NOTE: The following giveaway is open to Canadians only.
I’ll admit it; I don’t think a food dehydrator has ever been on my culinary wishlist.
I mean, I’ve never sat around on a Saturday afternoon thinking, I wish I could dry some fruit. I mean, who does… right? Except now that I have spent a Saturday afternoon drying fruit, it’s a process I’d definitely like to repeat again… and again… thanks to the Hamilton Beach Food Dehydrator.
Back-to-school is around the corner. The opportunity to load up my boys’ lunchbox with healthy snacks – without preservatives or additives – is very attractive to me. And since my little guys love fruit, why not concentrate the flavours, make it completely portable, and have it available for them when they want it? Friends, I’ve seen the light: I totally need a food dehydrator.
Now, if you’re like me and are new to dehydrating, here’s what you need to know:
1. The four most popular foods to dehydrate are fruits, vegetables, herbs and meat (think beef jerky). Dehydrating takes time. This is not something you can decide to do, and then have your goodies ready in an hour. Chances are, you won’t even have them ready on the same day; the process takes anywhere from 6-18 hours, not including the time it takes to wash, slice and prepare the food. However, the good news is that after the food is loaded up into the dehydrator, you can literally forget about it. The unit does all the work and is compact, relatively quiet and pretty much foolproof if you follow the instructions for preparation.
2. Read the instructions to ensure you’re preparing your foods properly. Some fruits and vegetables call for blanching beforehand, or, to prevent browning, some food items require a quick dunk in a lemon juice bath. But most of the time you’ll simply need to wash and dry the food thoroughly. The more moisture you can blot off the prepared food, the easier (and quicker) it will be to dehydrate.3. The Hamilton Beach Food Dehydrator comes with five (5) stackable trays, but don’t feel that you have to fill them up on your first go. I started with three, and sliced my fruit super-thin to test out timing. With sliced bananas and strawberries at 1/8-inch thickness, the fruit was done in 3 hours! This aligns with the suggested drying time of 6-10 hours for fruit sliced 1/4-inch thick.
In the end, I was awarded with about a cup filled with super sweet dried fruit! It’s absolutely perfect and I can’t wait to try it again!
I’ll be adding my dried fruit to oatmeal and granola for breakfasts on the go, and my boys love it as-is straight from the jar. It was also the inspiration for this Banana Berry Fudge!
14 oz (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
228 g (1 bag) white chocolate chips
2 teaspoons strawberry jelly powder
2 tablespoons chopped dried strawberries
2 tablespoons chopped dried banana
Line an 8 x 8″ baking dish with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray.
In a large, microwave safe bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk and white chocolate chips. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute, stir, and then microwave for an additional minute. Stir again.
Cool slightly, and then mix in the strawberry jelly powder and dried fruit. Smooth into baking dish and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until chilled through. Cut into pieces and enjoy!
The Hamilton Beach Food Dehydrator retails for $69.99 and is available online at hamiltonbeach.ca or in-store where you find Hamilton Beach small appliances. And, here’s your chance to win one!
Make back-to-school breakfasts and snacks easy-peasy with the Hamilton Beach Food Dehydrator. To enter, simply fill the form below with your qualifying entries. Good luck!