Farmersgirl Kitchen

Sweet Potato Chips: Optimum P200 Dehydrator Review

I have a new toy to play with in the kitchen, it’s a dehydrator made by those clever Froothie people. In this post I’m going to give you a ‘warts and all’ review of the Optimum P200 Dehydrator and recipes to make Sweet Potato Chips and healthy Chocolate Chia Bars.

Make your own Sweet Potato Chips with the Optimum P200 Dehydrator

WHY USE A DEHYDRATOR?

Dehydrating is a method of preserving food which draws out the moisture and, when stored in air tight containers the dehydrated food stuffs will keep without spoiling for a long time.  Different food stuffs will keep longer than others and like all dried food, think dried herbs, they will lose their flavour eventually.  

Dehydrating is a healthy option, you don’t need any salt or other preservatives as the dehydration process concentrates the flavours. Dehydrated food is considered ‘raw food’, as it is preserved at low temperatures and does not lose the nutrients that some other methods of preserving require. Dehydration results in only 3-5% loss in nutrients compared to freezing which results in a 40-60% decrease.  It’s also a great way to preserve gluts of fruit and vegetables from your garden or the local markets. 

Optimum P200 Dehydrator

The Optimum P200 Dehydrator has the following features: 

Available in 2 sizes : 6 trays or 10 Trays

Equipped with a 40-hour digital timer

Adjustable thermostat

3-or 5-year domestic and 12-month commercial warranty

Easy-to-clean non-stick and mesh sheets

Unique custom-made cleaning brush

Access to expert support team

30-day money back guarantee – Includes return postage!

Pros:

  • The Optimum P200 Dehydrator is really easy to use, you just load up the trays, leaving space around each piece of food, set the temperature and time and leave it to do it’s stuff.
  • You can open the drawers to check how things are going with no ill effects.
  • It worked first time and, although the booklet that comes with it is a bit limited in information, the internet is full of dehydrator recipes and tips, I’ve collected some on a Dehydrator Recipes Pinterest Board, please feel free to follow.
  • You can use the Optimum Dehydrator to make yogurt and also to prove bread!

Cons: 

  • This is a big piece of kit.  I have a large kitchen and plenty of shelf space but still found it tended to dominate the space.  If you don’t have a lot of space, you will need to find somewhere to store it when not in use. P200 Food Dehydrator 6 Tray Dimensions: L 38.5 cm x H 31cm x D 49 cm. Tray Dimensions: L 34.5cm x H 4.5cm x D 37cm
  • Drying times are generally quite long e.g. 10 hours or more.  I found I needed to leave the dehydrator on overnight and the fan does make a bit of a noise.
  • As the drying times are long, I was concerned about the cost of running the dehydrator for all this time.  I have been told that it costs about 5p per hour to run, so I would recommend always running the machine full and thinking carefully about the value of the end product before dehydrating e.g. a full dehydrator of Sweet Potato Chips running for 10 hours would cost 50p plus the cost of the sweet potato, you can control the flavourings yourself but I’m not sure that a cost of 80p-90p is worth it. 

How to make Sweet Potato Chips in the Optimum P200 Dehydrator

The Verdict

The jury is still out on the Optimum P200 Dehydrator.  The results were good, however I am still weighing up whether I will use such a big piece of equipment often enough to make it worthwhile and whether the process is value for money.  I’m going to keep at it and will update you as spring moves into summer.  I think that drying summer fruits will be an interesting challenge, I love the idea of making dried rapsberries and strawberries to add to bakes. I’m also keen to try making my own vegetable bouillon powder using pulverised dried vegetables.

Sweet Potato Chips
Enjoy these delicious crisp Sweet Potato Chips as a snack or to accompany a sandwich.
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
10 hr 5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
10 hr 5 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large sweet potato, peeled
  2. 1 tbsp olive oil
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Instructions
  1. Slice the sweet potato into thin uniform slices (these are best cut with a mandolin to get the thinnest and most even slices)
  2. Combine the oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and add the slices.
  3. Mix well so all the slices are coated.
  4. Lay out the slices on the dehydrator trays.
  5. Set the temperature to 60C and set the timer for 10 hours, or until crisp to the touch.
Notes
  1. You can open the drawers of the Optimum P200 Dehydrator to check on the crispness of the slices.
Farmersgirl Kitchen http://farmersgirlkitchen.co.uk/
Chocolate Chia Optimum P200 Dehydrator Bars

For my second review recipe in the Optimum P200 Dehydrator, I decided to try something a little different: Chocolate Chia Bars.  These naturally sweet energy bars have a lovely crunch from the chia seeds and were very easy to make although they do take a long time to dehydrate. 

Making Chocolate Chia Seed Bars in the Optimum P200 Dehydrator

Chocolate Chia Seed Dehydrator Bars
Yields 18
Healthy, chewy and crunchy energy bars made in the Optimum P200 Dehydrator.
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
17 hr
Total Time
18 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
17 hr
Total Time
18 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup chia seeds
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 1/4 cup cacao powder
  4. 8 dates, chopped
  5. 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  6. 1 cup walnuts chopped
  7. 3 tbsp agave syrup
Instructions
  1. Soak the chia seeds in 3/4 cup of water for 30 minutes
  2. Blend all the remaining ingredients in a high powered blender, adding the remaining water gradually to create a paste.
  3. Mix together the soaked chia seeds and the mixture from the blender then leave for 20 minutes to rest.
  4. Spread the mixture on a non-stick sheet to a depth of about 1/2cm and place into the dehydrator
  5. Dehydrate for 1 hours at 60C, then mark into bars.
  6. Lower the temperature to 45C and dehydrate for another 8 hours.
  7. When you remove them this time, flip them onto the dehydrator tray removing the silicon sheet. They will be firm enough to hold together at this stage.
  8. Dehydrate at 45C for a further 8 hours.
Farmersgirl Kitchen http://farmersgirlkitchen.co.uk/
Make Sweet Potato chips in dehydrator

Disclosure: Froothie UK sent me the Optimum P200 Dehyrator to use and review at home. I have not been paid for this post and was not required to give the Optimum P200 Dehydrator a positive write up.  All opinions are my own.  Affiliate links included in this post.

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Keep Calm and Fanny On
    May 5, 2016

    I’d never have the space for this, but it looks interesting! I’ve been using a lot of dried fruit and vegetable powders lately – the vegetable ones like Beetroot and Spinach are great in bread and to flavour fresh pasta, the fruits are great for yoghurt, cakes and chocolate! Have fun, will keep watching what you do!
    Keep Calm and Fanny On recently posted…Totally Tropical TransformationMy Profile

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      May 7, 2016

      Thanks for the inspiration, I do want to try making fruit and vegetable powders, those are great uses for them.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Neil Harvey
    May 5, 2016

    I bought a dehydrator last year initially to tackle a glut of apples. There is only so much chutney and apple butter you can make. I dried loads of apple pieces last autumn and we still have some. They are a marvellous little snack and go well with cheese. I have also dried mushrooms and tomatoes – the latter I put in jars of oil with herbs and chilli. Kind of my version of sun dried/blush tomatoes. These are always appearing in salads and toppings for pizza. Good with scrambled eggs as a brunch as well. I agree that its footprint is large and drying times are long but I have found the results to be excellent. One quibble/question about your recipe for the biscuits – would you get the same or similar results using an ordinary oven, at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time? In which case, why bother using the dehydrator. It is, after all, designed for drying foodstuffs out whilst retaining the maximum nutritive value, rather than for cooking fully fledged recipes.

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      May 5, 2016

      Thanks for taking the time to write such a full comment Neil, it’s really appreciated. It’s good to hear all the successes you have had with your dehydrator. You may have a point about the Chia Bars, although as they don’t contain flour I’m not sure how well they would have held together if baked. I’m looking forward to dehydrating some different things to see what works best, thanks again for your input.

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      May 6, 2016

      Thanks Nayna, I’ll keep you posted on how I get on and whether I think it’s worth the space!

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      May 6, 2016

      I tried to write a fair review and I really haven’t made up my mind yet, so will keep you posted as to progress.

  3. Leave a Reply

    Choclette
    May 7, 2016

    Good review Janice. I’m loving being able to do things that just weren’t viable with an oven, but I think you’re right that the dehydrator needs to be full to make it worth while and cost effective. Your sweet potato chips look amazing. I’m going to have to try some. How crisp were they? Your chocolate chia biscuits sound good too. Just about to join your Pinterest board.
    Choclette recently posted…Divinely Decadent Chocolate Hamper – Review and Giveaway #75My Profile

    • Leave a Reply

      Janice Pattie
      May 7, 2016

      Thanks Choclette. The Sweet Potato Chips were crisp although with a little bit of chewiness, but I’ve had some bought ones which were the same. I did use a mandoline and I don’t think it would work without one.

        • Leave a Reply

          Janice Pattie
          May 14, 2016

          I use my little Oxo Good Grips mandolin, and always use the guide handle thing, as I have also injured myself.

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