So You Got a Dehydrator: 5 Delicious Things You Can Make

Once you have a dehydrator, there’s a whole new world of delicious and nutritious recipes for you to enjoy. This method of drying your food preserves most of the nutritional content and is a great way to keep your bountiful harvest from going to waste. Read on for some of our favorite ways to use a dehydrator.

Beef jerky

Are you a fan of chewy, smoky, scrumptious beef jerky, but hate the additives and preservatives in the packaged stuff? If so, this recipe will satisfy your craving and give you the perfect camping, hiking, or road trip snack.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Instructions:

  1. Place steak in the freezer for around 15 minutes to make it easier to slice while you gather your ingredients. 
  2. Thinly slice your beef into ⅛ inch thick strips. 
  3. Place meat strips in a Ziploc bag.
  4. Whisk remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl until well combined and add to bag with the meat. 
  5. Seal and toss to coat the meat strips.
  6. Place in the fridge for up to 24 hours, but at least 2 hours. 
  7. Layout the strips in a single layer on your dehydrator.
  8. Cooking time will depend on the size of your dehydrator and the settings available. Refer to your owners manual for more information or simply cook beef until jerky is dry and firm but not crunchy. 
  9. Remove jerky from tray and place in a sealable container. 
  10. Refrigerate for up to one month. 

No-guilt sweet potato chips

With just four ingredients, these scrumptious sweet potato chips are about as healthy a snack as you could ask for. Plus, they’re a great way to use up all of those extra sweet potatoes from your garden. 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 tsp coconut oil, melted
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Cinnamon, to taste (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Peel and thinly slice sweet potatoes with a mandoline slicer. You can also do it with a knife, but it may be challenging to get the slices thin enough. 
  2. Place potatoes in a large mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients.
  3. Toss to combine.
  4. Place slices in a single layer on dehydrator trays and set the dehydrator to 125 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-20 hours or until potatoes are crisp and crunchy. 
  5. Enjoy immediately for optimal freshness or store in a sealable bag for up to 2 days. 

Crunchy snap peas

Fresh snap peas are delicious but try taking this yummy veggie up a notch with these simple, dehydrated salty snap peas. 

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups fresh snap peas
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion or garlic powder
  • 4 Tbsp nutritional yeast, optional
  • 3 tsp coconut oil, melted

Instructions:

  1. Place snap pea on a paper towel and blot off any excess water.
  2. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with remaining ingredients. 
  3. Toss to combine.
  4. Place in a single layer on the dehydrator tray at 135 degrees Fahrenheit for about 8 hours. Check at 6 hours as they could dehydrate quicker.
  5. Enjoy your snack right away or let peas sit for an extra hour before packing into an airtight container.

Banana Snacks

Bananas are extra rewarding to dehydrate because they’re super cheap, and make an excellent snack when you’re craving something sweet. 

Ingredients:

  • Bananas, as many as you want
  • Lemon juice, to keep them from browning

Instructions:

  1. Pour some lemon juice into a shallow casserole pan. This is simply to keep your bananas from browning as you prepare them. 
  2. Peel bananas and slice them lengthwise. Slices should be about ⅛ inch thick.
  3. Add them to the lemon juice as soon as they are sliced.
  4. Lay banana slices out on dehydrator trays and turn the dehydrator to 135 degrees.
  5. Check at around 6 hours, but they may need more time depending on the dehydrator. 
  6. Slices should be leathery and dry but still slightly sticky. 

Onion chips for soup

Let’s face it; if you grow any significant number of onions in your vegetable garden, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to use them all before they go bad. By dehydrating them, you can enjoy homegrown onions in many dishes all year long.

Ingredients:

  • Onions, and that’s it!

Instructions:

  1. Cut the ends of the onions off and peel it as you usually would
  2. Slice it into ¼ inch strips and break apart. 
  3. Place in a single layer on dehydrator sheets.
  4. Set your dehydrator to 125 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for 12 hours or until onion pieces are brittle and dry.
  5. It is a good idea to have a backup dehydrator specifically reserved for onions, as the smell will be almost impossible to eradicate. 
  6. If it is a nice, sunny day, use an extension cord to hook your dehydrator up outside to prevent your whole house smelling like onions.
  7. Store in an airtight container and add to soups, sauces, and anywhere else you would use fresh onions.

-Taylor Ramsey

 

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