Dehydrators have become increasingly popular in recent years, with both professional and amateur chefs finding them essential for creating dried fruit and vegetables, as well as foods as varied as yoghurt, salad dressings, beef jerky, fish, onion rings or fruit wraps. While some of these dishes can be created in an oven, it is much more efficient both in terms of time and energy, to use a commercial dehydrator. Plus, a dehydrator will offer the controls to ensure that your food is dehydrated to perfection whilst preserving important vitamins and minerals that are often lost when drying foods in the oven.
Excalibur’s Dehydrator is one of the most versatile dehydrators available. It’s the only one that uses the Parallex™ Horizontal Air Flow Drying System – a fan and adjustable thermostat that creates excellent airflow, ensuring each tray receives its own “jet stream” of forced air. Many other dehydrators radiate heat; the Excalibur directs it.
Here are five simple but inspirational recipes you can make with an Excalibur Dehydrator, including a couple of surprising contenders!
Let’s start off with an easy dehydrated classic, the banana chip.
- Peel the bananas and then slice them into ¼-inch pieces.
- Some people then like to soak the banana slices in a mixture of half water and half fresh lemon juice for 5-10 minutes, which stops the bananas from turning brown during the dehydration process. If you don’t mind your banana chips being slightly off-colour then you can skip this step.
- Line your Excalibur Dehydrator with a ParaFlexx non-stick drying sheet
- Lay the banana slices on a single layer of the dehydrator trays and try to stop the banana slices from touching where possible.
- Dehydrate at 135 °F for 6-10 hours or until leathery in texture
Dehydrated tomatoes can be just as good as sun-dried tomatoes and at a fraction of the price too.
Here’s how you make them:
- Slice your ripe tomatoes
- Add 1 gram of pure ascorbic acid (vitamin C) to a bowl of water
- Submerge the tomatoes in this water for around 3-4 minutes. This is an optional step but it will help preserve the colour of the tomatoes
- Remove the tomatoes from the water and place on a dehydrator tray (pre-lined with ParaFlexx)
- Run the dehydrator at 135 °F for 7-8 hours or until the slices have become dry and crispy
- Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Alternatively, you could soak the tomatoes in olive oil. However, bear in mind that the tomatoes will only keep for a week or two if soaked in olive oil.
One of the most surprising things that can be made in a dehydrator is yoghurt. Doing it this way is also remarkably simple. To make yoghurt in a dehydrator just follow these steps:
- Pour milk into a saucepan
- Heat milk over medium heat until temperature reaches 185°F-195°F
- Whisk in yoghurt with active cultures. Make sure the yoghurt is mixed in well with the milk
- Transfer the mixture into glass jars, and seal with lids
- Remove all trays from the dehydrator and place the jars inside
- Dehydrate for 8 to 10 hours. Do not stir or check the yoghurt during this time
- Once dehydration is complete, place the jars in the fridge. The yoghurt will thicken as it cools
These are a great healthy little snack full of vitamin A. They are also gluten and wheat-free, so are a great alternative to crisps, and to make them is so easy with an Excalibur.
- In a bowl, toss the carrots in olive oil
- Sprinkle sea salt on the carrots and toss them again
- Place the carrots on a Paraflexx-lined dehydrator tray
- Dry at 125 °F for 6 hours or until crispy
Dehydrators are great for making granola. This is one of our favourite granola recipes, but feel free to change as you wish. You could also dehydrate some fruit to add to the mix too.
- Preheat your oven to 400 °F
- Blend a mixture of nuts and oats. We like to go for one cup of peanuts, one cup of walnuts and one cup of cashews, as well as ½ cup of sunflower seeds. Add 5 cups of good quality rolled oats
- Place the mix in a baking pan and toast it in the oven for 10 minutes, stirring at regular intervals so that it doesn’t burn
- Mix together 1 cup of brown sugar, 2 large spoonfuls of honey, 8 tablespoons of butter, 4 teaspoons of vanilla extract and a pinch of salt, and simmer together in a saucepan while stirring
- In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients, as well as any dried fruit you may like to include
- Place your granola mix on a Paraflexx-lined dehydrator tray
- Dehydrate the mixture at 115 °F for roughly 3 hours
To purchase an Excalibur Dehydrator today please click here, or to find out more information about dehydrators in general, please contact us via email or by phone on +44 (0)1825 765 511