I purchased my first dehydrator over 30 years ago when my sons were little. I wanted to
make healthy snacks for them that were low in sugar and did not contain other
additives. I started with fruits and dehydrated apples, bananas, and watermelon. I even
made fruit roll-ups just pureeing fruit in the blender.
Eventually, I started to use my dehydrator for preserving fresh spices that I grew in my
garden, and continued to make dehydrated fruit, veggies, crackers, and vegan jerky.
Dehydrating is one of the oldest methods of preserving food. Dehydrated foods keep
their nutritional value. They are lightweight, nutrient-dense and we like to take some
when we hike or travel to save space and to have healthy inexpensive snacks.
The dehydrating process retains a food’s original nutritional value. However, because
dried food loses its water content, it is usually smaller in size and has more calories by
weight. So, if you are trying to lose weight be aware that you can eat a lot more dried
fruit than fresh fruit.
Dehydrating food can save you money and reduce food waste. When fruit is in season
and cheaper in price I will buy extra and dehydrate half. You can dehydrate almost any food.
Yes, you can buy dehydrated foods; however, I have found that they are expensive, and
many contain added sugars and oils. Also, it really is fun to experiment with dehydrating
a variety of foods.
When dehydrating foods you are going to get 3 different results, some foods will be
leathery (mushrooms, beets) brittle (corn, greens) or pliable (cranberries, apples)
Here is a video that I did for So Many Cooks in The Kitchen back in April 2022.
Here are some of the things I dehydrated and a link to the type of dehydrator I have.
Below, I have included some of the things that I like to dehydrate.
I hope you enjoy and try dehydrating some foods soon!
Eat Plants Be Well
Fruits are ideal to dry because they have a natural high sugar content. Fruits picked at
their prime have the highest natural sugar content and the best nutritional value. For the
best quality product, choose only fresh, ripe unblemished fruits.
Dehydrating Fruit: Some of the fruits I have dehydrated are strawberries, pineapple,
2 – 3 lbs. of fresh fruit
1. Wash fruit thoroughly and remove any imperfections.
2. Preheat your dehydrator @ 130 degrees. Line the trays with parchment paper (See
3. Remove skins (if desired), stems and seeds. Halve or slice in 1?4” to 1?2” circles or
slices. NOTE: I only peel fruits like bananas.
4.Some fruits have a natural protective wax coating such as figs, prunes, grapes,
blueberries, cranberries, etc. If the fruit has been artificially waxed, it should be dipped
into boiling water for 1 -2 minutes, this will make the skin more porous.
5. Cut your fruit into 1/4-inch slices (strawberries, pineapple (core and cut in rings)
You want to cut the fruit thicker than you think, because it will shrink in size as it
6. Dry at 135°F (57°C) and check frequently near the end of the drying process and
remove pieces as they dry. Fruit drying time is anywhere between 4 – 24 hours.
2 lbs. fresh mushrooms any kind
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or gluten free tamari
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 – 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1. Wet a paper towel or clean dish towel with water. Wipe the mushrooms until the
noticeable dirt is removed.
2. Preheat dehydrator to 130 degrees, line the dehydrator trays with parchment paper.
3. Cut the mushrooms into 1/4-inch strips
4. Mix the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk until combined.
5. Put the sliced mushrooms in the bowl and stir to make sure all are marinaded.
6. Refrigerate for 1 hour
7. Place mushrooms on the dehydrator trays. Spread in single layers.
8. Most vegetable dry between 4 – 30 hours.
Another snack I like to make in the dehydrator is crackers. I typically use a flaxseed
base then add different spices to get a different flavor of cracker. One of my favorite
spice combinations is rosemary and garlic.
Here is the base I use:
1 cup flaxseed (whole, NOT ground)
1 cup filtered water
1. Put flaxseeds in a bowl
2. Add one cup of water to flaxseeds. Let sit for up to one hour until a gel consistency
Rosemary Garlic Crackers
Soaked flaxseed base
4 cups raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste
1. Preheat dehydrator to 125 degrees
2. Put sunflower seeds in a food processor and pulse to chop
2. Pour the sunflower seeds into a large bowl, add the flaxseed base. Stir in the
flaxseed mixture, sesame seeds, garlic powder, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
3. Mix until the mixture is crumbly
4. Line the dehydrator tray with parchment paper and spread the mixture onto the trays.
5. Score the crackers with a pizza cutter or knife so they will be easier to separate when
6. Dehydrate for 7 or more hours. You will know crackers are ready when they are dry
and crack easily.
7. Another spice combination my husband likes is to replace the rosemary for 1
tablespoon chili powder and the garlic for 2 teaspoons of ground cumin. All the other
ingredients remain the same.
NOTES: I like to line my dehydrator trays with parchment paper to make for easy clean
up. After dehydrating for 3 or so hours I will remove the food from the parchment paper
and put it directly on the tray. This way the food does not stick on the trays.
Drying times are approximate. There are a lot of factors that impact drying time, such as
humidity, moisture content, and slicing. You want to make sure your food is not more
than 1/4 inch thick.