I love my dehydrator, and in summer I seem to have it running almost every second day. I like to make all sorts of snacks in it like jerky, kale chips, dried fruit and even good old fruit leather (I loved roll ups as a kid).
Store bought dried fruit often has sulphur added to preserve it and retain the colouring (especially so for apricots) which can flare up the symptoms of asthma and other allergies. Making it yourself is easy, affordable and satisfying.
These are some of my favourite things to make with the dehydrator, if you don’t have one at home you can use the oven at really low setting and it will usually turn out just as well.
SO simple to do, all you need to do is to cut the fruit into bite sized pieces and lay them out on the trays, then dehydrate at the lowest setting for a few hours or until dry. They will keep for a month or so in an airtight container, if they don’t get eaten before then that is!
In a blender blitz the washed and diced fruit until it forms a paste. If you wish you can add a little water, sugar or lemon juice to thin it if if it particularly thick. If using fruits like plum, apple or pear you may need to cook them down a little first.
Line the dehydrator trays with baking paper (allowing a gap at the outside for air to move through) and pour on the paste, spreading into a thin layer. You could sprinkle with chia seeds at this stage to add a bit of extra crunch.
Dehydrate at the lowest setting for 4 hours or until it turns into the right texture (it may need longer but you don’t want it to dry out too much so check it every hour after 4 hrs).
- Strawberry and Peach
- Raspberry and Peach
- Blueberries and Pear
- Blueberries and Goji
- Banana and strawberry
- Banana and Peach
- Green apple, cinnamon and baby spinach
- Apricot, honey and lemon
You can make these in the oven, but it’s also super simply to make these in the dehydrator. Just cut or tear the kale leaves into bite sized pieces and lay out on the trays. You can sprinkle with a little salt or spice. If you want to get fancy with oil based flavourings these may be best done in the oven.
‘Cheesy’ Capsicum and cashew kale chips
- ½ red capsicum (finely chopped)
- ½ cup nutritional yeast
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight
- Pinch of garlic powder, cumin, smokey paprika, cayenne (optional)
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 bunch kale (the curly leafed version is best)
In a small blender whiz up a handful of pre-soaked cashews, half a capsicum (finely chopped), lemon juice, nutritional yeast, the spices, salt and pepper. Blitz together until it forms a paste, adding a little water if needed to make it blend more easily.
Wash and dry the kale and spread the paste onto the leaves, trying to get it evenly distributed. It probably won’t stick to it perfectly, so you’ll need to pat some extra on once you’ve laid them out.
Spread the kale leaves onto the dehydrator trays and leave to dehydrate at 45C for a few hours or until crispy. Alternatively you can lay them on a tray and bake in the oven at a low heat for 40-50 minutes.[fb_button]