Food Dehydrator Recipes

Frugal and Healthy Snacks Made Easy

If you're a meat eater, you probably love jerky. And if you're a raw vegan, you might love fruit chips. There are food dehydrator recipes for everyone, so your dehydrator is a pretty handy machine. Although most people don't own one, the ones that do use them all the time. For me, it's because I'm really lazy and using these recipes usually means very little work.

Meat Lovers

CowBeef Jerky is probably the most popular food dehydrator recipe. It's really simple, but the key is experimentation. If you do a search for jerky recipes, you're going to find a ton of variations. Get the basics down and tinker until you're happy. And you'll master the basics after one try.

Although I don't eat jerky anymore, I still prepare it for my family and it always goes fast. I make a lot at once and give them away in ziplocs.

I don't measure carefully and just eyeball it because I'm all about lazy cooking:

  • Worcestershire sauce (Lea and Perrins)
  • Fresh black pepper
  • White sugar
  • Salt

Slice the meat, marinate overnight, drain, dehydrate 4-24 hours (depends on your dehydrator). That's it.

Try it with other ingredients, like soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, whatever. Go to the market and look at your favorite store-bought jerky. Check out the ingredients and add them to your own.

No More Spoiled Produce

StrawberriesBefore I explored the raw food diet, I bought all my produce at Costco. I only ate a small group of fruits or vegetables at a time, so it was convenient to buy a lot at once. It was usually a box of oranges or a bag of spinach. But no matter how careful I was to try to eat everything, there was always some food spoilage. I noticed I started to buy the healthy foods less often over time because I didn't like having it go to waste.

Even when I had my first Ronco dehydrator, I never thought to try fruit chips. I missed out.

A couple of years ago, I started to explore vegetarianism and eventually went on a raw foods trial. I was already having fresh smoothies, but now I was trying something called sprouting. Then I got into dehydrating. That's when I got my Excalibur. I use it all the time now and I have plenty of food dehydrator recipes to get through.

I've been eating a lot of strawberry chips lately. Everyone loves fresh strawberries or chocolate covered strawberries, but not everyone's had strawberry chips.

Easy Homemade Dried Strawberries

  1. Slice the fruit.
  2. Dehydrate for five hours.
  3. Tear one piece in half. They're ready when there's no more moisture inside.

Try them with oatmeal.

I like to sneak them into the movie theater.

Simple Homemade Fruit Leathers

  1. Puree a bunch of overripe fruits in a blender. Add some water (or juice) if you need to.
  2. Pour the puree onto a fruit roll sheet (included with the dehydrator).
  3. Run the unit for 4 to 8 hours, depending on the fruit. Basically, dry until it's dry.
  4. Lay out on plastic wrap or wax paper and roll it neatly. Then, you can store them in a large plastic bag or container.

Note: Taste the fruit before blending so you know if you need to add sugar, syrup, or another sweetener.

Hands Free Cooking

For me, the biggest benefit of dehydrating is saving time. The prep work is minimal, and the "cooking" is hands-free.

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