One night I was in a Amazon black hole spiraling from item to item, as one does right? I stumbled upon a dehydrator. I had seen dehydrated fruits and veggies on Mind Body Green and other healthy blogs and I loved how easy it seemed to use. I could just throw things in and let it dehydrate as I slept, a mom’s dream haha!
SO I ended up with a dehydrator at my door in a few days (thank you Amazon Prime) and found myself experimenting with everything and anything I could dehydrate. The best part was 1. no food was going to waste 2. Diego and Dustin LOVED it. I started putting dehydrated fruit in Diego’s lunches and he thinks they are chips and can’t get enough of them!
I’ve compiled the easiest and my favorite dehydrated snacks that require no expertise and are ALL at the same temperature and able to be cooked at the same time.
The Easy & Healthy Dehydrator Recipes
First thing first, the dehydrator that I have is an Excalibur with 9 trays and includes a timer. This was the dehydrator I found had the best reviews. I absolutely LOVE this dehydrator. It has equal temperature throughout the trays, doesn’t smell up the entire house, has helpful heat settings for certain foods, a timer to turn itself off when done (HUGE for me) and with the removable trays it has so much space. You can find the exact one I bought here.
Highly recommend but for these recipes any dehydrator should work fine.
Whether you are stocking up on healthy snacks for your toddler or want some easy snacks for yourself here are my 5 favorite recipes that are ALL one temperature and can be throw in together and be ready by the end of the day!
Apple Cinnamon Fruit Leather
Surprisingly this was the EASIEST one. I was so surprised at how easy it was to make those fruit leathers kids love from the store. I’ve always been weary of what is really in those and now I have the perfect treat/snack for Diego that has just 2 ingredients.
- Lay out a piece of parchment paper so it covers the entire dehydrator tray(s)
- Pour unsweetened apple sauce (or puree of your choice) over the parchment paper and spread it so it has an even thickness throughout the tray
- Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon
Dehydrate at 135° for 8-12 hours
For one tray I used about one large 23 oz jar of unsweetened apple sauce from Whole Foods then to top it off with a very light sprinkle of cinnamon. Since I am making it for Diego who is still a toddler, I am very careful with the cinnamon and even slice the fruit leathers into smaller pieces.
The classic banana chips or what Diego calls, “papas” haha because he’s convinced they are potato chips and as a mom, I love that! Another very easy fruit to dehydrate and are so versatile.
- Thinly slice 1-2 bananas
- Lay them either directly on the tray or on parchment paper
- Spread the slices on the tray until they cover the entire tray
Dehydrate at 135° for 10-12 hours
My favorite way to eat them is dipped in almond butter and Dustin likes when I melt some of my Hu dairy free chocolate, dip the banana chips in halfway, and freeze them on parchment paper. SO good either way or just by themselves. Slice them extra thin to make them crispier.
Yes that’s right watermelon jerky. Now I know it sounds strange but I was inspired by The Skinny Confidential and Sakara Life who both rave about watermelon jerky so I decided to give it a try and it was one of my favorites! It’s like candy with vitamin c.
It does take longer than the rest to fully dehydrate since there is so much water inside, but it is worth it in the end.
- Cut your watermelon into wedges
- Remove the rind
- Cut into thin slices around 1/4 inch (rectangle or odd shape just make sure it’s thin)
- Lay out the slices on parchment paper and fill up a tray
- Squeeze a lime over the watermelon on the tray (optional)
Dehydrate at 135° for 18-24 hours
I’m telling you these turn out to be one sweet treat and the lime is such a good contrast of flavors. It does take a while longer than everything else, but it’s well worth it to have that jerky consistency that tears or breaks when bent.
Turmeric Kale Chips
Another way to trick myself out of the “chip” snack, but actually enjoy it! Kale chips have been a huge trend at Whole Foods and Starbucks I see them everywhere, but every time I open a bag I find it to be half empty and it’s gone so quick. So I started making my own kale chips and changing the flavor to what I’m into and turns out the dehydrator works just as well as baking them. Turmeric is an incredible anti inflammatory and gives it a good flavor along with some salt.
- Tear the kale into small bite size pieces
- Wash and pat dry the kale
- In a bowl massage in 1 tbs. of olive oil, 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of turmeric until spread evenly
- Lay out kale pieces on parchment paper filling out an entire dehydrator tray (or more than one)
Dehydrate at 135° for 8-10 hours
Just like the kale chips at the store, these can go quick so I suggest making more than one tray unless you are planning on eating them as soon as they are done. There are so many ways to season them so go where your chip cravings lead you!
Dried Mango Slices
Last but certainly not least… the dried mangos with Tajin. Dried mangos are addicting, but ones at the store are using covered in added sugars, preservatives and all kinds of junk. These are nothing but mango dehydrated and taste better than the store bought mangos.
- Wash and peel the mango
- Cut it into long strips either with a knife or mango slicer
- Lay out the mango slices on the dehydrator tray covering the tray
- Sprinkle with Tajin for a little spice (optional)
Dehydrate at 135° for 10-12 hours
Cut the mango at about 1/4 inch or a bigger if you want it a little chewier but it will need to dehydrate longer the thicker it is.
When I am making them for Diego I opt out of the Tajin, but when it is for me I like to add a little for a contrast in the flavor but just a tiny bit as the dehydrator intensifies flavors.
Have you ever tried using a dehydrator? Let me know about your experience and if you have any favorite recipes in the comments below!