Making healthy snacks with a food dehydrator

When I lived in Italy I used to go to the woods to pick up mushrooms; I would then clean and slice them, let them completely dry in the sunshine all scattered on a cloth and then store them in a glass jar. I did the same for herbs in the summer in order to make herbal teas during winter time. Drying is one the best ways to preserve fruit, vegetables and animal proteins and this has been practiced since ancient times.

Having said that when I moved to England that was no longer possible as you need strong and consistent sunshine for many days in order to dry food well.

I heard of a food dehydrator before but never really thought of getting one. Some people swear by them so when I received a Severin branded one from “Homespares” I put it to the test.

A food dehydrator removes moisture from food through heat using a flow of hot air.

Food dehydrators have become very popular over the years with experts recommending them as one of the healthiest ways to preserve food. They are cheap to run and you avoid all those chemicals and toxins you often get in industrially dried fruits and vegetables. If you read the labels of commercially dried apples you will often find Sulphur Dioxide added which acts as a preservative.

So here it is – my new toy:

Food dehydrator

I quite fancied drying bananas, apples and some strawberries I just bought at the market.

I began by washing the strawberries and peeling and slicing all the fruit as thin as possible. As soon as I did that I squeezed some lemon juice on the apples and on the bananas to avoid them oxidating and turning black during the drying process. Alternatively you can put them in a bowl with water and fruit juice.

slicing fruit

Each fruit has different drying times. Apples usually take about 5 to 6 hours whilst bananas and strawberrries at least 8 hours.

After lightly brushing the trays with oil to avoid the fruit sticking to it, I placed my sliced bananas (approx 3 mm or 0.1 inch thick) and placed them on two of the trays.

drying banana

Then the apples and the strawberries on another tray.

drying apples and strawberries

I also tried making kale crisps. I washed the leaves and removed the stalks. Drizzled them with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.

kale leaves

And I arranged them on the two remaining trays.

kale leaves ready to dry

I put the top on and switched the machine on and left it there checking every so often for “done-ness”.

And this is the result: I had crunchy banana chips and chewy moreish apple slices. I rather liked them!

banana, strawberry apple chips

So did the children when they returned home from school.

eating dried fruit

The kale crisps were incredibly crunchy, I had them with my aperitif with some white wine. Next time I will add some chilli to make them slightly spicy also I want to try drying tomatoes to add to my pastas and pesto.

kale crisps

 

This machine is really easy to use, it has just an on-off button and I really love its simplicity. Perhaps the only thing I could say is that it would be nice if it had a timer installed.

Also it promotes healthy eating and now it looks like I will be drying fruit all the time as my children keep asking for apple rings!

This gadget gets big thumbs up from me!

I was sent a “Severin” dehydrator to take part on the “Great Oven Ban Challenge”. All opinions are my own.

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12 Responses to Making healthy snacks with a food dehydrator

  1. la cucina di Molly

    Ma che bello e interessante questo utensile, la frutta essiccata l’ho sempre comprata, non immaginavo di poterla preparare in casa! Buona serata, baci!

  2. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    I have a dehydrator, but I have only put tomatoes and sweet potato in it. I really want to try banana and mango next.

    • Alida

      Good idea, bananas are ever so sweet and moreish.

  3. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Dear Alida,
    This is such a wonderful toy. My friend just got a food dehydrator but a big one. I love the idea of making these foods without any added toxins. Yours looks so small and compact, yet it does the trick. I love the bananas and the apples. The strawberries must be like eating candy. Thank you for sharing this..I told my girlfriend about your site and she loved this post. You have a new follower. Have a great rest of the week..
    Hugs x Dottie 🙂

    • Alida

      Thank you Dottie! Very sweet of you to recommend me to your friend and yes I am still experimenting with the dedydrator.. cherry tomatoes to add to my salads next!

  4. speedy70

    Utilissimo l’essicatore, me lo sono fatta regalare a Natale!

    • Alida

      E’ veramente utile vero?

    • Alida

      It is a popular gadget I am really pleased to have it.

  5. Chiara

    voglio farci un pensierino, è un attrezzo molto utile !

    • Alida

      Si e’ una bella idea anche per essiccare i funghi!

  6. Alida

    Si un ottimo attrezzo molto utile.

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