We purchased a freeze dryer from Harvest Right in Salt Lake City, Utah. Currently, they are the only company to product at home freeze dryers. They have a program that makes it quite affordable. We got ours in April of 2016. Since that time, it has given us very few problems. The only problem that we had was with the mother board which got fried due to a poor design flaw. We took it back (because it was still under warranty) and they fixed it. They also fixed it so that we wouldn't have this problem in the future. We have been very happy with this unit. I say we, but this is truly my appliance. I run it, fix it and I do all of the maintenance on it. And I don't mind. At least this way I know how it works and how it has been taken care of.
I am the poster child for taking good care of it so that it will last. I provide the proper maintenance and do the recommended oil changes and it has run like a champ. I put in a load of Sausage gravy (for biscuits and gravy) and some skittles. Yes, you can mix foods. While you do have to be careful with some of them (such as garlic and onions or bananas), most of them don't mix flavors.
Freeze dried skittles are a hot commodity in this area. Lots of people have freeze dryers and they freeze dry all sorts of things and sell at farmer's markets, or many other places. We are no exception. When we go to the store and see something, the thought is, "I wonder how that would be freeze dried?"
There are some fun things that turn out wonderfully - Taffy - blows up to the size of an Easter egg and is light and fluffy. Milk duds - they blow up and and turn out crispy and caramelly flavored. Big Hunk Candy Bars - very good and they come out like taffy. Gummy Bears (Black Forest brand does the best) -They triple in size and the flavor intensifies. Jolly Ranchers - I haven't tried them, but I have seen pictures where they blow up and are very tasty. Fat Boy Ice Cream Sandwiches - oh yeah, just like Astronaut Ice cream - a delight to be sure. Caramels - way yummy! Skittles - any variety (but especially the yogurt dips) - these are crazy good! And this is just a small smattering of what can be done.
Fruits are delicious! Vegetables such as cucumbers and zucchini or summer squash can be seasoned and cut into slices for veggie chips. They taste awesome! You can freeze dry fruits and veggies and then powder them to add to drinks or to yogurt. Then you can freeze dry the yogurt. That is a delight to be sure!