Here is a comment we recently received from one of our regular readers, Julie
- “Hi! I hope that you can give me some guidance that may also be helpful to others. I’m new to raw (un)cooking and stocking my kitchen with equipment. I’ve settled on purchasing an Excalibur dehydrator, but I’m just not sure which size to choose. I thought you posted a few months ago that you were downsizing to a smaller dehydrator. I’m curious as to what sizes you went from/to and why. I’m the only one in my family eating raw, but I would like to buy a dehydrator big enough to make enough to share … of course, without making way too much or wasting space. Any suggestions?”
Funny you should ask….because we finally ordered a new dehydrator today!
We thought this would be an excellent time to talk about dehydrators and how using one led us around in a circle.
Let’s flash back to 2014, when we were both really serious about eating more raw. At that time, there were a few raw recipe books at the bookstores, and a slew of sites on the ‘net with varying opinions about every aspect of eating a raw food diet.
Not much has changed since then, except for there are now more books and more sites and more opinions than ever!
After reading some advice on which dehydrator to buy, we settled on the defacto standard of the raw food world: The Excalibur dehydrator, by Parralaxx.
We weren’t sure what size to get. It seemed every book or website we read told us that we’d want to be dehydrating basically 24 hours a day and that’d we need lots of trays for dehydrating large batches of crackers. Not only that, but we’d need the largest size, a nine tray, for all the raw breads we would be making. So we ordered the nine tray Excalibur from RawGuru.
When it arrived and we unpacked it, the dehydrator took up almost all of the counter space in our small kitchen!
After using our dehydrator for a good six months, we found that since there was only two of us, we didn’t need such a large dehydrator. Sure, we used it quite a bit at first, but we just ended up wasting trays as we did not dehydrate in large batches.
I suppose if you had a family to feed or you really like to make dehydrated goodies, or if a raw food “bake” sale is in your future, a nine tray may very well work for you.
Soon after buying our dehydrator, we started seeing a lot of information on the ‘net about dehydrating being “bad”. Some of the authors painted a bleak and scary picture with comments like:
“All the water is sucked out and then you will be dehydrated!”
“You will lose your teeth if you dehydrate!”
“Dehydrating is not much better than cooking! It destroys nutrients too!”
and on and on.
Being still relatively new to raw food at the time, and lacking our own philosophy and experience, we were easily swayed by all the “experts” we were reading. We quickly sold the dehydrator and vowed to only eat food with water in it.
This lead to a spiral of reading and believing just about everything we heard on “doing the raw food diet right.” It took a year of believing different books before we realized a valuable lesson:
Don’t let all the loud raw food voices out there scare you!
Don’t let them drown out your own intuition. If you always listen to them, you will continue to change what you eat based on what they say. That will lead to craziness, as you go from all smoothies to no smoothies, all fruit to no fruit, and so on.
We tell people: If you want to dehydrate, then do it!! If you feel you shouldn’t do it, that’s cool with us too!
The bottom line is: don’t let all the information out there stop you from eating raw, right now!
Learning all the opinions and recommendations on how to do the diet right is all fine and good, but don’t let it stop you. Sit down with a dehydrated flax cracker and read what these people have to say. Change the way you eat if you want, but in the meantime, eat raw and enjoy it the way you want.
~ Heidi & Justin
Bonus Photo: Raw Pizza Crust
Here’s one from our photo archives from 2015. This photo is of Justin’s hands getting sticky making raw pizza crust. It was one of our first dehydrated successes. If I find a photo of that tiny kitchen with our humongous dehydrator, I’ll post it for all of you to enjoy.
P.S. The best place to get a good deal on the Excalibur is over at Raw Guru, they offer free shipping and free Teflex sheets with any dehydrator order:
We love buying dehydrators from Raw Guru so much, we’ve done it twice!