Choose produce that is fresh and ripe Experiment with times and temperatures and marinades to find new flavors and textures.
Dehydrating fruits, vegetables, meats and herbs is an effective way to make healthy snack foods. Using the American Harvest Snackmaster dehydrator will allow you to control what ingredients are in your dried foods, and you can avoid any harmful chemicals or preservatives. Dehydrating your own foods will also help you to save money. The American Harvest Snackmaster is straightforward to use.
Wash the trays of the dehydrator in hot soapy water before you use them. Wipe off the top and base with a damp cloth, but don't submerge them in water.
Set the base on a table or countertop that is sturdy.
Prepare the foods to be dehydrated, then fill the trays. Lay the foods on the trays evenly without overlapping.
Stack the trays on top of one another as they are filled. Place the lid on the top tray when you are finished.
Plug the cord into an outlet and select your temperature for drying. Choose 135 degrees Fahrenheit for fruits, 130 degrees for vegetables, 155 degrees for meat, 90 to 100 degrees for herbs and 130 to 145 degrees for flowers.
Remove a small piece of food near the end of the drying process to test for dryness with your fingers. Tear the food open to inspect. Fruits should be leathery with no pockets of moisture, jerky should be tough without being brittle, vegetables should be crispy or tough and fish should be tough.
Soak the the trays of your dehydrator for several minutes after use, using warm water with a mild detergent. Brush stuck food particles off with a soft-bristle brush. Alternatively, wash trays on the top rack of your dishwasher, as long as they are removed prior to the drying cycle.
Vanessa Ryan has over 15 years of both online and offline writing experience. She has worked as a copywriter for a busy ad agency since 2006 and has written numerous online articles, blogs, advertisements, websites, sales letters and news releases. Ryan graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism in 1995.