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Ah! The famous dehydrator of which every lover of living food dreams! Although not absolutely necessary, it is still a device which adds an interesting variety to raw menus. On the other hand, for those who don’t know how to use it, it may seem intimidating. The present article aims to familiarize you with it. Therefore, take yours out of the closet, dust it off a bit, and allow me to introduce it to you.

What exactly is a dehydrator?

Dehydration is used to evaporate the liquid from a food or a preparation in order to dry it. The device itself can be cubic or cylindrical (the best models being cubic). The temperature used to make the liquid evaporate is low, which distinguishes this process from that of cooking. The result, if the temperature is controlled effectively, is a food (or a preparation) that can be crunchy (such as a raw Ritz Cracker), or that can be flexible yet firm (such as a mango and coriander Wrap). It can also be used to gently heat raw soups and for melting cacao or coconut butters.

How does a dehydrator work?

In the cubic models, heated air is propelled from the back of the appliance, with the help of a fan which has the effect of uniformly evaporating the liquid from each of the trays. In the cylindrical models, a heating element is usually placed at the back of the appliance and the heated air ascends through the trays, drying the bottom trays more quickly which develops the need for a periodic rotation of the trays in order to prevent the over drying of the food on the bottom ones. The cubic, fan and temperature-controlled models are to be preferred.

The choice of temperature for dehydration varies according to convictions (above all) and tastes (or patience!). Personally, I don’t dehydrate anything above 104˚F (40˚C), but many crudivores go up to 125˚F (and even a little more for brief periods). Certain people mention fermentation problems with the use of a higher temperature; I avoid this problem by watching the thickness of the preparations (see below).

Do you really need a dehydrator to succeed with your living food?

The short answer: no. But… But, if you are no longer satisfied with only consuming fresh food, or if you feel the need for something crunchier than nuts, more complex (my savoury pesto-caramelized onion Pizza, for example) or heavier (like my jalapeno Burgers) or if the cold season incites you, then it is time to think of getting yourself a dehydrator.

What are the criteria to consider while buying a dehydrator?

As much as the purchasing of a dehydrator can add variety, and therefore pleasure, to your living diet, it can cause you just as many headaches and regrets, if the purchase is not considered correctly. 

For certain appliances, the only temperature control we can exercise consists of the rotation of the trays and of the opening of the appliance. Other appliances have an integrated thermostat. Unless you want to spend the day moving trays and manually verifying the temperature (the dehydration of certain preparations can exceed several hours!), it would be better to consider a dehydrator with integrated thermostat.

So, the factors to consider for a dehydrator: the size of the appliance (based on the expected use and the number of people to feed), the possibility of controlling the temperature, the easiness of maintenance, the durability and the cost.

Dehydrated kisses,

Sheryl-Anne xx

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Sheryl-Anne is an international pioneer of living food coaching and the creator of Crusine Santé (, a website where her innovative work within the Francophonie in this domain expresses itself through quality information, raw recipes and the living information that she shares. She publishes a very popular weekly newsletter, Passion crue, has written several virtual works and is the author of the paper book L’alimentation vivante simplifiée. With more than 20 years of healthy eating under her belt, she lives her passion daily by herself fueling towards raw, as well as by writing, by giving trainings and by professionally coaching about living food since 2008. Her head overflowing with projects, it’s with enthusiasm that she invites all those with a passion for health and for wellbeing to join her and live the experience of living food. She resides in Quebec.

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