A home dehydrator may seem like some kind of extravagant foodie purchase, but they are more affordable these days and you will be pleasantly surprised at what you can use it for, its more than just something to activate nuts in! I have used mine for pancakes, wraps, kale chips, energy bars, soup, scones, all kinds of snacks and more besides. After years of using a very very loud excalibur 9 tray dehydrator, I was looking forward to seeing if Froothie had managed to make a quieter version. Fortunately I was sent a Optimum Dehydrator to review! Would it perform the same as the popular excalibur model, or perhaps even better?
With a similar look to the excalibur, the Optimum P200 is a sleeker machine that is narrower and a little easier to find room for than the excalibur, which does look a little bulky in comparison. It’s light and easy to move around, if you want to store it out of the way when not in use. The Excalibur 9 tray that I have has a weird door to the front that you take right off in order to pull out trays for use, and then have to make sure its attached in the right way when you want to dry your food- its very easy to leave a gap and then the small amount of heat escapes. The Optimum on the other hand, you simply pull out the trays, which have easy to use handles, no fiddling or fuss. This is a huge design improvement and makes checking on your food quick and easy as well.
The Optimum performs just as well and drys food in the same time as the Excalibur. I’ve tried all my regular recipes in both and the performance is equal to each other, I don’t notice any difference. The Optimum has a 40 hour digital timer, with an adjustable thermostat, where the Excalibur has a 26 hour timer.
This is where the Optimum P200 absolutely knocks the Excalibur out of the park. There is no comparison, one is irritatingly noisy and one is not. My Excalibur has always been put in a room with a door, or upstairs as it is currently, because the noise is too much. You can’t have a conversation in the kitchen with it on, without getting pretty fed up. It is a major design flaw and if there had been an alternative machine of the same performance quality at the time I bought it, I would have sent it back. It is that bad. The Optimum P200 on the other hand, runs like a dream with minimal noise disturbance, it sits in our open plan kitchen and living area without annoying the heck out of me! This is Froothie’s biggest advantage with their new dehydrators and makes it the better machine for us. Indeed we aren’t keeping my excalibur, even though though its a 9 tray and my Optimum is just a 6 tray, the Froothie Optimum meets all the needs of our small family.
Now I have a dehydrator I can have in use while we are in the kitchen, I am using it more and in the coming weeks you will see some new raw recipes from me. I’m dying to try some more wraps, made from vegetables! And I think dehydrators are particularly useful for healthy snacks, they provide you with a way of ‘cooking’ without oil really easily. It’s a good idea to make best use of having your dehydrator on and filing up the trays with lots of different things. If I am making something like kale chips that only use half the trays available, I use the opportunity to dry anything that might not last much longer, such as the shiitake mushrooms we buy in bulk through our delivery company, or even fruit that has gone a bit soft, just slice really thinly and lay on your trays for dried fruit useful as an ingredient or as a snack. I also make cookies in the dehydrator, which usually only take a few hours, so you can double up with something like granola or energy bars.
Overall, both machines are great, but the Optimum P200 by Froothie edges past the Excalibur in both design and noise so for me, is the best of the two. Now, back to some more food experiments, thats the fun part of what I do!
Here are some fantastic looking recipes from Raw Kiwi we’ll be trying too!
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