What’s your favorite kitchen tool? I’m personally obsessed with my dehydrator! Sure, dehydrating food takes a long time. But here’s the good news: While your dehydrator may need a few hours—or in some cases, a few days—to deliver the decadent dish you’ve been craving, once you prep your ingredients, you can leave them and forget them. It’s seriously that simple!
Here are some of my favorite things to make in the dehydrator:
Granola Doesn’t Get Greater Than This
Oh yeah — I’m talking about the good stuff that’s chock full of oats, nuts, vanilla, spices, and more. First, follow any of your favorite granola recipes (like the Indulgent Chocolate Granola in my cookbook, FOOD YOU WANT For The Life You Crave). But instead of popping the heart-healthy cereal in your oven, spread it onto a dehydrator sheet and let it go for about 36-48 hours. The result? Perfectly delicious granola that has no chance of burning around the edges and tastes like the stuff that comes fresh from the bakery!
Crunchy Carrot Fries
Have extra carrots on hand? Sometimes, when I’m really craving something crunchy and fun, I’ll slice them up and pop them in my dehydrator to create carrot fries. Dehydrated carrot fries are wonderful on top of salads, or you can use then as a garnish.
Crispy Fried Onions
I love these so much that after I take one bite, I’m hooked. For real. Use these succulent onions to add a crispy texture when garnishing soups and salads. Or, just snack on them straight from the airtight container you use to store them.
- Fry up thinly sliced onions in a generous amount of olive oil until they’re soft and lightly colored.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Spread on a dehydrator sheet and let crisp for 8-10 hours, or until all moisture is removed.
- Store in a refrigerated airtight tightener for one month.
Get the full recipe in my book, FOOD YOU WANT.
Spiced Up Nuts
I almost always have some nuts in my dehydrator. Simply soak fresh nuts, coat them in whatever spices/sweeteners you desire, and then let them ride in the dehydrator for about a day. They make a delicious snack that’s perfect to nibble on either at your desk or in the car when you are on the go. The best part? You can easily store your dehydrated nuts in a Ziplock bag in the freezer—they last for months. Feeling inspired to try? Check out my Maple Cayenne Spiced Pecans recipe or my Spicy Roasted Pistachios.
Say goodbye to that bland pack of Saltines and hello to gluten-free, crispy cracker goodness! While there are a ton of recipes online for DIY dehydrated crackers, I’m sharing one that’s packed with nuts, seeds, veggies, and herbs. Get the recipe!
Delicious Dried Fruit (Without The Unnecessary Added Sugar)
Peaches, plums, pineapple, mangoes, bananas, grapes, apples, and the list goes on. Let your imagination run wild here. Drying time will take between 8-12 hours, depending on which fruit you are dehydrating. But I promise you, taking the time to make homemade dried fruits is so worth it!
How many times have you burned bread in the oven? I’ve personally lost count. If you have leftover bread, crumble it up and pop it into the dehydrator. After several hours, when it’s been stripped of all excess moisture, pop the bread into a food processor to make crumbs!
Bring Stale Snacks Back To Life
Ever reach for a bag of pretzels, crackers, or chips, come to find out they’ve gone stale? Even if you keep unopened bags airtight, they tend to lose their oomph once opened. Rather than tossing your treats, pop your less-than-fresh snacks into the dehydrator until they come back to life (roughly 8 hours).
Melted Coconut Oil
If your baking recipe calls for melted coconut oil then it can sometimes, well, suck. Sure, you can pop the oil into a microwavable jar or in a double boiler on the stovetop. But I can’t stand dirtying up extra dishes. My secret? Place your coconut oil on top of your dehydrator. I know this may sound silly, but the top of your dehydrator gets warm enough to bring the oil to a liquid state in about an hour. So if you can, plan ahead and avoid the unnecessary mess.
How do you use your dehydrator? Now I want to hear from you! What are your favorite dried out treats to make at home?