I have to be honest, I had never heard of a food dehydrator before I was asked to review one late last year (yes this is an ever so slightly over due review *ahem*!!). I accepted the review to satisfy my curiosity after I had googled what one was and I thought it seemed like a very clever little machine.
The Callow Digital Food Dryer and Dehydrator is a way of preserving fruit and avoiding waste, while also allowing you to make your own dried fruit which is just brilliant! I often buy dried fruit for making flapjacks and cakes, but I always have lots leftover, spilling out into my food cupboard which inevitably means that those escaped pieces end up in my bin! However, being able to make my own dried fruit as and when I need it is just genius and saves on space in my cupboard and money in my purse! Plus, of course, drying your own vegetables, meat of fruit is also a very good way of preserving food and retaining their vitamins and nutrients.
So far I have only tried making dried banana, strawberries and apples mainly because these are fruits we buy the most, but I can see me trying mango , cherries and blueberries soon next time I see them on promotion!
The machine comes with a booklet which tells you which fruits, vegetables and even meats you can dehydrate, and for how long and on which temperrature. Setting the machine is VERY easy – heck I mastered it straight away, so it must be ok!! It comes with 5 trays, so you can dry a lot of produce all at once (as long as they all require the same temperature). Due to my fruit needing 10 hours in total, it meant that the machine was left on while I was in bed, but, as with a slow cooker, the machine stops after the allocated time and it is safe and in the morning when I came down to the kitchen to investigate my newly dried fruit, it was fine and my kitchen had not burnt down!!!
As much as the dried fruit is lovely to eat as a snack, still sweet and with some mositure still, I decided to incorporate them into a recipe so here is how I made some Fruit & Nut Oaty Bars
- 200g oats
- 50g unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp nutella
- 100g dehydrated (dried) strawberries
- 100g dehydrated (dried) bananas
- 100g ground hazelnuts
- 2 meduim apples, peeled and grated
- 50g sultanas
- pre heat the oven to 180oC / 160oC (fan)
- grease and line a deep rectangular tin (I used a 10 x 8 inch)
- place the peanut butter, honey, chocolate spread and butter in a non stick pan and melt together to make a syrup
- stir in the oats, fruit and nuts and mix well
- pour into the tin and press down
- bake for 40 minutes (ish) until golden brown
- leave to cool in the tin before turning out and cutting into squares
I cannot wait to keep using my new Callow Digital Food Dryer and Dehydrator, I think it will come in very handy, and who knows maybe come next Christmas the dried fruit used in my pudding might be a batch which I dehydrated myself!
I have a brand new Callow Digital Food Dryer and Dehydrator to give away, which is worth £59.99 and all you need to do to win it, is to fill in the form below. The prize draw ends on 1st February, 2015 at 12am. Good luck 🙂
I was sent this product for the purpose of a review, which I have done honestly.