DEHYDRATING SNACK FOODS – With a couple of multi day trips coming up, I decided it was time to get the dehydrator out to see if I could come up with some light weight snack foods as I’m well and truly over the bars I’ve been eating and can’t find ones that are any better. Some of my snacks have been so successful, I’ve had to make a second batch cause I keep snacking on the finished product without even going on a bushwalk!
I’d already given oranges a go, but when wandering past the fruit section, I thought maybe a ruby grapefruit would be nice, plus I was making a roast dinner so picked up a bit pumpkin and some beetroot.
Don’t expect exact drying times on this page, I pretty much am drying a bunch of stuff and keep moving things around, adding more stuff and basically just running the dehydrator all day and into the night, taking things off as they are ready. If it’s not dry when I go to bed, I turn it off and start up the next morning. You want exact times, there are other pages out there for that! What you will get on this page though is what I find yummy and what works and doesn’t work.
Oranges: Unpeeled and sliced to about 7mm thick. Peel if the pith is super thick though. Takes a while to dry, make sure it’s crispy and snaps in two that’s when you know it’s done. If, after it’s been stored for a while, it’s absorbed a bit of moisture, just put in the dehydrator again. Dried sufficiently, it lasts for quite a while in an airtight container in the fridge and I expect over a 14 day walk it will survive just fine – if I don’t eat it all at once!
Ruby Grapefruit: Peeled all the pith off first then sliced to about 7mm thick. The first batch was fine, but a little on the tart side, with the second batch, I dropped each slice in sugar before drying, these are taking a little longer to fully dry out, and they are sticky on the tray, but, it’s the yummiest dehydrated fruit that I’ve ever had, I’ve eaten half of it before it’s properly dried! Beware, when using the sugar, to put a solid tray underneath as you’ll get a lot of sugar/grapefruit juice drop through the mesh trays. I’ll probably eat these at the start of the walk as I think they will absorb moisture in the air easily.
Roasted Pumpkin: I’ve dehydrated this before with great success, but mostly used the pumpkin in dinner meals. I roasted the pumpkin in large chunks, drizzled with chilli oil or for a change crushed rosemary. Once it’s cooked, allow it to cool down and then slice in 7mm thick slices and dehydrate. Takes about 6 – 7 hours, I don’t time these things that well, it takes what it takes is my way of thinking. If you slice it thinner, then the pumpkin will dry crispy, but on this occasion, I sliced it a little thicker than I usually do, and it’s a bit leathery – not crispy, but Oh! Yum! as a snack or at lunchtime it’s to die for – I even took some to Bridge today so that I wouldn’t eat their biscuits!
Cherry Tomatoes: I cut these in 5mm (or less) slices, and then dried them for about 4 – 6 hours, they dry really quickly and you can either snack on them dry, or add them to a dinner meal, or as Jeff sometimes does, rehydrate them in the morning in a container and then when you stop for lunch they’re rehydrated and just like regular tomatoes.
Roasted Beetroot: Again, I’d dehydrated beetroot previously and loved it, but this time I overcooked the Beetroot and when I cut it to 7mm slices, it didn’t dry crispy. Just like the pumpkin, it’s sort of leathery. Will last a couple of weeks, so will dehydrate more just before I’m off on my multi day trip. The soft texture of it is actually good – nice and chewy and, again, I’ll use it to snack on at morning tea, or have it with some beef jerky at lunchtime.
Watermelon: one of my all time favourite foods to dehydrate but, as you can imagine, it takes a long time, about 12 hours if not more. Cut in 5 or 7mm slices, it dehydrates really well and you get watermelon chips. This time I got one with seeds (couldn’t find a seedless one) but doesn’t seem to matter. At the start of the trip the chips are crisp but if exposed to too much moisture, they do absorb the moisture, you just end up with watermelon leathers. Still just as tasty.
Am about to make up a batch of energy balls and beetroot dip (see the recipes if you click on the link to the right “Recipes”). So, what’s next, I’ll keep you posted. BIG trip is in August, so I’ve got heaps of time to experiment.