Dehydrating Foods for Healthy Snacks
As Americans, we waste a lot of food, and much of that food is fruits and veggies that go bad before they can be consumed. One way to minimize this waste is dehydrating. The wonderful thing about dehydrating is that it makes much of your perishable food non-perishable. How many times have you had bananas get too brown and have to be thrown away? How many times have you not gotten around to eating all of your vegetables in the fridge before they had to be tossed out? If you said anything other than never to answer these questions, read on to learn more about dehydrating your healthy snacks.
First of all, if you want to do this simply, purchase a dehydrator. It is possible to dehydrate in your oven, but that is explained elsewhere and not in this blog post. A dehydrator just makes the process very simple. The one I use can be found here. It is a Nesco Dehydrator, and so far, it has done the job adequately. It comes with 5 racks, which more can be purchased and added if you're planning on dehydrating in bulk. I find the 5 racks to be more than adequate for my use.
Here are some foods I have had luck with dehydrating:
When your bananas start to go rotten, it only takes a minute or two to cut them into slices and put them on the dehydrating tray. In a few hours, you will have crispy banana chips. Tip: If you want a chewy snack, try partially dehydrating them, and they are more chewy than crispy. I found when I bought banana chips in the store packaged, they have sugar added. Be careful about this, because I had no idea I was consuming even more sugar than the banana chips themselves. If you make your own, you obviously won't have to worry about this added sugar (or the other preservatives that may be added).
Strawberries just don't stay fresh long enough. Dehydrating them will help prolong their edible life. Once they are dehydrated, they can later be used in cereals to sweeten them up a bit.
Also, dehydrators make it possible to make
an all-natural fruit roll-up. This has worked great with my strawberries that started to shrivel a little and looked less than desirable to eat. Just blend up the strawberries until they are liquefied, and
then spread the liquefied strawberries over
the plastic tray. (My dehydrator came with two of these trays made just for this purpose.) The tray just sits on the dehydrator rack.
Apple chips are another way to take care of that sweet craving. It's also yummy to add a little cinnamon to these to make it more of an apple pie chip.
Zucchini chips! If you like the taste of zucchini, you'll love zucchini chips. I spray a small amount of olive oil spray on them and lightly sprinkle with sea salt, and then dehydrate them until they are crispy.
Oh, the red ones work wonderfully! I would recommend cutting these a little wider than strips, because they will be extremely skinny once dehydrated (but still taste great with any shape). When bell peppers are dehydrated, the sweetness seems to be more concentrated making it like a sweet snack. The red bell peppers, being the sweetest, are like eating a vegetable Twizzler (in my opinion)! You'll have to see for yourself.
Sweet potatoes have so many health benefits. They make great chips too! I make these similar to the zucchini chips by lightly spraying them with olive oil, and then I sprinkle just a little seasoned salt on them. This is always optional and sea salt works fine too or no salt at all. It depends on your own personal preference.
These are just a few of the fruits and veggies that I have dehydrated so far and love. What have you dehydrated and loved?
Disclaimer: I use affiliate marketing, which means that I provide links to products that I make a small commission on when they are purchased through my links. This is at no cost to you. Any information I provide about the products are my own personal opinion.
I am not a professional; therefore, any information that I provide should not be taken as professional health advice but is my own personal opinion and from my own personal experiences.