Adventures in Dehydrating

Adventures in Dehydrating

A week and a half ago, I went crazy with my dehydrator—and dehydrated everything from the norm to the not-so- norm.

I got a Nesco dehydrator, and so far, it’s been easy to use, easy to clean, and not too bulky.

My Nesco Dehydrator. Came with a guide booklet, three trays, and a fruit roll tray (not pictured).
My Nesco Dehydrator. Came with a guide booklet, three trays, and a fruit roll tray (not pictured).

I started off simply by dehydrating some apples that were starting to wrinkle. I followed the recommended temperature of 135F, and let them dehydrate for ~11.5 hours overnight. Here’s how they came out:

Dehydrated Apple Slices! Had some for breakfast one morning with a Chobani cup and chocolate chips :9
Dehydrated Apple Slices! Had some for breakfast one morning with a Chobani cup and chocolate chips :9

They came out having crispy skins and chewy centers. Okay, so expected…normal

Then I had the crazy idea to dehydrate frozen pizza. I used an Amy’s frozen pizza, nuked it in the microwave, cut it in slices, and let it dry out for half a day…cause why not!

Dehydrated {Frozen} Pizza
Dehydrated {Frozen} Pizza

It looked pretty much the same except for the cheese, which from all the ingredients lost the most water content. The crust became solid like a brick. If you look on the bright side, cutting these slices up into mini cubes gives you readymade pizza croutons! I ate them as is the next morning like a rusk.

Along frozen food lines, I also wanted to see what would happen after dehydrating those “steamable” veggie packets. Miniature veggie chips happened :D.  The baby corn pieces were the most adorable. And the water chestnuts actually tasted sweet (??)

Dehydrated Mixed Veggies (Steamables)

I had the most fun dehydrating yogurt. I had it set at a lower temperature (108-125F), but let it dehydrate overnight for 10-12 hours. I used two cups of Chobani (raspberry and pomegranate) and coated it over the surface of the smooth plastic tray that’s supposed to be used for making fruit rollups ;).

Yogurt chips anyone??
Yogurt chips anyone??

The yogurt came out crispier than I wanted. I guess you could say I accidentally made yogurt chips! Whoopsies…

It also took a long time for me to consume (despite it’s crispy and cracked appearance, the yogurt required a lot of jaw muscle action to break down!).

I also dehydrated pineapple, banana, and mango. My sister and I absolutely loved our pineapple chips. They tasted incredibly sweet and had that crunch that reminded me of freeze-dried pineapple. The banana chips were great too, but came out a bit chewier than I was going for.

Dehydrated Banana and Mango

As for the mango, the outer layer came out crispier than expected, so I will continue to experiment with this fruit to find its perfect temp & time.

Mango Chips

I haven’t had the chance to dehydrate any tofu yet, but that is certainly next on my list. Along with coconut, cherries, plantains, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes…the fun has only just begun!!

What’s your favorite thing to dehydrate, or dried food to eat?

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8 thoughts on “Adventures in Dehydrating

    1. I tried experimenting with sweet potatoes just a few days ago, and love how they came out for the first try. I’m going to try to let them dry longer/cut them thinner so they can come out even crispier 😀

  1. My Grandma got a dehydrater last summer, and I fell in love with it. I haven’t gotten around to getting one of my own, but this post totally has me yearning to hop back on the bandwagon! They’re way too much fun to use!

    1. I think the main advantage of dehydrating food is for long-term storage. Like for example if you want to preserve fresh berries from summer to enjoy in the winter. I have noticed that depending on the food they can absorb moisture from the air if not kept in an air tight container/with oxygen absorbers.

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