by Rowan Chisholm

Completely defrost food before drying it or it'll make wet messes all over the dehydrator.


A box of raspberries became raspberry-apple leather.

Gooseberries were dried whole for a very tart snack.

Very tart prunes became prune-banana leather. (Bananas are a natural sweetener.) This leather was used with millet pudding.

Blah applesauce became delightful fruit leather with spices, honey and vinegar.


Pre-cooked squash was used for both banana squash leathers and was dried and powdered to be squash flour for sweet breads.

Make several vegetables into a big soup and then dry the soup.


Salmon was cut into 1/2" cubes while still frozen and then thawed. It was seasoned, some with seasoning salt, some with salt and pepper, some with spices. When dry, serve as snacks.

Any frozen meat can be made into jerky. Beef heart became excellent jerky. (There's no fat in the tissues.) The external fat was trimmed. Partially thaw, and while still firm, slice into thin slices. Sprinkle seasoning on it, or marinate in soy or barbecue sauce. Dry on Teflon sheets.

Hamburger, which is very fatty meat, takes a different method. Thoroughly thaw it. Mix any flavoring you want into it (onion, garlic, peppers, or whatever you make meatloaf with into it--however---do not use bread! Just seasonings.) Dry and the fat will separate. When firm enough to remove from Teflon, turn it onto a paper towel which will absorb all excess fat.


Cakes & breads: Slice them while still slightly frozen and then dry them.

NOTE: When this article was written back in the 1980's, it was still fairly safe to use raw meats from the store. Now, it is not. We now suggest that you cook *all* meats before drying