This is the time of year where most Americans snack more than ever before. With so many yummy treats and holiday desserts in the house, how could we not? In the spirit of being healthy and wanting to better our bodies and our sanity during this crazy time of the year, let us offer some additional delicious snacks for you and your family: Fruit Chips, Fruit Leathers, Dried Veggies or healthy Beef Jerky! Maybe you already have one of our Aroma Food Dehydrators and are looking for an easy guide on how to use it, or maybe you don’t have one but have thought about purchasing one before. Either way, here is your simplified guide on how to make those yummy and healthy snacks in your very own kitchen!
Wash and peel (if desired), core and slice into thin slices or rounds. You may wish to soak the apples in lemon juice for 2-3 minutes prior to dehydrating. This will keep them from darkening. Dry approximately 8-10 hours. Apples should be slightly crisp.
If you wish to re-hydrate, soak in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.
Wash, halve and remove the pits. Pre-treatment is not necessary. Dry approximately 55-60 hours. Apricots should be pliable with no pockets of moisture.
To re-hydrate, soak in hot water for 15 minutes.
Avoid using overripe bananas. Peel and slice. You may wish to pre-treat by soaking in lemon juice for 1-2 minutes to prevent darkening. Dehydrate approximately 45-50 hours or until crisp.
If you would like to re-hydrate, soak in hot water for about 10 minutes.
Remove stems, wash and shake dry. Pre-treatment is not necessary. Drying time is approximately 90-100 hours.
Re-hydrate by soaking in hot water for about 15 minutes. Drain well before using.
- Any of your favorite fruits!
Choose fresh, ripe fruit. Wash and remove stems and pits. Peel the fruit and cut out any bruised sections. Puree in a blender until very smooth. Sweeten to taste by adding 1 tablespoon of honey, fruit juice concentrate or corn syrup per quart of puree. Do not use sugar as it will crystallize as it dries. Spread on fruit leather sheet and dehydrate for 8 to 10 hours or until leathery.
To prevent leather from sticking, coat the fruit leather sheet with any vegetable spray or oil. You may also line it with plastic wrap. Do not use paper or foil.
If you experience uneven drying, tilt and shake trays until puree is evenly distributed. If leathers seem too brittle, you have probably over dried or you may need to adjust your vent settings. (Please remember the settings are always suggested. Adjust them to suit your needs.) If your leathers look dark, you may add some lemon juice or vitamin C to the puree. Adjust the consistency of your puree with fruit juices or other thicker purees. If the leather spoils, the leather was not dry before storing or was exposed to moisture during storage.
Wash and peel the tough skin from the stalk. Separate the florets and slice the stem into 1/2-inch slices. Pre-treatment is not necessary (steam for 4 minutes if desired). Dehydrate for about 18 hours or until brittle.
For re-hydration, soak about 30 minutes in hot water then drain.
Wash and then remove the outer leaves. Shred into 1/2-inch pieces. Steam for about 2 minutes. Dry for 12-18 hours or until crisp.
To re-hydrate, soak in cold lemon water for 30 minutes.
Wash, trim tops, peel and slice into 1/2-inch pieces. Pre-treatment is not necessary. Dry about 12-16 hours or until brittle.
To re-hydrate soak in cold water for 30 minutes.
Wash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Soak celery in a solution of baking soda and water for 5 minutes (1 tablespoon to 6 cups cold water). Steam for about 2 minutes and then drain. Dry for about 12-18 hours or until crisp.
To re-hydrate, soak in hot water for 1 hour.
Remove husk and silk before washing. Steam for about 4 minutes. Use a sharp knife to cut kernels off the cob. Dehydrate for 10-18 hours or until crisp.
To re-hydrate, soak in hot water for about 30 minutes.
Helpful Tip: Don’t want to eat dried veggies on their own? Add them to your soup, as a seasoning on meat or on top of main entrees for extra spice!
- Lean Meat
Use lean meat. Cut off any visible fat as it can make jerky turn rancid. Cut meat into long narrow strips. Marinate meat 1 to 24 hours (depending on your preference) in the refrigerator and drain. Place a roll-up sheet on bottom tray and place meat on trays. Dehydrate for about 10 to 17 hours. Beef or fish do not need to be cooked prior to dehydrating. However, it is recommended that turkey or chicken be cooked prior to dehydrating.
Let’s be honest, these won’t replace our favorite tasty holiday sweets, but they are a good addition to our daily snacking. Whatever you choose to dehydrate, we hope you will enjoy the healthy option to snack on dried fruits, veggies and lean beef jerky!