View Full Version : Do I NEED a dehydrator?
09-02-2005, 09:45 PM
Hi guys! I'm just wondering if its absolutely necessary to have a dehydrator to make things like raw crackers and bread. Will an oven not work? Im trying to save money right now and those dehydrators are so expensive! Are there any alternatives to a dehydrator? Thanks for your advice! :)
09-02-2005, 10:00 PM
Hi, you have several options
you can buy an American Harvest Nesco dehydrator from Walmart, that costs about $40 but make sure it has a temperature gauge.
You can use your oven, if you set it on the lowest setting and keep the door open, and use some kind of fan, as wind is necessary to dehydrate things.
You can place items in the sun, on a deck or patio, place them on saran wrap or parchment paper, and cover with something to keep bugs out.
you can place then in your car in the sun, again, you need some air movement, but because of the windows in your car the temp can get very high, so you might even want to check the temp every once in a while.
you can place food in front of a heater or wood stove, again use a fan to keep the air moving, and to allow for the liquid to disipate.
you can even use a hair dryer, although you might have to rig it up some creative way.
09-02-2005, 10:03 PM
check to see how low your oven temp goes, mine is 150, which makes it too high. As I understand it, it needs to be about 100, 120 max. I asked this exact question when I was new and I still don't have one. I found some somewhat expensive crackers at the market that were dehydrated and made cookies and cakes in the fridge. I did buy an expensive blender that doubles as my food processor (for now). You don't need it a dehydrator. I think you can make refridgerator bread too. If you live in a hot climate you can dehydrate in the sun (or so I was told, haven't tried it myself). Good luck!
09-03-2005, 01:18 AM
If you do use your oven or a non-dehydrator source of heat, be sure to get a good food thermometer and keep checking to make sure the heat doesn't go above 100 degrees. Enzymes are destroyed by 120. 100 is a safer temp if you want to retain all the enzymes.
I know that a number of members of this forum are very happy with their $40 dehydrator. If you buy dehydrated crackers (which are quite expensive) you'll likely spend $40 very quickly which could have been used in getting your dehydrator.
Also -- you don't have to have dehydrated foods to be raw. If you really need to stick to a budget and can't afford $40, you can go without for a while. Though I know that for me, they really helped me stay raw in my first months. Just a thought.
09-03-2005, 06:12 AM
for breads, crackers and chips to obtain a certain crisp and dry texture, yes, some type of functional dehydration is nesessary - such as the ingenious suggestions given here... but, I was happily and successfully 95% raw for the first 6 to 8 months without any gadgets at all - except a sharp knife and some good pyrex (glass dishes with lids) for storage.
Also, many of the dehydrated recipes - don't necessarily need to be dehydrated to taste good AND they are even fresher when consumed right away - - - say, veggie patties, cookies and such! just use your own taste and you will do fine ~ :p
09-03-2005, 02:17 PM
Hi, I dont have one. I live in an apartment with no patio or deck. I always place my foods (breads, crackers, cookies, etc.) in the sun. It works very well when it is sunny day, if not, it takes little longer to dehydrate. Then, I sometimes use a fan. I have been doing this method and it has been working for me. I am lucky since I am on the top floor apartment with south and west exposures.
i'll just state flat out that you don't 'need' a dehydrator...
...the only thing i'd use one for would be crackers... and i don't even enjoy them that much...
heh... okay, and maybe making a pizza crust once in a while...
...or...uh... some coconut jerky...(dang that chad sarno!)
...still i spent my first two years on raw sans a dehydrator... and then when i had access to them i kind of resented always having those dehydrated 'treats' around all the time after a while...
a good cheat for a cracker could be a romaine, or cabbage leaf with a little pate on it... or the same with a nori sheet... slices of beet, jicama, radish, or other root...(nice and crispy...)
i'd just as happily never have another dehydrated food again... *shrug*
09-03-2005, 07:22 PM
I don't use a dehydrator. I bought one, but it looked a little intimidating to set up, get the sheets, and figure out how to use. There was nothing I wanted to make *that* bad. So, eight months later, it's still in the box.
I've bought some raw fruit/nut bars, and they don't agree with me, it seems like I just do better with fresh raw food, so I use green smoothies, but nothing dehydrated.
09-05-2005, 02:02 PM
I agree with nemo, crisp lettuce pieces can double up as your cracker. I use them to put everything on, from fresh ground raw cashew butter, to date paste. I don't really look to the lettuce as a nutrition source, even though it is. I look to it as a way of holding condiments just like a cracker would.
You talk about a good spread, I blend cashews and dates with added spring water for thinning. It is good, I mean taste better than candy. Hard to believe it is actually good for you.
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