Froothie Optimum P200 Dehydrator Review

froothie-optimum-p200-dehydrator

A big, black, shiny beast came to stay. No, not a black labrador (my cat would pack her bags) but the new Optimum P200 Dehydrator from Froothie. I’ve been happily using my old dehydrator for the last year but that’s a round one and although it did its job, I’d heard square ones were better for the following reasons:

  • The heat in a square dehydrator is evenly distributed – top to bottom and front to back – so you don’t have to keep switching the trays around while whatever’s inside is drying. Round dehydrators are heated from the bottom, so the bottom gets most of the heat, so you have to keep switching the trays around.
  • Round dehydrators have a hole in the middle of each tray which a) means it takes longer to dehydrate the food; and b) means you’re losing space on each tray and makes it more difficult to make things like fruit leathers/roll-ups/crackers, etc.
  • With a square dehydrator, you can take all the trays out and prove bread and make yoghurt inside the machine (no, I have no idea how; I just know you can). If you took all the trays off a round dehydrator, you’d just be left with the base.

So, when Froothie said, ‘Miss Ambassador Cathy, would you like one of our new dehydrators?’, although part of me thought, ‘I already have a dehydrator. I know how big they are. If I get any more kitchen gadgets – let alone big ones – The Meat Eater is going to go nuts’, the other, much bigger, gadget-loving part of me thought, ‘HELL YEAH’.  Besides, I thought I’d be able to sell my old one on one of those Facebook local selling pages. ‘Thought’ being the operative word as, although I’ve sold a slow cooker on there recently, no one wants my old juicer and I reckon if I want to tempt someone to buy my old dehydrator I’ll have to put in the description that it can make chips. I just won’t tell them I meant kale chips.

Optimum P200 Dehydrator

The Optimum P200 dehydrator comes with a user guide with the usual operating instructions and do’s and don’ts. One of the ‘don’ts’ is ‘do not use with an extension lead’, and although it’s not even just a ‘don’t’ but a ‘warning’, I happily used it for a few days plugged into an extension lead because it was too big and noisy to live in the kitchen and so I moved it to the conservatory where there was nowhere near a wall socket into which to plug it. It was only yesterday when The Meat Eater complained about the noise of it (he does weights in the conservatory) that I mentioned it shouldn’t be plugged into an extension cable and did he know why. He did know why. He said ‘because too much power will go through and it’ll catch on fire’. Oops. It’s now unplugged and I’m going to rearrange the conservatory and find it a nice safe wall socket to plug it into.

Also in the user guide is some advice on how to prepare your fruit and veg before putting it in the dehydrator, and also how long to dry it for. As you can see in the above photo, there’s also a little guide on the top of the dehydrator, along with the temperature dial and 40-hour digital timer.

P200 dehydrator meshes and plastic sheets

The dehydrator also comes with 2 x non-stick reusable meshes for placing on top or underneath the fruit and veg being dried, and 2 x non-stick reusable plastic sheets for fruit leathers/roll-ups, cookies and crackers, etc., along with a brush to clean the meshes and sheets with.

Tofu jerky in the dehydrator

Since receiving my dehydrator, I’ve made tofu jerky and mushroom jerky in it, which have both been amazing and only take a few hours. I especially love the tofu jerky, which is simply tofu sliced and marinated in a combination of sriracha, vegan Worcestershire Sauce and liquid smoke, then dehydrated at 60C for about 4 hours (it’ll take less or more time depending on how thick you slice the tofu).

Mushroom jerky and tofu jerky

The mushroom jerky (mushrooms sliced and marinated in Reggae Reggae Sauce and dehydrated at 60C for about 6 hours) is great in wraps and stuffed in pitta bread with salad. With summer coming (we’ll forget it snowed today, yeah?), that means long walks and bike rides in the countryside and I’ve got it in mind to make some fruit roll-ups to take with me for an energy boost.

If you’re tempted to get a dehydrator but not sure you’d get much use out of one, you can try the Optimum P200 Dehydrator for 30 days and if you don’t like it, Froothie are offering a money back guarantee – including return postage costs – so why not give it a go?

*Disclaimer: I am an Ambassador for Froothie and any links to their products in this post are affiliate links which, if you purchase a product through, won’t cost you any more but will earn me a small commission. I only endorse products I am happy with and I have not been paid for this post.

 

 

 

 

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Recipe: Smoky Marinated Tofu in Pitta Bread

Tofu marinated in sesame oil, sriracha, liquid smoke and nutritional yeast

I hadn’t had tofu for ages, so it was time to remedy that and raid the cupboard and fridge for condiments and drag the George Foreman out of the cupboard.

The result was cripsy, smoky, spicy tofu that I stuffed in a Food Doctor seeded pitta bread (only £1 for 6 in Tesco) with spinach, olives and mayo.

Recipe: Marinated Tofu in Pitta Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • ½ block tofu, pressed and sliced in half
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • A few drops liquid smoke
Instructions
  1. Mix up the sesame oil, nutritional yeast, sriracha and liquid smoke and coat the tofu in it, rubbing it in with your hands
  2. Leave to marinate for a few hours (or minutes, depending on how organised you are in planning ahead)
  3. Grill on a George Foreman grill for 10-15 minutes, until crispy
  4. Stuff in pitta bread with salad

 

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Smoky Tofu And Cream Cheese Bagel

condiments

A lot of recipes – usually American – call for liquid smoke. Because they’re usually American recipes, this means liquid smoke isn’t something you’re going to find in your local Tesco. Amazon, of course, sells everything, so I bought a bottle from there and today I decided to use it in a marinade for some tofu.

tofu-marinating

While browsing the internet for inspiration, I came across a lot of recipes that used liquid smoke with tofu to try and replicate bacon. As all vegetarians will know, the vegetarian bacon you get in the shops is a laughable mockery of ‘real’ bacon but as I don’t miss bacon anyway, it doesn’t really matter to me. What I would like though, is to make tofu thin and smoky and crispy – now that does appeal.

grilled-tofu

My tofu didn’t turn out crispy – possibly because I cut it too thin and it didn’t stick to both sides of my George Foreman, or possibly because I didn’t leave it to grill for long enough, or possibly because I didn’t squeeze enough water out of the tofu to begin with or possibly because of some other reason. Still, it definitely was smoky – liquid smoke isn’t lying about the ‘smoke’ bit – and it went beautifully with cream cheese and salad in a bagel.

tofu-on-bagel

I can’t really give exact quantities for the marinade as I just kind of slopped a bit in here, poured a bit in there, and sprinkled a bit in wherever. But I’ll give a rough estimate. You don’t actually need me to tell you what extras to add to your bagel, but I’ve listed what I had.

smoky-tofu-bagel

Smoky Tofu and Cream Cheese Bagel (serves 1)

3 thin slices of tofu, pressed to squeeze out the excess water
1 bagel
Cream cheese
Lettuce
Tomato
Cucumber
Mayonnaise

For the marinade

1 tbsp sriracha
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a tupperware dish and dredge the tofu slices in it. Cover and leave for a few hours.
  2. Grill the marinated tofu slices and while you’re doing this, toast the bagel and pile on your other fillings and top with the tofu when it’s ready.
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