Drying food makes it tasty, nutritious, lightweight, and lasts much longer than it would in its raw form.
Although it takes a considerable amount of time to get your foods dry enough to be enjoyed, it definitely is worth the investment.
If you are a fan of dried food, then you probably spend a lot of money on your favorite dry food snacks.
However, did you know that you can make these very snacks in the comfort of your own home, and as a bonus, you can make them much healthier than store-bought snacks?
So what are the different types of food that you can dehydrate?
Here are some of the most commonly dried and enjoyed dehydrated foods that you can also make in your own kitchen.
Seeds and Nuts
If you’re drying food for the first time, it’s recommended that you start with 4 cups of nuts, a tablespoon of sea salt, and water.
Soak the nuts in the water and salt solution for approximately seven hours or overnight. Thereafter set them inside your dehydrator between 95 to 100°F until they come out crunchy.
Create your own unique beef jerky exactly the way you like it. In order to do this, you will need to choose meat of your choice, which is usually beef, cut it up into strips, and then boil it.
Once it has boiled for approximately 20 to 30 minutes, drain and cover in your favorite spices and sauces.
Allow it to soak for a few hours or overnight, and after that, put it into a food dehydrator until it comes dry and slightly crispy.
If you’ve always loved those tasting crispy banana chips that you buy at the store, you can make in your very own kitchen.
All you need to do is slice the bananas to your desired thickness, coat them in lemon juice, and bake them for three hours at the lowest temperature.
Keep checking on them and remove them when they are exactly as you like it.
Apples are special favorites when it comes to food drying recipes. This is simply because they’re so versatile.
If you’ve ever tried dehydrated apples, then you know exactly what we are talking about. Slice the apples and then season them any way you like.
For sweet treats, dip them in honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and for a spicy kick, sprinkle some salt and chili powder over them instead.
They should be baked for approximately four hours at 90°C.
Vegetable crisps are some of the most nutritious and wholesome foods in the dry food range.
They also help you save money by preventing your leftover vegetables from ending up in the bin.
Since they are dehydrated and not fried, they are much healthier than other crisps and chips that you can buy in stores.
You can use your favorite vegetables such as potatoes, turnips, mushrooms, kale, and even tomatoes.
All you need to do is slice them to your preferred thickness, season them exactly how you like them, and then place them in a food dehydrator until they come out the way you like them.
This is perhaps one of the food types that lots of people forget about.
However, it makes sense to dehydrate eggs into their powdered form because they are easy to rehydrate and then use in your favorite cooking and baking recipes.
The method for turning eggs into powder is quite simple. You’ll first need to beat them, cook them in a pan, and then break them into small bits and place in your food dehydrator.
The temperature should be set to approximately 150° F, and it should be dried or dehydrated for approximately four hours or so.
Once they are dehydrated, place them in a blender and powder them.
It’s extremely handy to have dehydrated herbs available when you’re cooking.
Fresh herbs don’t last that long and therefore drying your herbs locks in the natural flavor and makes it last much longer at the same time.
If you want to dehydrate herbs, make sure they are as fresh as possible. Rinse them off and make sure that the moisture is gone completely before you dehydrate them.
Some of the herbs that you can dehydrate include spearmint, chili peppers, lavender, etc.
Ultimately all you need to do is ensure that they are completely dry before placing them inside your food dehydrate.
If you find that some of your favorite smoothie ingredients are going bad, simply add some lemon juice and honey, then blend and dehydrate.
They make delicious fruit roll snacks, and they are healthy as well. As a bonus, it saves your fruit from ending up in the landfill.
Once you blended them, simply spread the blended mixture on a lined baking sheet and dehydrate at the lowest temperature for approximately six hours.
You’ve probably never thought about dehydrating yogurt before. However, it makes sense for many reasons.
Yogurt can be used in various recipes to add tang and also creaminess without adding any liquid. For an additional protein boost, edit your smoothies as well.
To dry yogurt, spread your favorite yogurt on your fruit roll tray. Then put the tray into your dehydrator and set the temperature on low.
Allow it dry completely for approximately eight hours. Thereafter break the dried yoga down into chunks and blend into a fine powder.
You can easily store it in a container rehydrate it or when you need to. All you need to do is add a little water until it reaches your desired consistency, to use it in its original form again.
Potatoes are one of the best ingredients to dehydrate, and here’s why. Dehydrated potatoes can they can be used in their dry form to put a quick meal together.
Adding them to meatloaves or meatballs will give your food a great binding ingredient. Cut each potato into four pieces and boil them until tender for approximately 20 minutes.
Then, mash them up after boiling them. Place the mashed potatoes over a fruit leather and put it inside your dehydrator.
The temperature should be set on high, and you should allow it to dry for approximately 24 hours. The dried potato should then be removed from the tray, broken into small chunks, and blended together.
Blend until it turns into small granules.
You can then store them away in a glass jar and if you need to dehydrate your potatoes, all you do is add a cup of water or milk to the mixture until you receive the desired consistency.
You can also try adding butter to the mixture. Thereafter strain and mash until the texture is completely smooth.
Beets need to be completely cooked before you can dehydrate it. You’ll need to start by cutting off the tops and the roots before boiling it.
Once it is cooked through, the skin will slip off, and you can slice it as soon as it has cooled down.
You can leave your beets in the fridge overnight before slicing them so that it’s not too mushy on the edges as you cut.
The best tool to use for slicing beets is a mandolin slicer, which has an adjustable blade depth. The thinner your beet chips are, the faster they are going to dry.
Alternatively, if you want to shred them, you can use a regular box shredder. Irrespective of which method you use, you always want to ensure that your beets never turn to mush.
Cranberries are another great food to dehydrate; however, they need close monitoring during the drying process.
This is because over-drying will leave you with an unpleasant finished product, and so will under-drying them.
With cranberries, the spoilage begins immediately after they’ve been picked. So your cranberries need to be as fresh as possible.
Start by rinsing them in water and then placing them in a pot. Pour boiling water over the cranberries and then let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
Thereafter drain the cranberries, sprinkle sugar and spread them over your dehydrator tray.
Turn the heat on to approximately 140°F and allow the drying process to continue for between 12 to 24 hours. The end result should be chewy and dry to the touch.
Tomatoes are a great food to dehydrate simply because they serve multiple purposes. If you didn’t end up using them in your sandwiches, dry them for later use in pasta and chili sauces.
All types of tomatoes can be dehydrated, and the chips can also be ground into powder form, which is terrific for creating tomato purée.
In order to dehydrate tomatoes, cut them into half-inch slices and remove the seeds. However, this part is optional, and if you would like to leave the seeds in, it’s completely up to you.
Thereafter place them on your dehydrator trays but not one on top of the other and dry them at 135°F for between 8 to 10 hours.
When your tomatoes are dried correctly, it should flatten into flakes and come away from the tray easily.
Dried oranges sound a bit weird but are a sure-fire way up the natural taste of the sort.
Orange slices add flavor in tea and cool drinks, and you can munch on them as chewy, sweet snacks. Also, use them to spice up your bread, sauces, muffins, and salads.
Now you’ll never have to let your oranges go bad in season. In order to dehydrate them, pick firm and ripe oranges, pre-heat heat your dehydrator to between 120 to 130°F.
Wash the oranges and dry them. Use a knife and make thin slices at around a quarter of an inch thick. Some people choose to leave the skin on while others prefer to remove it.
Ultimately it is entirely up to you. The oranges should be placed on the dehydrated tray and allow them to dry for between 15 to 24 hours.
Once they have dried and cooled down, store them in an airtight bag.
A tropical delight known as mangoes are rich in vitamin A and promote eye health and also reduces macular generation.
They offer lots of soluble fibers and keep your blood sugar level in check. Dried mangoes make good treats, and you can eat them as a dry snack or use them in your desserts as well.
To dehydrate mangoes, use them while they are ripe and firm. You should not use mangoes that are too soft, though.
Wash and peel off the entire skin of the mango and cut it into quarter-inch slices. If you like them chewier, you can make your slices thicker.
Thereafter place them on the dehydrator trays and set the temperature 145°F for the first two hours. Then set your dehydrator at 135°F for a further 6 to 10 hours.
Once it has cooled down, store them in an airtight container and use for your desserts, or enjoy as a dry food snack.
If you have a ton of kiwifruit laying around in your kitchen, and you fear them going bad, you can dehydrate them.
They are dense in minerals and fibers and also provide you with lots of energy. So to dehydrate Kiwis in your very own kitchen, wash the fruits in running water.
Trim down the peels on the outer edges and cut into quarter-inch slices but don’t go too thin. Then arrange the slices on a dehydrator tray and set the oven at 135°F.
Kiwis need anywhere between 8 to 12 hours to dry completely. Then you can enjoy them as snacks on their own or add them to your desserts.
Pears are delicious when dehydrated as they make delicious snacks. Not only can you eat them as is when dried, but you can sprinkle them on your salads as well.
Pears should be a ripe for dehydration however not overly ripe. Wash them and slice them into half-inch slices.
Place them in a bowl of acidulated water or a solution of water and lemon juice or water and vinegar. This prevents them from turning brown during the drying process.
After soaking them in the solution you should strain them and blot them with a paper towel. Place them in your dehydrator trays and leave enough space between each slice for proper air circulation.
Set the oven temperature to approximately 140°F for anywhere between 8 to 10 hours.
Apricots can also be dehydrated, but you need to do so when they are entirely ripe. If they are firm, put them in a paper bag and dry leave by a window until they are soft.
Make an indentation in the apricots and remove the pits. Line your dehydrator tray with parchment paper and place your apricots on them.
Your oven should be preheated to 175°F, and apricots need between 10 to 12 hours to dry completely.
One of the most magical tastes you will ever experience is the taste of dehydrated pineapples.
Although some nutrients are lost, there are still loads of vitamins and sugars left behind in your dehydrated pineapple pieces.
If you are far from anywhere that you can purchase pineapples when you need them, dehydrating a pineapple is a great way to have a supply all year round.
To dry pineapples, remove the outer peel, slice them to your desired thickness and then place them in your dehydrator for between 12 to 16 hours at 135°F.
Turn them every eight hours for even drying.
Strawberries are fat-free, sodium-free low in calories, and also cholesterol-free.
They are packed with a lot of vitamins and antioxidants and have been said to cure ailments such as cancer and deter heart attacks.
However, when they are dehydrated, you can throw them over your baked foods, cereals and use them along with a mix of other dried fruits.
They are probably the easiest food to dehydrate as you don’t need to pretreat it to get the desired results.
To dehydrate strawberries, wash them and strain them in a colander, and allowed to dry. Slice off the hull and discard it.
Slice them crosswise and arrange them on your dehydrated tray leaving small spaces between each slice.
Set the oven temperature to 130°F for between 8 to 10 hours and remove them only when they are dry to the touch. Allow to cool and store in glass jars until you need to use it.
What Type Of Foods Can You Dehydrate?
You can dehydrate a variety of fruits, vegetables, and even meat to create beef jerky.
Some people have even tried dehydrating yogurt to turn it into a powder form and use it in their baking and cooking.
Ultimately, you can experiment with various food types.
What Can Go Wrong During The Dehydration Process?
When drying certain types of foods, you will need to keep a close eye on it throughout the drying process simply because over-drying or under drying the specific food type can lead to a result that is not desirable.
Can You Only Dehydrate One Food Type At A Time?
No, depending on the capacity of your dehydrator and the number of trays that you have, you can dehydrate a variety of different types of fruits or vegetables all at once.