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12 Unique Dehydrating Projects To Try

Have you run out of ideas for your dehydrator? Are you ready to tackle something more than the basics? Here are 12 unique dehydrating projects you may not have thought of doing before. And don’t worry, they are easy, too!

12 dehydrating projects from dehydrated marshmallows to venison jerky

Which of these two people are you?

  • You have a dehydrator, but have you done much with it then make jerky or apple chips?
  • You’re a regular user of your dehydrator for your summer harvest, but you’ve never really expanded beyond basic fruits and vegetables.
  • You dehydrate all the time and want some inspiration for a new project you can do!

Well, it’s time to break out of the mold and try some new things! Some you may have heard of, some you may thing, “D’oh, why didn’t I think of doing that?” and some you may scratch your head about. But give them all a try!

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Caveat: Not all of these projects are meant for long-term storage. Some are meant as fun treats to be consumed within a week or two.

What Kind of Dehydrator Do I Need?

A dehydrator that has a temperature control is the only real requirement. You want to be able to adjust from lower temperatures (herbs and living foods/raw/vegan) to higher temperatures (jerkies and marshmallows).

An Excalibur Dehydrator is my machine of choice, though you can certainly use a smaller, less expensive machine just as well! I worked with a Nesco FD-80 for years and loved it!

READ MORE: Tips for buying your first dehydrator

For these projects, a dehydrator is preferred, but an oven will work as long as you monitor the temperature. This is done by turning your oven on its lowest setting, and cracking the door to allow some of the heat to escape. You can use an oven thermometer to get an idea of what your oven is running at, and adjust the following recipes accordingly.

12 Unique Dehydrating Projects to Try

While these projects may have a Christmas theme to them now simply because of the time of the year they were created, they are definitely not only for Christmas! I’ll even give you a few ideas on how you can use them year ’round under each project.

These projects were from the 12 Days of Dehydrating Youtube collaboration with my friends:

You can watch all the videos from the playlist above, or you can pick and choose from these below, plus visit blog posts for more detailed information where available. 

Dehydrated Marshmallows

Jars of dehydrated marshmallows and marshmallow powder

Before you balk – take a moment. Do you love those little marshmallows in Lucky Charms cereal, or the crunchy little ones in instant hot cocoa packs? This is a way to DIY it for yourself, with all of the flavors of the season! Peppermint for winter, Pumpkin spice for fall, multi-color for spring, plain for fun munching all year long, etc.

Come on! Be a little adventurous and don’t ask why! Just do it because it’s fun! Trust me, your kids and/or your grandchildren will love this SO much. It’s a great first project to get them involved with, too!

Spiced Maple Pecans

Traditionally, spiced maple anything is a fall/winter flavor. But think about how wonderful this would be as a hostess gift at any party or crushing them up a bit to be used as toppings on pancakes or ice cream or oatmeal any other time of the year! Leisa shows you how in this easy recipe video:

►Learn More: Do I really need to condition dehydrated projects?

Gingerbread Biscotti

Christmas gift box full of frosted gingerbread biscotti dehydrated at home.

There’s nothing that tastes more like Christmas than gingerbread. Quick breads are easy to make, easy to store (you can freeze them!), but also easy to transform into another snack altogether! Check out Amanda’s recipe for gingerbread loaf, and then watch as she transforms it into a yummy, frosted biscotti with her dehydrator.

Venison Jerky

Dehydrated venison jerky and spices on a cutting board in front of black background

If you are fortunate to have access to deer meat, this venison jerky is a great paleo and keto-friendly snack you can make all year long! Get Tangi’s take on it in this video!

DIY Dog Chews from Sweet Potatoes

canister of sweet potato dog chews, slices on a wooden surface

Any good puppy parent knows that dog chews are a mainstay to raising dogs. They naturally want to chew on everything! Replace those expensive, non-healthy chews with this dehydrated version that you can make overnight and make Fido happy the next morning!

Raw, Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Plate on kitchen table with candycanes and raw, vegan, gingerbread cookies made in the dehydrator.

Raw foods snacks are so easy to create in a dehydrator! Keeping the temperature set at 115F and below allows the food’s natural enzymes and nutrients to remain intact even while being preserved. These raw, vegan, gingerbread cookies are good for any time of year, not just Christmas!

Apple-Cinnamon Ornaments

Apple Cinnamon ornaments hanging on Christmas tree with red ribbon

Oh, the bliss of families gathered at Christmas making decorations for their tree. But what about also making ornaments for Thanksgiving? Or to then dip in peanut butter and seeds for the birds throughout the winter? These ornaments aren’t just for Christmas anymore! Tangi shares the story of a special spice blend from friends far away, and how easy it is to make apple cinnamon ornaments in the dehydrator in this video!

LEARN MORE: How to Dehydrate Apples and Make Apple Powder

Orange Peels for Fire Starters

Bowlful of Dehydrated orange peels for creating potpourri and fire starters

Orange peels are good for making cleaning vinegar, zesting for powder, used in potpourri – but did you know that they make great smelling fire starters, too!? Watch how Leisa creates aroma-rrific fire starters:

Dehydrate Pomegranate

Pomegrate and jar of dehydrated pomegranate arils on white background

It’s not unusual to dehydrate fruit — but have you ever thought about dehydrating pomegranate arils? Those little seed pods bursting with wonderful juice can be dehydrated to make crunchy, sweet, tart snacks good for sprinkling on salads and chicken salad – and as many other ways as you can imagine!


Candied ginger on checkboard tablecloth

Love the taste of candied ginger and want to learn to make it for yourself? This candy is good for your tastebuds & your tummy! Dehydrate some today!

DIY Yogurt Drops

rounds of dehydrated vanilla yogurt for snacks

Leisa describes these as being like little yogurt taffy candies. They’re easy to do with some of your extra yogurt – and think about adding a little fruit powder to the mix to add some flavor!

DIY Fruit Leather

Apples and fruit leather roll-ups for DIY Fruit Leather

Whether you have homemade apple sauce or a jar of commercial apple sauce in the pantry, do a quick and easy fruit leather out of any mashed up fruit and create a wonderful treat for your kids!

12 dehydrating projects from dehydrated marshmallows to venison jerky

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One Comment

  1. Avatar for leanne long leanne long says:

    Candied citrus peel is very easy to do as well. Remove the white pith from the citrus peel. Slice the peel in narrow strips. In a pan (large enough for your simple syrup and peels) place a cup of water and a cup of white sugar. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Put the sliced peel in and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the peel is nearly translucent. Remove peels and drain on a cooling rack lined with foil for the drips. When dripping stops, coat the peels in sugar then dehydrate until crispy (my dehydrator doesn’t have a temperature control so I cannot answer what temp to do this at or how long). These will keep for quite a while if kept in an air tight container. Makes great snack full of vitamin C. Also makes a neat decoration on a citrusy cake or cookies.

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