Whether it is the holiday gift giving season, a birthday, or other occasion, unique food gifts can be made using your food dehydrator. Homemade gifts have the added attraction of showing you put thought and effort into the gift and edible treats are a good fit for even the hard-to-shop-for individual.
Fruity stocking stuffers are easy. Basically these fruit rollup style treats can be made from pureed fruit. Spread evenly on the solid trays or ones covered with plastic and dry until the sheet is leathery. They can then be cut into strips or shaped using sharp cookie cutters. By making your own you can customize the flavors or match even unusual, favorite ones. Adding chopped nuts or coconut can enhance the textures and flavors of the treat.
Dried fruit chunks also make tasty gift treats. Most fruits dry well and once cleaned, are cut into bite-sized chunks for drying. You can sprinkle the pieces with spices or sugars for flavor combinations. Even nuts can be used to mix in with fruit for tasty trail-mix style food gifts.
Soak the nuts in salt water first and then, before putting them in the food dehydrator, coat with honey or coconut for sweet tastes or hot sauces, chili powder or oriental horseradish to add a dash of heat to the treats.
Jerky is one of the most popular treats that can be made in a food dehydrator. Even if you don’t hunt for exotic meats like venison or boar, domestic meats like beef, pork, turkey or fish can be used. Make sure the meat is very lean and cut into thin slices. You can spice up the jerky by marinading overnight in such flavorings as teriaki or smoke flavoring. Dry the strips until they are brittle then place in air-tight containers for meaty gifts.
Creative use of your food dehydrator can make gifts both unique and anticipated with a personal touch that shows how much you care for the recipients.