Sick of the old dehydrated banana chips or beef jerky? Here are 49 different foods to dehydrate! From liver snacks for the dog to wine leather for you, sauerkraut salt & vinegar chips to rhubarb sour candy, we’ve collected them all.
I really love pushing appliances to their limits and using them to their full potential.
So, if you have some unusual foods you dehydrate in your dehydrator, please share them! Leave a comment below and I’ll them to the list, with name credit. Specific recipes are particularly appreciated!
49 Unusual Foods to Dehydrate in a Dehydrator
- Kiwi fruit. These end up like little gummy bears. All you need to do is peel and dry them, then dehydrate.
- Beans. Dehydrated beans can be ground into powder, basically a home-made protein powder. Add to any meals and smoothies. Use your home-grown beans or canned beans.
- Wine. Mix with fruits like strawberries and sugar. Dehydrate to make Wine Fruit Leather. Divine!
- Liver. Doesn’t smell the prettiest but dehydrated liver makes excellent dog treats.
- Hearts. Contrary to what you might think, these don’t smell as bad as they sound when they’re in the dehydrator. Again, perfect as dog treats. If you’re looking for the best dog food you don’t have to make yourself, have a look at PetPlate, this company has developed a truly amazing product.
- Smoked salmon slices. These turn into salmon jerky, nice protein snack.
- Dandelion root. Dehydrated root is a natural substitute for coffee and it lasts for ages. No more trying to eradicate the dandelion “weed”, grow your own coffee with them instead. P.s. Make sure you’ve actually got Dandelion, not Wild Lettuce!
- Jalapenos. Once dehydrated, crumble into a powder for seasoning.
- Pineapple. You can use fresh or canned. Dehydrate them in pieces or blend with applesauce to pineapple leather.
- Sauerkraut. You can use homemade sauerkraut or canned. Ends up like salt and vinegar chips, super yummy as a snack and much healthier! Cultures for Health has awesome kits for making your own sauerkraut and fermented vegetables!
- Kimchi. As above.
- Tomatoes. Dehydrate in slices and use as is or powdered, or blend with some fruit pectin to make tomato leather.
- Broccoli greens. Often thrown away, but they make a very nutritious powder. Add to any meal. Eat them like snacks too, they’re very similar to kale chips.
- Paw paw/papaya. Dried papaya pieces make a great snack for you or for your pet.
- French toast. Make the toast as you normally would and keep them in the freezer while you’re cooking your full batch. That stops them from getting soggy. Brush some maple syrup or honey onto each slice and cut into pieces. Dehydrate for about 6 hours. This works for raisin french toast too. Eat them as snacks or as cereal in the morning. Yum in salads too.
- Fish skin. These turn into fish chips. Crowd Cow delivers fresh meat and fish direct to your door, with flat rate shipping. Free shipping on their subscription boxes of $99 or more.
- Potato peels. Don’t throw the peels away, sprinkle with salt and paprika and dehydrate – homemade healthy chips!
- Rhubarb. Chop or use a carrot peeler for thin slices, then dehydrate. You can soak it in syrup for an hour or so first, drain, and then dehydrate. Homemade sour candy!
- Chamomile flowers. Great for tea!
- Pickles. Dehydrated pickles are great in seasoning, try some in martinis too!
- Beetroot. Pieces or puree. Cook the beetroot than blend into a puree. Dehydrate and powder for red velvet cakes and seasoning.
- Turnip greens. See this article on how to dehydrate your greens into powder.
- Bacon. Season with salt and brown sugar and dehydrate. Snacks don’t get better and perfect in salads too. You can cook the bacon first (turns out hard and crunchy) or use it raw (comes out chewy like jerky).
- Shrimp. Butterfly them, dip in egg yolk,season, then dehydrate. Ultra yummy shrimp snacks.
- Marshmallows. Dehydrate them as-is or grind into marshmallow powder. Here’s a how-to-marshmallow!
- Pine tips. Pine tips are the young growth on evergreens. They’re very soft and taste like citrus. Use in tea, meals, and baking. And smoothies for a fresh twist.
- Kale. In the dehydrator, kale makes lovely kale chips. Super healthy snack!
- Fish sticks.
- Yarrow. Dehydrate for tea and to add herbal nutrition to meals.
- Corn on the cob for cornmeal. You’ll never make cornbread any other way!
- Cantaloupe for cantaloupe crisps.
- Flax seeds. Make these into flax crackers with water and some Braggs Liquid Aminos or other seasonings. Leave to soak for an hour, the flax seeds take up a lot of the water. Spread thinly, season to taste, and dehydrate. Once dry, break into pieces for rustic crackers.
- Radish. Dehydrated radish is a delicious, crunchy snack.
- Lemon peels. Works for other citrus too, perfect when you have a big harvest of citrus to use up. Powder in a blender and use as you would zest, in cakes, meals, smoothies – everything.
- Turkey. Thinly sliced roasted turkey makes wonderful chips for you, your kids, or your dogs. Everyone, really.
- Snap peas.
- Corned Beef. Dehydrated turns into jerky.
- Kombucha scoby. Cut into thin strips then dehydrate. Healthy, meat-free jerky. Many dogs love it as a treat too.
- Garlic. Use garlic powder in everything. Perfect on hummus.
- Garlic scapes. Scapes are only in hardneck garlic. Removing the scapes helps produce bigger garlic, so it’s a win-win.
- Mushrooms. You can re-hydrate them by cooking in butter. They soak up lots of flavor when cooked this way, and they’ll last a long time dehydrated. Did you know you can grow your own Oyster mushrooms indoors? Check out these oyster mushroom kits!
- Seaweed. Harvest your own from the sea (check local laws first) and dehydrate. Yummy snacks or add to meals to increase nutrition.
- Corn silk. Don’t try it away, dehydrate and use in homemade soaps for a luxurious effect and very mild scrub.
- Nettle. Full of nutrition. Dehydrate then blend into a powder. Add to as many meals as you can, its taste is not too overpowering.
- Apple peels. Don’t just dehydrate apples, dehydrate the peels too! Powder and use as a sweetener for breakfasts, cakes, and other meals.
- Zucchini. Cut into slices and eat as chips.
- Potatoes. Shredded and baked for your own instant potatoes.
- Sweet potatoes. Shredded and baked for instant sweet potatoes.
There you have it, 49 usual foods to dehydrate in your dehydrator. What are your tips, which strange things have you made in your dehydrator?
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One last thing about dehydrators. You can get them in all shapes and sizes. The best dehydrators include Excalibur, Nesco, and Cabela’s. They can get quite pricey, but you do often get what you pay for.
Here’s a Nesco one on Amazon that looks great. You can also get them secondhand from Amazon. The secondhand price differs, but when I looked you could pick this one up for around $90.
Excalibur dehydrators are my personal favorite. I really believe in buying the best you can afford, and these guys are the best. I spent years mucking around with a cheaper blender, for example, before buying a Vitamix last year. Hallelujah!
I can’t believe the difference. It makes the others look like manual herb grinders, what a beast. No more lumps in smoothies, even strawberry seeds disappear. I adore my Vitamix and I try hard to buy only the best. It’s just not worth it otherwise.
Here’s a good-size Excalibur dehydrator:
- DRYING SPACE - 9-trays totaling 15 square feet of drying space offers plenty of room for...
- PATENTED - Hyper wave technology and horizontal parallex drying removes water from food...
- LOW AND SLOW FOR IMMUNITY BOOST - Cooking foods at a temperature no higher than 115-118...
- DIAL IN - Adjustable thermostat 105 degrees Fahrenheit to 165 degrees Fahrenheit featuring...
- EASY TO CLEAN - Poly-Screen trays do not need to be moved or rotated during operation and...
- HEALTHY SNACKS - Dehydrate delicious fruits, vegetables, nuts, meat for jerky, fruit puree...
Nine trays would be my minimum. Any less and you’ll struggle for space unless you want to do very small batches. If you grow your own veggies, for example, you’ll find you need 9 trays minimum.
I won’t go into dehydrators any furthers, I’ll leave it for another article down the road, where I’ll compare Excalibur dehydrators to some of the others. If you have a specific comparison you want to see, leave a comment!