33 Food Dehydrator Uses

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A food dehydrator is a great appliance to have in your kitchen. Not only does it preserve the life of your food, but it can also provide you with a variety of healthy snacks. Wondering about food dehydrator uses? You’re in the right place!

What is a food dehydrator?

A food dehydrator is an appliance that removes moisture from food, thereby preserving it. Dehydration is a popular method of food preservation for an extended period of time, as it prevents the growth of bacteria and mold, and also concentrates the flavor of the food. It’s a great way to preserve food! Plus, it helps limit food waste.

There are many different types of food dehydrators on the market, but they all work similarly.

Where do I buy a food dehydrator?

You can purchase a food dehydrator at most kitchen appliance stores, or online. One of my favorite dehydrators is this one.

How do I use a food dehydrator?

Using a food dehydrator is simple! First, you need to choose what food you want to dehydrate. Then, wash and slice the food thinly (if necessary) and place it on the dehydrator trays. Make sure that the slices are not touching one another, as this will prevent proper air circulation.

Set the dehydrator to the appropriate temperature for the food you are drying, then wait for the drying process to be done! The dehydrated foods are delicious and last a good bit! Some of my favorite things to make in the dehydrator are fruit leather, kale chips, beef jerky, banana chips, and dry fruits. It’s a terrific way to take fresh produce and extend its shelf life.

What are some benefits of dehydrating food?

One of the great things about dehydrating food is that you can control how much sugar or salt goes into the final product. This is opposed to store-bought jerky or dried fruit, which often have high amounts of both added in. If you are watching your sodium intake, for example, home drying is a good way to keep your sodium levels in check while still enjoying some of your favorite snacks.

Dehydrating food is also a great way to preserve food for backpacking or camping trips. Dehydrated foods are lightweight and take up much less space than their fresh counterparts. This makes them ideal for packing into a backpack or cooler for a hike or extended camping trip.

And, since dehydration eliminates water from the food, there is no need to worry about spoilage or food poisoning.

Here are 33 Food Dehydrator Uses:

1. Dehydrate pickles and grind them up for a yummy seasoning to add to french fries or popcorn. You could try it on burgers or pizza, too. It’s addicting to make your own dill pickle-flavored snacks and a great option for your food dehydrator.

2. Make your own dried fruit leathers. For a healthy snack loved by kids and adults alike, make some fruit leathers by dehydrating fruit purees. Try different flavor combinations like strawberry-banana or mango-peach – it’s a great way to use up too much food in the house!

3. Dry herbs and spices to create your own blend of seasonings. They’ll last a long time if you keep them in an airtight container away from light.

4. Prepare trail mix with dehydrated fruits, nuts, and seeds. Try a lot of different combinations like cranberry-almond or apricot-pumpkin seed until you find a blend you love.

5. Make your own jerky from lean meats. To make jerky in a dehydrator, all you have to do is slice the meat thinly, marinate it in your favorite spices, and then dehydrate it. So easy and so much healthier than store-bought jerky! It’s also a lot more economical.

6. Dehydrate fish for a healthy and lightweight camping meal. You can also grind up dried fish to make a powder you can add to soups or stews for added flavor.

7. Create a variety of granola bars with dehydrated fruits and nuts. They will keep for a long time and make great snacks for work or school.

8. Dehydrate tomatoes – they are still very delicious even if they aren’t “sun-dried.” You can leave them whole or grind them into a powder. Dried tomatoes add tons of flavor to homemade pasta sauces, soups, stews, or casseroles.

9. Dry bananas, apples, and other fruits to create natural fruit chips. They’re so simple and a much healthier snack than store-bought chips. I love some dried apple slices and apple chips!

10. Dehydrate frozen vegetables like corn, peas, and diced carrots for a shelf-stable addition you can add to soups and stews.

11. Dehydrate carrots and sweet potatoes for healthy veggie chips.

12. Make your own dried pineapple rings. They are incredibly sweet but much more nutritious than candy, so they make a wonderful treat.

13. Make birdseed balls by mixing some dried fruit, nuts, and seeds with some melted peanut butter or honey.

14. Dry mushrooms to use as a flavorful addition to soups, sauces, and rice dishes. You can even rehydrate them to use in recipes, too. You could also grind these into a powder to use as a seasoning for dishes where you want to add umami flavor.

15. Make celery salt by dehydrating celery and grinding it into a powder. You can leave it plain or add a little salt to it. It’s delicious on roasted potatoes or as a rimming salt for Bloody Marys.

16. Dehydrate onions to make onion powder. It’s so satisfying to make your own spices, and this one is used so often in cooking.

17. Dehydrate garlic to create garlic powder. Another great spice powder you can make yourself is garlic powder. It’s great to have on hand to add flavor to all kinds of dishes.

18. Dehydrate bell peppers to use as a colorful and healthy topping for salads or pizzas.

19. Prepare your sourdough starter for long-term storage by dehydrating it. All you have to do is mix it with a little flour and water, spread it out on a dehydrator sheet, and dry it at a low temperature until it’s crumbly. Then store it in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. To use it, just add water and let it sit out for a few hours to rehydrate.

20. Dry zucchini or yellow squash slices to make healthy vegetable chips. You can leave them plain or season them with some of the spices mentioned in this post!

21. Dehydrate peaches, apricots, and nectarines to make your own dried fruit snacks. They end up with a gummy-like texture that kids really love.

22. Dehydrate nuts and seeds to make them crunchy. They can be used as a topping for salads or in trail mix and baked goods.

23. Dehydrate canned chicken breast meat to use in hiking meals or other shelf-stable goods. If you store it in an airtight Ziploc bag and keep it in a cool, dry place, it can last for 6 months or more!

24. Dehydrate ground beef for camping meals, too. Ground beef also works well for shelf-stable meal kits, so you can use a similar method to dehydrate it. It’s best to use lean meat and drain it very well before dehydrating it. This method of food dehydration can be intimidating, but works great!

25. Dehydrate and grind up orange, lemon, and lime slices to make a citrus seasoning for fish, chicken, and salads. A little citrus powder goes a long way, so experiment with it at first to see how much you like in your food. Lime powder makes a fun addition to taco seasoning

26. Make your own nutritious bone broth powder by dehydrating liquid bone broth. It takes a long time. You may have to leave it in the dehydrator for 24-48 hours depending on the consistency of the broth you start with. When it’s dehydrated, you can grind it up.

27. Make dog treats by mixing and drying food scraps. Meat, dog-safe vegetable chunks, and fruit can be pureed and dried out to make healthy treats for your pooch.

28. Make sprouted flour. You can do this with any type of grain – wheat, rye, barley, etc. Just sprout the grain, dry it out, and grind it into a flour using a high-powered blender or coffee grinder.

29. Make yogurt. Yogurt needs to be made at a low heat to allow the bacteria to multiply. A dehydrator works perfectly for this.

30. Make raw crackers by dehydrating a variety of nuts and seeds. There are a lot of different recipes, but you basically puree seeds and vegetables, then spread them out on a tray before dehydrating.

31. Make natto. Natto is another cultured food that’s made from soybeans. The fermentation process requires a constant temperature of 100-105 degrees, so the dehydrator is perfect for this.

32. Make granola. Granola is made from a variety of dried fruits, nuts, and grains. It’s simple to make and can be a healthy addition to your breakfast or snacks.

33. Dehydrate cheese. Yes! You can dehydrate cheese and it makes a great topping for crackers or salads. Just be sure to use a hard cheese that’s less than 50% moisture.

A food dehydrator is a versatile appliance that can be used for a variety of purposes. In this post, we’ve shared 33 ways you can use a food dehydrator to make healthy and delicious foods.

From drying fruits and vegetables to making your own fermented foods, the possibilities are endless! What are your favorite ways to use your dehydrator?

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