Every year my SassySis and I undertake a massive mission. To rent a cottage for our little families, cram us all together under one roof for one crazy week, and make as many memories as possible. One problem we have every single year? There are never enough snacks! (and I will admit, the snacks we do pack are not always the healthiest) By the end of the week the fresh fruit is gone, the bread has gone stale and I am so over baking. Mama wants a break! So this year with a little help from Hamilton Beach a brand new approach. I’m trying my hand a dehydrating all manner of fruit to try and avoid the snack attacks from taking an ugly turn. I’m getting my Martha Stewart on and creating not only snacks for our long ride up to Cottage Country, but sweet and healthy treats to get us through the entire week and maybe even ride us straight through to back to school. The goal, treats I don’t mind saying YES too when the snack attack hits!
Hamilton Beach sent me this beautiful Food Dehydrator and I can’t believe how excited I was to give it a whirl.
I unpacked it, gave it a quick wash and we were ready to go! So easy. Before we jumped in I read up on all the features of this compact and smart little appliance!
- 48 hour timer with auto shutoff and clear lid so you can easily check food
- Adjustable digital thermostat lets you adjust drying temperature (100-160° F)
- Continuous airflow provides even drying
- Five stackable drying trays and powerful 500 watts
- Includes one fine-mesh sheet for drying small food like herbs and one solid sheet for making fruit rolls
Do you have any idea what you can dehydrate? Kiwi, Bananas, Strawberries, Cranberries, Blueberries, Kale, Zucchini, Pineapple, Herbs, even some meats and vegetables! Huh. Have I been living under a rock!
I jumped right into my first dehydrating experience, and here’s what I found.
What I loved:
*With a little prep I could make a huge variety of snacks.
*The Hamilton Beach Food Dehydrator allowed me to created treats that contained no added preservatives or additives.
*I also love that it’s so versatile! I can’t wait to borrow some fresh herbs from my neighbours garden and dry them out for future use, try my hand at some beef jerky for my SassyHubby, and maybe even attempt some fruit roll ups!
*It’s so easy! When you dehydrate it’s done at a very low temperature, so it is almost impossible to over dehydrate. (this is very good for me) You just put your desired foods in to your dehydrator at the recommended temps, let it go and check it later. Not “dehydrated” enough for you? Turn it back on for an hour more.
*The ability to buy more local food. We have a local farmers market open a stall nearby once a week. I love being able to support the farmers market, buying all the fresh fruit I want, and dehydrate the foods my family may not be able to eat right away.
*I also loved that my girls loved to help! The three of us enjoyed deciding what kind of snacks to create for our little getaway and I know we will be creating some delicious and nutritious snacks for the school year. A little bit of prep and we will have snacks for months to come!
*At the end of my first experiment I ended up with four different dried fruits which I will combine with roasted almonds to create the most epic trail mix ever. Just call me Martha.
What I learned:
If you don’t want your bananas to go brown, dip them in a little lemon juice wash before placing them in the dehydrator.
What I’m trying next:
Fruit Leather! Directions include pureeing your fruit of choice. ( It can be raw or cooked) Sweeten with honey to taste. Dehydrate for 6-8 hours or until it appears leathery, then simply peel off the new fruit leather and cut into slices. Be sure to store your fruit leather with wax paper between the slices so they don’t stick together. Reminder if you use raw fruit it will need to be stored in an air tight container in the fridge.
Do you think your family would enjoy a Hamilton Beach Dehydrator? Then I have some exciting news! One lucky reader of How To Survive Life In The Suburbs will be ready to create some incredible treats and snacks they win a Hamilton Dehydrator of their very own! ARV $70.00 This giveaway is Open to Canada only and closes September 14, 2015. Please enter using the Rafflecopter form below.