Having bought or been gifted with a dehydrator, you might be wondering just how you would use it. Well there are tons of food recipes you can try out as has been detailed below. Kindly note that having a good quality dehydrator with adequate capacity and precise temperature controls will make the experience worthwhile. Preserving food through dehydration has been known to retain nutrients better than other methods and more so the fermentation only enhances them.
The following are the best 5 popular dehydrating recipes:
Homemade Beef Jerky:
Protein-packed, healthy and if paired with a fruit or vegetable?homemade beef jerky can be the ideal meal replacement on the go. The main ingredients for this recipe include the meat (sliced, roast), honey or maple syrup, crushed garlic, black pepper, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, paprika, cayenne, ginger and sea salt. Slightly frozen roast is always easier to slice therefore place the roast in the freezer for 45-60 minutes, after which slice it up into thin strips. Place the strips in a bowl and cover evenly with the rest of the ingredients, then place the bowl in the fridge for 12-24 hours. After the marinating is done you can then place the meat strips on the dehydrator tray (without them overlapping each other) and dry on the highest setting for about 7 hours. Adding more salt can help preserve it better, but storing in the freezer or fridge is much safer.
Cultured Fruit Leathers:
This recipe offers a great way of getting beneficial bacteria into your daily diet and more so it makes a great snack to pack in lunches for work or school. Use any preferred fruits (like apples, berries, kiwi, bananas, mango, pears and so on), spices to taste (nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon etc.), sweetener and water kefir or whey. Process the fruits in a food processor, food mill or blender until the mixture is smooth and then mix in the sweetener, whey or water kefir and spices. Transfer the mixture into a jar, close tightly and store at room temperature for 1 to 3 days or until the desired texture and flavor have been achieved. Lastly, spread the mixture on sheets of unbleached parchment paper that fits inside the dehydrator. If the mixture is too watery you can strain out the juice using a tight-weave cheesecloth or a tea towel. Leave the fruit leather to dry for about 8-24 hours at a favorable temperature of 110 degrees or less so as not destroy the beneficial bacteria. When it is smooth and no longer sticky, the fruit leather can be stored into an airtight container.
Green Veggie Powder:
By using a dehydrator you can easily preserve beet, turnip trimmings, celery, parsley, leeks, collards, kale and other herbs for later consumption. In this recipe, you may use fresh vegetables available such as bell peppers, herbs, onions and tomatoes. Simply place the vegetables in a single layer on the dehydrator and dry at 125 degrees until they turn crisp or for about 12 to 18 hours. Then transfer the dried vegetables into a food processor and pulse them until they break down into a fine powder. Finally, put the powder into a jar, close tightly and store at room temperature for a minimum of six months without losing potency. The veggie powder is full of vitamins and can be incorporated in any meal; use a spoonful or two of the powder.
Raw Onion Bread:
Using white onions, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, olive oil and soy sauce/tamari/nama shoyu will get you a snack rich in vitamin E, protein, dietary fiber, iron and calcium. Process the sunflower seeds into a fine meal and slice the onions into small piece using a food processor. Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl using a spoon. Spread the mixture onto dehydrator trays (use parchment paper) and dry for an hour at 120 degrees and then 105 degrees for another six hours. The raw onion bread is ready when crispy enough for your liking and also use of sweet onions is highly recommended instead of the regular ones
Dried Herbs and Wild Edibles:
Leaves like parsley, oregano and rosemary; medicinal herbs such as mint, feverfew and lemon balm; seeds like dill, coriander and celery; and edible flowers such as chamomile, rose and calendula ? can all be easily dried using a dehydrator. Others wild edibles and herbs such as dandelions, sow thistles, wood sorrels and so many more can simply be laid out on trays in the dehydrator for later use in any season. Having a multilayered dehydrator will come in handy when drying out numerous and various herbs and wild edibles.