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Best Foods to dehydrate, for Snacks that you and your kids will love

By 3.5.2018         Mail Now Send Mail   Post Comments

Before knowing how to dehydrate foods and what are the best dehydrated foods for snacks, we should first know about a dehydrator machine, what it is used for, various kinds of dehydrator machines and if dehydrating machine is not available with us at home, how to make it even.

Let us begin with the term dehydrator machine. It is a device that removes moisture from food so that it can be preserved and stored for years without losing its nutrients. It has many uses like for making crispy nuts and seeds, drying sprouted flour, drying fruits and vegetables, drying herbs and flowers.

Food dehydrators can be understood as something that dries the food. There are plenty of good dehydrators available in the market. But they have different types as mentioned above. They are stackable food dehydrators/ vertical flow dehydrators and box and shelf food dehydrators/horizontal flow dehydrators.

Vertical flow dehydrator or stackable food dehydrators have their source of heat located at the top of the unit or at the base of the appliance. They have racks which have a tray for preserving foods. They are the most preferred ones in the market. But their drawback is that heat is not spread evenly unlike in the box and shelf food dehydrators.

They have their heat source located at the back of the appliance. They have an outer case too apart from the trays. They are costlier than box and shelf food dehydrators.

Not everyone has a dehydrator machine but that does not mean that you need to worry. You can use the sunlight or oven to dry foods or can even make your own dehydrator machine too. There are thousands of DIY videos on dehydrator machine. You can easily make them on your own.

Best foods to dehydrate for snacks

• DIY apple fruit leather

• Sun dried tomatoes

• Crispy green bean chips

• Homemade snap pea chips

• Spicy buffalo cauliflower

• Baked dehydrated apple chips

• Dehydrated bananas

• Garlic ( best to dehydrate)

They are all available on different sites for anyone’s quick guide.

Best dehydrated snacks recipes

• Dehydrated taco chips (will be ready in 12hrs 10mins approximately)

• Passion Strawberry fruit leather-dehydrator roll-ups (will be ready in 6hrs 3mins approximately)

• Dehydrator peanut butter and banana graham crackers (will be ready in 6hrs 20mins approximately)

• Beetroot and sweet potato chips

• Mixed berry and apple fruit roll-up

What are the best foods to dehydrate?

Dehydrating vegetables gives you your own stock of non-seasonal and favorite vegetables the whole year. You can enjoy them any time. You can even dehydrate frozen vegetables. Some of the best foods to dehydrate are broccoli, butternut squash, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, garlic, green beans, mushrooms, onions, pears, tomatoes and zucchini. You can put these vegetables in your soup and have them in you snack. That will be tasty as well as healthy.

How to dehydrate foods?

Knowing the way to dehydrate foods and the conditions to keep in mind while dehydrating is a must. An ideal temperature to dehydrate vegetables is 125⁰F/52⁰C. Hotter temperature may get a hard crust on the vegetables. You need to take care of the temperature especially while dehydrating mushrooms.

Certain vegetables need some lemon juice sprinkling as a substitute of ascorbic acid to prevent from darkening and bacterial growth during drying. Also keep in mind that heat and air circulation should be proper. Heat takes the moisture whereas air circulation moves the moisture so that it can evaporate.

Dehydrate the foods when they are at the peak of their ripeness like freshly harvested from the garden is highly recommended. Low temperature is used in preserving nutrients. Make sure you follow your recipe book for some exceptions because some vegetables need temperature other than 125⁰F.

Dehydration procedure depends upon humidity. Higher the humidity, longer the time it will take to dry. You can take help from the weather forecast to check the humidity. Some foods containing high amount of moisture take longer time to dry. Size and thickness are other factors too determining the time to dehydrate.

Where to store them?

Dehydrated foods take little room to store; nutrients are not destroyed and can be stored for years. You should hang them in your kitchen in an airtight bag for a day or overnight after drying. Some vegetables need some blanching first, some only slicing or cutting.

After drying, allow them to cool first. Store them in an airtight container or any jar you have bought from stores. Zip-lock bags are good too. Mention the date and item’s name on the container.

After packing your item, check for the further moisture formation in the next 24 hours. If there is no moisture then store it in a cool, dry and dark place.

Can you dehydrate foods without a dehydrator machine?

The answer is YES!

If you do not have a dehydrator machine and do not want to invest in one then you can use other simpler methods to dehydrate foods. Some of those methods are as follows.

• Oven

Cut or slice your fruits and vegetables and put them on a lined sheet pan and turn your oven to its lowest setting. Put the vegetables or fruits as long as they need to be like for 7 to 8 hours.

• Toaster oven

It is again another way to dehydrate foods. Turn it on in its lowest setting keeping the door slightly opened to avoid condensation. Keep in mind about the time you are putting the food in the machine as it will vary from food to food.

• Sun-Dry

Slice the vegetables or fruits and leave them in sunlight for a few hours or a few days. Those foods with higher water content may take longer and also will it depend on the intensity of the sunlight. So, it may even take a few days. You can wrap them in a cheesecloth and then hang them in the sun.

• Build your dehydrator machine

There are tons of guides available on the internet teaching you to build your own dehydrator machine. Build it at your home with someone’s help and dehydrate all your favorite vegetables and fruits enjoying their taste all the year round.

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