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raw food: here’s what’s in my dehydrator right now

Robyn Openshaw - Oct 01, 2009 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

You know I love my dehydrator, especially this time of year when I’ve got so much stuff coming out of the garden that I don’t want to go to waste. Right now I have all 9 trays full in my dehydrator with two recipes contributed by readers. (I love y’all! Thanks for your ideas and support of each other!)

Tonya’s cheesy kale chips are filling four trays and they are INCREDIBLE, hard to believe how much nutrition you’re getting just snacking. I just took them out and ate a bunch of them while I wrote this. Just press one side of your leaves of kale in the “sauce.” Doubling the recipe will fill your 9 trays.

Here’s my recommendation if you don’t have a dehydrator yet and want more info (plus one of my recipes for flax crackers)


Tara C. gives this tip for using those baseball-bat sized zucchinis in the garden and I’ve got 4 trays of zucchini moons almost dry–just tried one, and I like them. Super easy

Silly Dilly Zucchini Moons

  1. Slice zucchini in half length-wise.
  2. Scoop out inner core of seeds.
  3. Turn over and slice thinly (about 3/8-inch thick).
  4. Spread on dehydrator trays and sprinkle with dill. Dehydrate until crispy.
  5. Enjoy plain or with a yummy, dilly dip.


Now that I’ve removed the kale chips, I’m going to use up the big boxful of cherry tomatoes my son hauled in yesterday, with this idea also from Tara C.:

Cheery Cherry Pizza Snacks

(My kids say these taste like mini-pizzas.)

  1. Slice cherry tomatoes in half
  2. Toss with pizza seasoning (I get it from Azure Standard)
  3. Dry till crisp. Enjoy!


Here’s Tara’s last idea, which I’ll try next:

Gingered Zucchini Bites

  1. Slice zucchini as above.
  2. Before dehydrating, soak for 30-60 minutes in pineapple juice mixed with 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger, 1/2 cup agave, and a dash of cinnamon.
  3. Dry in dehydrator until crispy.

These look lovely in your pantry stored in Mason jars with a little raffia tied on top–pretty enough to give away!


This morning at 5:30 a.m., I made some pesto from the basil, spinach, and tomatoes in my garden. See your Jump-Start collection on the site for that recipe–whole-grain pasta with pesto is one of my kids’ favorites. Then I made a variation on that, some zucchini pesto with barely steamed zucchini, basil, kelp, cayenne, walnuts, sea salt, olive oil, mustard seed, and Bragg’s. I put these two types of pesto in pint jars, labelled them, and froze them. I think I’ll share a pint with a few friends this weekend.

Posted in: Gardening, Recipes, Relationships, Whole Food

20 thoughts on “raw food: here’s what’s in my dehydrator right now”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi! I’m also working up a storm with my dehydrated yummies, but I have a problem. Because we live on the coast, the kale chips and other things quickly wilt, even in sealed jars. I need to find a source of economical food grade silica gel packets. (also cellophane bags, to give away stuff as treats). Would you happen to know a source for these things?

    My favourite way to deal with abundance of produce at the moment is to make tomato and mixed veggie “leathers” which can be either cut with a pizza wheel and stored in good oilve oil for use in salads, or cut into convenient circles and frozen to use in soups and sauces and other flavourful delights. (I’m so tired of tomatoes and peppers right now, but mid winter I’ll be happier to eat them).

    I also found some beets that alternate red and white rings. These are great sliced and dehydrated. Just enough sweetness, chewyness and “mouth feel” for a snack without any added sugar. And beautiful!

    Thanks for your inspiration!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Usually “share a pint” has quite a different meaning, ha ha! 😀

  3. Dear Robyn,

    Why can’t there be more of you in the world? Do you think you could clone yourself several times and then send one of them to be my semi-permanent mom? That way I could never slack on my nutritional desires. Oh well, I guess reading your blog will just have to suffice.

  4. Right now I have SCOBY leather in my dehydrator. If any of you brew kombucha and wonder what to do with the big mushrooms/SCOBYs that form, you can blend them with a couple of bananas and another fruit (I love using blueberries), then dry into super tasty fruit leather that is full of probiotics.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I am going to indorse Robyn’s pick for a dehydrator. We have one of the Excaliburs with 9 trays and I use it all the time. I had one of the cheap Wal-Mart type that I got at Goodwill and threw it out, my tomates I was drying molded! Yuck! Never have any trouble with the Excalibur. My husband found a store on E-Bay that is cheaper than purchasing from the Excalibur website. They are blemished models, we have had no problem with ours. You do have to purchase the Paraflex sheets separately, but they are a must have.

  6. Anonymous says:

    what is the website?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hi Robin, I have been loving my Excalibur dehydrator and you 12 Steps. I made the Teriyaki Almonds and checked after the final 10 hours. They were crispy and delicious. I stored them in the freezer and just grab a few for snacks. The other day I put out a dish of them for guests. They loved them. We played some games and a couple hours later I noticed a few almonds still in the dish. I was going to eat them and they were all sticky. Did I not dehydrate them long enough? Can I put them back in the dehydrator after being in the freezer? Should I not store them in the freezer? Thanks! Vicki

  8. Robyn Openshaw says:

    Tricia, LOL! Vicki, you can put them back in the dehydrator.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I have never dehydrated anything, but want to try. I just moved to a new house and my oven has a drying feature. Will this work okay for now I wonder?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thanks everyone for these fabulous and yummy-sounding veggie treats. I am going to purchase my Excaliber very soon, but my garden will probably be gone by then—oh well, I’ll have it for next summer.

    BTW, Robyn, I bought some kale, spinach and collard green seeds today and want to plant them for my “winter” garden. How do you do your winter garden? Is there anything I need to know? I live here in Ut County, same as you, but I’am skeptical about growing anything at all in our winter climate.

  11. Robyn Openshaw says:

    MarLou, please read Ch. 5 of 12 Steps–that a chapter you need, not a brief blog answer. You can even see a photo of some stuff I grew last winter.

    Mary, helpful to have the teflex sheets and other accessories that go in dehydrators, but if the oven sets for BELOW 116 DEGREES, sure, try it!

  12. Anonymous says:

    How long does it take to dehydrate tomatoes?

  13. Anonymous says:

    I would like your opinions on the best dehydrator to buy.



  14. Anonymous says:


    1. Robyn Openshaw says:

      Stephen . . .

      Yeah–see Ch. 7 of 12 Steps!

  15. Anonymous says:

    I have been thinking about buying a dehydrator but I’m worried about the hardness of the food. I only have 2 bottom molars left after radiotherapy 15 years ago-probably why I love green smoothies and my blender that can transform raw food ! Dried fruit apart from sultanas /raisins is hard to chew properly. I would love to try dehydrating but am worried about the hardness.

  16. When feeling like I’m the only person in the world that eats raw it’s good to come here. I don’t have a dehydrator – I think I must purchase one. I just eat really raw or blend stuff. I haven’t even missed eating crackers and bread so I din’t bother with a dehydrator. But some of these recipes read deliciously! So I’m going to give it a go.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Jane – I also have some difficulty with “hard” foods, but I dehydrate almost everything! I use a lot of my dehydrated foods in other dishes, soups, stews, etc. I also have been dehydrating seasonal fruit when it is abundant and less expensive, then when fruits are less plentiful, I rehydrate them for my smoothies! Just like having fresh, and supposedly most of the nutritional value is like fresh. I have the Excalibur, 9 tray and absolutely love it! I never waste food anymore, when it is getting a bit older, but still good, I dehydrate it! Good luck!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hey I need help with the Green Pesto Recipe. When it says 3 large bunches of leafy greens, does it mean 3 separate bunches that you buy at the grocer bound together? I buy from Whole Foods and their bunches are pretty big as there are approximately 13 leaves per bunch. I know everyone uses different terminology 🙂 I am so excited! I drove 4 hours round trip today to a Whole Foods to buy stuff to make the snacks from chapter 7. I will be traveling in a week and can’t take my BlendTec so I want to get some snacks made to take with me. This will also be the first time I have ever used my Excalibur. Thanks for your website and the 12 step!

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