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Do I actually need a dehydrator?

edited September 2012 in Food Preparation

Dehydrating looks like boatloads of fun, but is this something I really need to get the most out of raw foods? I can kind of, sort of, dehydrate on the top shelf of my gas stove because of the pilot light. It maintains around 100 degrees. I don't think a pizza or bread would be succesful, but it dries out buckwheat sprouts and makes ok burgers.

Do all of you dehydrate? It would be nice to have taco shells, but I just don't know how I feel about buying a big plastic square right now.


  • when you dehydrate fresh whole raw foods, they are no longer fresh raw whole foods.

    I did for a little while, not anymore, i like using my blender with frozen bananas and other fruits much better.

    I think it depends on how much cooking you want to put into it.

  • I don't think a dehydrator is neccesary for uncooking. In fact, a lot of people complain about tummy aches because dehydrated food can be so difficult to digest. I only used my dehydrator to dry fruit when I had too much. Sometimes when you buy things seasonally, there is an overabundance of what a person can eat and dehydrating fruit in the Fall is a great way to have "snacks" during the winter. I love dried apples!

    Though I've never done it, I know a lot of people have also used their dehydrator to dry foraged nettles and greens to make a their own green powder for smoothies in the winter. Unfortunately, I dropped my dehydrator and it broke. It isn't something a use a lot, so I'm waiting to buy a new one in the Fall when it is fruit drying season.

    Just so you know the machines are noisy. So if you live in a small space or with other people, it can be annoying.

  • does the excalibur make noise?

  • The Excalibur is very noisy, I have it in a special room that is sort of soundproof - wasn't built to be soundproof, just is; luckily ;)

    When I first got it I had it on the countertop in the kitchen, but had to turn it off when I had company.

  • I have no idea wether the alternative way of dehydrating you describe would work. But you can certainly follow a raw diet without dehydrating at all, more fresh too.

  • Well I can't afford one anyway and after reading some more into it- Fred's web page- I won't bother getting one in the future- what you said makes sense rawcanadian.

  • Thanks for all the advice. I think I'll go without. I didn't realize they made much noise. That would bug me. Your right rawcanadian, the food isn't exactly whole and unprocessed anymore is it?

  • Dehydrated foods are definitely processed and no longer whole, which means they are no longer truly raw. The water has been removed, carrying vital nutrients along with it.



  • I did wonder that myself when I read about dehyrdrators.

  • Oh, I love my dehydrator... bread, crackers, falafels, neatballs, nut loaf, stuffed peppers, etc etc!! Would not trade it for a sack of gold!! ;D

  • is there any study or that which shows how much nutrient loss occurs when dehydrating?


  • I doubt it, powerlifter....studies have to have funding..... :/

    You can go by how you feel on fresh versus dehydrated if you'd like.

  • Also, studies fail to look at food/nutrition in a holistic manner. The only way to do a clinical study is to focus on one detail at a time, which often fails to give a good picture.

  • aye i couldnt find much information at all, i was just wondering if there was any information showing a huge difference in nutrient content.

    i tend to keep the majority of my food intake to fresh anyway, some dehydrated recipes are pretty good though.


  • Yes, there's nothing wrong with eating dehydrated foods on occasion. I like to eat sun-dried tomatoes and nuts and seeds every once and a while myself. But they're only used as additional ingredients to the rest of my meal.



  • yeah, some people get excited over combinations of food and concentrated flavors, esp. if cooked food eaters or transitioners, so i think it's good sometimes to prepare them for others.

    you can't beat freshly cut ripe fruit, in my opinion, though. :p

  • Definitely. Salt-free sun-dried tomatoes were a lifesaver for me at first. They added so much flavor without any need for salt, onion, garlic, etc.

    That said, I probably would have been just fine without them if I had eaten more sweet fruit.



  • whats wrong with onion and garlic?


  • onion and garlic gives you bad breath .

  • Some people say that garlic contains a neurotoxin, but I can only find info about one study. There have been many studies showing garlic to be beneficial. I personally have no intention of giving up onions or garlic, though you obviously need less of them when raw.

  • I don't eat onions and/or garlic because I don't like my secretions to stink.

  • I don't eat onions and/or garlic because I don't like my secretions to stink.

  • putting past the smell/taste i was more talking about the function of these which are two vegetables i love lol


  • I love garlic- if you eat parsley with it you don't smell. My mum hates garlic but says she cannot smell it on me.

  • Onion and garlic isn't a horrible food by any means, but it certainly isn't optimal. Whenever I eat it, even in small amounts, I get a slight headache (especially with garlic) and I can smell it in my sweat the next day. Sweet Vidalia onions are okay if mixed with sweet fruit, but I still smell it on myself.

    I hardly ever make recipes so it's easy to stay away from them. :)



  • Well...I have been even naughtier...just made the carob snowballs with cashew nut butter..mmm..the carob powder is very chocolatley in taste.. I showed them to my neighb our who was just coming in with two huge trays of danish pastries- he showed me his belly and it is big, he laughed and I laughed and told him he looks like he is about to give birth to danish pastries! :O

  • I am definitely eating less aromatics. Cooked, I would use at least 1 onion and a whole head of garlic in a typical meal. Sometimes I would throw in scallions at the end for good measure lol. Now I might throw in 1 clove of garlic into a blended sauce or a quarter onion. I like finely sliced scallions in collard wraps and the like. It is so much stronger raw.

  • Yes, one needs less raw garlic and onions! :)

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