Love crunchy, healthful snacks? Tired of kale chips and pineapple rings? Put your dehydrator to work creating these unique dried eats.
Dehydrating foods reduces waste by preserving surplus ingredients, and it keeps energy costs low, compared to freezing. Crispy dried fruits and vegetables make great lightweight snacks for hiking and camping, and they’re famously popular with picky kids.
Here’s a list of ten surprisingly tasty dried foods you might not have tried yet. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can purchase a basic model for about 40 U.S. dollars. Or, you can experiment with making some of these treats in your oven on the lowest setting. Have fun!
Here’s one way to enjoy fresh greens on a hike that won’t wilt! Marinate the cabbage in a sweet vinaigrette before draining well and dehydrating at 125 degrees for 24-48 hours. You can eat crunchy dried coleslaw like a snack or add some water to rehydrate it.
Peel and slice this melon thinly, dry it out and you’ll have a chewy, sweet snack that’s much more affordable than ever-popular dried mango.
Turn your bumper crop of fresh basil into dehydrated whole leaves! The flavor of store-bought dried basil flakes is no match for home-dried whole leaves. Dry at 90 degrees Fahrenheit for a few hours until the leaves are brittle, then store in an airtight jar at room temperature.
Yes, it takes a while to get all the water out of a slice of watermelon (24 hours at 135 degrees, in fact,) but it’s worth it! Bloggers call this “Watermelon candy” for good reason: it’s chewy and intensely sweet.
Trader Joe’s makes a crunchy, tangy version of dehydrated kimchi. But you can make it at home, too! Bonus points for fermenting it yourself, first.
If you enjoy the fried version, you’ll love them crunchy and dried. Douse raw onion rings in a mixture of olive oil and soy sauce, then dredge in breadcrumbs or ground almonds, and dehydrate 3-4 hours at 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
Did you know you can make your own probiotic-rich yogurt in your dehydrator? The warm, consistent temperature provides the perfect conditions for beneficial bacteria to grow. Heat a gallon of milk to 185 degrees Fahrenheit in a saucepan, then cool to 100 degrees and add 3 Tbls. plain yogurt. Whisk together well, then transfer to jars and dehydrate at 110 degrees for 8-10 hours.
Green beans transform into crunchy, salty “fries” in the dehydrator. Toss them in melted coconut oil and salt and dehydrate at 125 degrees overnight. Tip: frozen whole green beans actually produce a crispier finished product than fresh beans.
Save energy by drying bread crumbs in a dehydrator instead of in the oven! You’ll get perfectly parched crumbs without any chance of browning. Dehydrate whole slices for 3-4 hours at 125 degrees Fahrenheit, then pulverize in a food processor.
Boost your intake of greens with some crispy crucifers! You can customize the flavor of the florets with different marinades: try Italian dressing or a soy-sesame-ginger sauce. Dehydrate at 110 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-24 hours.