8 Reasons to Bust Out your Old Dehydrator

dehydrator

I asked my mom-in-law to send me her dehydrator that was collecting dust in her cabinet, I figured I might as well put it to good use, and I certainly have. I haven’t stopped using it since it arrived. I know dehydrating food is not an unheard of phenomenon but I want to bring it back. It’s one of the easiest things to do!

This is a seriously simple set-it and forget-it way of “cooking”. I really wanted to be able to have long lasting, tasty treats that weren’t going to go bad after two days.  I’m not sure what inspired me to get so into this….but whatever it is, I LOVE IT!

I bought this little doo-dad from Wal-Mart for $10 while I was waiting for my shiny-old dehydrator to arrive:
Better Latte Than Never

Here are some of the things I’ve tried:

Apples:

Slice apples thin (core if you have a corer, otherwise, cut around the core and slice each quarter)

Dehydrate at 135 for 8-10 hours.

dehydrator

The perfect snack!

Bananas:

Slice your bananas thin.

Dehydrate at 135 for 6-10 hours.

Spray them with a bit of lemon juice to preserve them and stop them from yellowing (I forgot to do that!)

banana

Awesome in a trail mix.

Oranges:

Use your mandolin to slice your oranges.

Dehydrate at 135 for 5-10 hours depending on your desired dryness.

dehydrator

After a little bit of research I’ve decided I’m going to try to make some orange powder and turn it into a face mask like this blogger does here.

I put a few orange slices in my blender and blended it into a powder. I used some of the powder for a face mask and left the rest for some other time. When I cleaned the blender I used only water so it would blend with the orange powder. Then I took that water, put it in a pitcher, added more water & kept it as a refreshing drink for later :-).

betterlattethannever

Mangoes:

Dehydrate at 135 for 8-12 hours. Check them periodically to get the consistency you like.

I bought pre-sliced mangoes and sliced them even thinner by hand. I definitely could have saved money by buying new mangoes and cutting them myself, but this was my first go at drying them so I did not feel like going through the hassle of peeling and chopping if it wasn’t going to work!

betterlattethannever

Tomatos (Roma & Grape):

Cut your romas in half and face the flat side up. Do the same with your grape tomatoes.

Dehydrate Roma’s at 135 for 12-14 hours.

Dehydrate Grape Tomatoes at 135 for 10-12 hours.

tomatoes

I use these in pastas and soups. They’re super yummy!

Here’s a yummy sundried tomato hummus recipe to try from Sam at Pancake Warrior.

Tortillas:

(They tasted horrible on their own…and anything was better than that).

I put oil, salt & pepper and cut them into little triangle.

Dehydrate at 95 for 10-12 hours.

dehydrator

Cauliflower (buffalo):

Leave the florets about an inch or so in size. I cut mine pretty small and they certainly shrink after a while.

Dehydrate at 135 for 11 hours.

I got the idea from this recipe here. I used only sriracha and vinegar for my sauce because I wanted something quick-and-easy. It’s definitely something I’ll do again!

Sadly, this was one of my first creations and I was too excited, so I forgot to take a picture. Dangit! But it was a hit!

Green Beans:

I microwaved them for about 2m45s to cook them just a bit (but not all the way) and dehydrated them at 135 for about 12 hours.

Yikes. This was a wicked fail. They were not good! I’m trying to figure out where I went wrong. I am going to start ruling things out 1-by-1. Was it the pre-cooking? Was it breaking them into 1 inch pieces? Did I under-cook them? Should I use frozen beans instead of fresh? I haven’t the slightest…but I’ll keep you updated. I had one green bean that was perfectly dry and crunchy and the rest were tough and chewy.

better latte than never

Onions:

I made  the mistake of not pre-cooking the onions before I dehydrated them. Aside from that, they are perfect! Look how good and crunchy they turned out! They’re just like healthy Funions. Yum!

Dehydrate at 135 for 8-12 hours.

dehydrator

I’m sure you could argue that dehydrating your food makes for a higher concentration of  sugars…and that’s true, but that doesn’t mean that it’s unhealthy. That’s really no excuse not to do it!  I’ll bet most store bought crackers or snacks have more artificially added sugars than many of the things I can dehydrate. In my opinion it’s totally worth it! Why not give it a shot? 🙂

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