a lot of fun to make snack bags for friends and family for gifts.

  35. LaDonna July 10, 2010 at 7:39 am #

    I entered my information. I would love to dry fruit for us.

  36. Traci July 10, 2010 at 7:26 am #

    I just posted your link on my blog!!

  37. Teresa Torrella July 10, 2010 at 7:23 am #

    We would love a dehydrator. We have transformed our lives to become self sustaining. Our goal is to support us soley on what we can produce. With so much gardening poducts we are looking for another way to preserve food and feed our family throughout the winter months. Thank you for the opportunity to win a dehydrator. What a great idea!

  38. Traci July 10, 2010 at 7:20 am #

    I’ve been wanting a dehydrator mainly for drying nuts after I’ve soaked them. My oven won’t go lower than 200 degrees, which is okay b/c I can crack it and keep it at 150 degrees. But, it sure would make things a bit easier, and I could do a lot of dehydrating at one time. I also want to try making fruit leathers so I can control the type of sweetener and how much of it I use!

  39. Arianna Aten July 10, 2010 at 7:12 am #

    This would be great! I have wanted one for awhile. That fruit leather looks lovely! I’d try that first. :)

  40. Kelly July 10, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    I have wanted one for a LONG time. I am not into canning but would love to dry fruits and make jerky!
    Thanks for the opportunity.

  41. elizabeth July 10, 2010 at 7:06 am #

    I’m following you both now on Twitter!

    Blessings, Elizabeth

  42. Desiree July 10, 2010 at 7:05 am #

    I am following Cultures for Health and Passionate Homemaking on Twitter. :)

  43. Desiree July 10, 2010 at 7:04 am #

    I shared on facebook!

  44. Heather Hill July 10, 2010 at 7:04 am #

    Like many many other wives and moms, I too started on the journey of providing better, more nourishing foods for my family of 5 about a year and a half ago. I keep a running list in my notebook titled “Nice to haves” and of course a dehydrator is among the many. I have made the Soaked Granola recipe once before in the oven, which my Husband loved, but not again since we live in Texas and I can’t imagine adding to the suns heat. For now its a seasonal recipe:) I am sure whoever receives this handy tool will be blessed.

  45. Lindy July 10, 2010 at 7:04 am #

    Hi! I have been reading your blog for about 5 months now and this is the first giveaway that I have entered (entered on Cultures for health)! It is exciting. The dehydrator would be an excellent tool for me to have. I have joined a CSA for the first time this year and find that I have veggies and fruits that are left over by the end of the week. The dehydrator would help me to limit waste and help me to continue to enjoy the harvest at later times. If I were to win, there is no way that I could keep this to myself, sharing with my parents, who dehydrate a lot now, would love to use a machine like this.

  46. elizabeth July 10, 2010 at 7:04 am #

    What a wonderful giveaway! I have been wanting a dehydrator! I have been borrowing a friend’s round models a during apple season to make dried apples. I would love one to make fruit leather, we have been doing this in the oven or on the picnic table on really hot days. I can’t even begin to list all the things I would do with a dehydrator of my own! My finger are crossed!

    Blessings, Elizabeth

  47. Desiree July 10, 2010 at 7:02 am #

    I joined on Cultures for Health. I would love a dehydrator! This is our first year with a real garden harvest and I’d love to put some food by for this winter when we’ll have a new baby around! It would be so much easier!

  48. Heather C July 10, 2010 at 6:48 am #

    I also shared this on Facebook.

  49. Heather July 10, 2010 at 6:47 am #

    I posted this to facebook….I want to get the word out!