This holiday season or any time of year it is easy to make homemade gifts with your food dehydrator. Homemade treats show you invested time and thought into the gift being given. Make some personal treats for the hard to shop for people in your life.
1) Fruit Snack Stocking Stuffers – Fruit rollups can be made in your dehydrator by pureeing fruit and placing it on the solid plastic tray liners or on trays lined with plastic wrap. Dry the fruit until it has the consistency of leather. Cut the leather into strips or shapes and store in air tight bags or containers. Make a variety of fruit rollup flavors or pick the person’s favorite. Be creative and try some new combinations of flavors or add some textures like flaked coconut or chopped nuts. Try adding small amounts of yogurt for creamy flavors.
2) Homemade Nut Gift Packs – By purchasing raw nuts such as almonds, peanuts or walnuts and soaking them in salt water over night and then dehydrating them you can make healthy nut snacks. To make a variety of flavors you can coat the nuts in either a sweet mixer of things such as honey, cinnamon, or coconut or coat them in spicy flavors such as hot pepper sauce, chili powder or wasabi. After the nuts have been coated put them in the dehydrator until the coating has dried. Package in small snack size bags and label with the different flavors.
3) Dried Fruit Assortments – Purchase a variety of fruits such as apples, pears, grapes, peaches and pineapple. Wash the fruit and core and peel as necessary then cut into halves, chunks or into decorative rings. You can sprinkle with spices or colored sugars to add more flavor and color. Dry until the fruit of is of leathery consistence. Store in air tight bags or containers.
4) Jerky Treats – Whether you are a hunter or not, making homemade jerky is easy. Pick the type of meat the person would prefer or try a variety. Favorite meats are beef, venison, turkey, chicken or fish. The meat must be lean but can be thinly sliced or ground. Select from prepackaged seasonings for jerky or try your favorite combination of spices. If using liquid flavors such as teriyaki, marinate the meat over night in the refrigerator to help the flavors soak into the meat. Place the meat spaced apart on the trays and dry until the meat is brittle. Store in air tight bags or containers.
5) Potpourri Ornaments – Nature provides us with a variety of scents to choose from, from flowers to fruits to herbs and spices. Some popular scents are sliced apple rings dried with cinnamon sprinkled on them or small pumpkin slices sprinkled with pumpkin pie spices. Both can be decorated with cloves before drying. Use a decorative ribbon as a hanger and to string a few rings together for a wider decoration across or a longer decoration hanging down.
Be creative and let your food dehydrator to help you make personal and easy gifts for the special people in your life, for the holidays or any special occasion.