hamilton beach food dehydrator

Healthy Back to School Snacks {+ Dehydrator Giveaway}


Aug 16, 2015

Every year around this time, I make a commitment to pack healthier snacks for the kids when they go back to school. It’s easy and exciting to do for the first couple of weeks of the school year, and then slowly but surely we slip back into the trap of pre-packaged snacks. This is actually quite frustrating for me because I’ve done pretty well at eliminating packaged food everywhere else in our house. We no longer use soup from a can, or any pre-mixed dinners in a box, and the veggie drawer in our fridge is overflowing, but we can’t get our act together when it comes to snacks. hamilton beach food dehydratorWhen I found out that the appliance I’d be testing this month as part of the Hamilton Beach Social Kitchen program was a food dehydrator my first instinct was to try to make a papad recipe (then I started thinking about vadian and kasoori methi), but just this once, I gave the desi foods a break and decided to work on the school snacks issue. Since I’ve never used a dehydrator before, I started with very basic foods like; blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, banana chips, and fruit leathers; I’ve made mango and blueberry so far. (If you haven’t caught on already I’m trying to banish the fruit roll-ups and Dora snacks from my house.) 

For some reason I thought that dehydrating fruit was going to be more complicated than it was, but the Hamilton Beach Food Dehydrator makes it ridiculously simple. What I love about this machine is that it’s pretty compact and easy to store, it has five trays you can use all at once and don’t have to rotate, and it has a timer with auto shut-off. hamilton beach food dehydrator

So far I haven’t ventured out of the fruits realm, but I’m already in love. If you decide to get a Hamilton Beach Food Dehydrator (which you totally should), here are some tips I’ve picked up about dehydrating fruits:

  • Give yourself time. Some fruits can take 14-16 hours to dry and I did not realize that the first time I tried to make snacks for a road trip! The good news is, you don’t have to do anything while the fruit is drying – no flipping, no rotating trays.
  • Wash the fruit and let it dry before dehydrating. If you are using soft berries like raspberry however, just wash, shake off the excess water, and put them right in the machine.
  • Spray fruits that might discolour with a water lemon juice solution (I did one part lemon juice, 3 parts water) before dehydrating.
  • Follow directions for blanching certain fruits. I did not do that with my first batch of blueberries and they didn’t dehydrate properly.
  • Store your dehydrated foods properly in air tight containers. Don’t let your hard work go to waste. 

mango fruit leather, hamilton beach food dehydrator{The dehydrator comes with a special solid sheet for making fruit leathers and rolls}mango fruit leather, hamilton beach food dehydrator

Now the big question is, what did the kids think of dehydrated fruit? Complete honesty; they loved the strawberries and blueberries, and liked the mango fruit leather. I think they would have loved the mango leather if I had chosen in season and sweet mangoes. The problem is those store bought fruit rolls are loaded with sugar, so the ones I made at home didn’t seem sweet enough to them. The husband and I on the other hand loved them!

The dehydrator is a hit, but also a gentle reminder for me that I need to keep working on weaning them off of all the sugar laden “foods” they eat, and mamas new favourite kitchen appliance will definitely help with that. 

My next experiment with the food dehydrator will probably be veggies. How great would it be to dehydrate local in season veggies and have them on hand for soup and pasta sauces in the winter. I wonder if I could use dehydrated veggies to make sabzi (vegetable curries) too?

Want to learn more about the Hamilton Beach Food Dehydrator? Check out these awesome posts from my fellow #HBSocialKitchen ambassadors; Small Batch Beef Jerky, Dehydrate All the Things, and Sensational Snacks for the Cottage. Want to win your own food dehydrator?  Enter below – contest is open to Canadian residents only.

This post is sponsored by Hamilton Beach Canada. In exchange this review, I have received special perks in the form of products and compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  1. Rebecca says:

    So many things!! Kale chips, for sure. Also, several kinds of bread and crackers I’ve been dying to try!

  2. Judy Cowan says:

    I would love to try dehydrating Strawberries and Apples first if I won.

  3. Anne Taylor says:

    I’d definitely dehydrate some plums and strawberries! Thanks!

  4. Sabrina Tong says:

    I would dehydrate apple slices first 🙂

  5. Everything!!! HA I’ve been dying to try Zucchini Chips!

  6. naiddia p says:

    I would try to make banana chips.

  7. Carina says:

    Obvs I would make beef jerky! My mum has a fantastic recipe.

  8. nomnombearinyvr says:

    I think I would dehydrate some strawberry slices first!

    Jeannie Lam

  9. I would make beef jerky

  10. Deborah H says:

    Peaches or strawberries

  11. Tina L. says:

    I would dehydrate strawberries and bleuberries.

  12. Russell Porter says:

    I would try to make some Moose Jerky. 🙂

  13. i would make some fruit for my kids lunch. i find it hard to send fruit as it seems to go soggy or off come lunchtime

  14. MANDA says:

    I would make fruit snacks

  15. Darwin Chau says:

    I would try to make some dried kiwi and pineapples

    I would make fruit rolls — apple and others

  17. Pat says:

    I would dehydrate strawberries.

  18. The garden has been producing tomatoes like crazy, so I’d love to dry them to save for winter.

  19. Brandee H says:

    I would love to try beef jerky and fruit leather.

  20. Michelle Policelli says:

    I would dehydrate banana’s and strawberries first if i won 🙂

  21. angela m says:

    I would dehydrate apples or strawberries.

  22. I’ve been dying for a dehydrator and would do banana chips!

  23. Maria says:

    I would try to make banana chips

  24. Tazim says:

    I Would dehydrate strawberries and mango slices

  25. Viv Sluys says:

    I would dehydrate apples first; apple rings and apple (maybe mixed with some berries) fruit leather. My apple tree is loaded this year and they should be ripe in a couple weeks

  26. Courtney says:

    Apple slices!

  27. tanyab79 says:

    I would try strawberries first than potatoes.

  28. Robyn Bellefleur says:

    Strawberries and apple slices.

  29. victoria W says:

    would love to try making a fruit leather with berries

  30. joy says:

    i would like to try apples or sweet potatoes

  31. Juliee Fitze says:

    I would do sweet potatoes.

  32. ginette4 says:

    I would dehydrate bananas and apples

  33. ivy pluchinsky says:

    I would dehydrate strawberries first

  34. Diane S says:

    I would dehydrate papaya and mango…..I buy them dehydrated all the time, so to do it myself would be awesome!

  35. I would dehydrate strawberries and peaches!

  36. I would dehydrate some mangoes

  37. piroska says:

    I would do wild blueberries and strawberries.

  38. Cheryl says:

    I would try strawberries first 🙂

  39. Tara says:

    I’d make strawberry fruit rollups!

  40. Francine says:


  41. Jenness M says:

    I would dehydrate cranberries first.

  42. jessica s says:

    i’d try apples first!

  43. Jolie says:

    Bananas & cranberries.

  44. michelle tremblett says:

    I would love to try strawberries first, my fave fruit 🙂

  45. Jenn Erin says:

    I’d love to try dehydrating bananas first.

  46. Goldie says:

    wanna try mango fruit leather..and strawberries.

  47. Julia says:

    I would try making crunchy raw cookies! Or dehydrated cheezy tomato chips!

  48. At this time of year I always have a freezer full of wild blueberries. It would be nice to free up some space by drying some of them.

  49. krystyl olson says:

    i would make bannana chips and apple chips – and fruit leather

  50. Florence C says:

    I would do apple first. The Fruit leather looks good also.

  51. Lisa bolduc says:

    I would try making the fruit leather thing… maybe a strawberry banana flavour

  52. Kimberley Buckton says:

    I would make some apple chips first. My son loves them!

  53. i would dehydrate blackberries. They will be in season soon.

  54. Strawberry fruit leather! Yum.

  55. I would love to dehydrate fruit & veggie that we grow in the garden. These would make perfect snacks for the trail mix I make for the kids!

  56. Danielle Nantau says:

    Gosh, that’s tough haha I’ve wanted one of these for yearssss. Hmm either apples or kale! Yummy!

  57. Tricia Hope says:

    I LOVE cranberries and banana chips!Thanks for the chance!

  58. shellie clark says:

    I would dehydrate apple slices first

  59. PAT says:

    candied ginger

  60. thomas rusinak says:

    dehydrate my wife’s sense of humor

  61. Christine C. says:

    EVERYTHING!!! Thanks for this contest 🙂

  62. Erin W says:

    I would dehydrate the plums from my tree!

  63. Wendy Hutton says:

    I would dry some apricots

  64. Louanne Baelde says:

    I would dry strawberries for a natural and healthy version of red licorice. Thank you for the great giveaway and the chance!

  65. aketch says:

    My son loves blackberries, so I would dehydrate those.

  66. autumn1307 says:

    I would dry Papaya first. I just love dried papaya. So expensive to buy at the Fruit & Nut store, this would save me a small fortune 🙂

  67. Edmond says:

    Yay, would luv to dry blueberries when they are in season. Wow, prize dehyrator is fab. & splendid. 2 fingers snap. It is tight, fly & off the chain. Thank you for the awesomeness, the contest, and generosity. 🙂 Pick me, pick me!

  68. christine holliday says:

    I think I would do a test-run with apples.

  69. Zealtolearn says:

    I will make loads and loads of Fruit roll-ups. Aam -papad..yummm!!!

  70. Susan Patterson says:

    I would dehydrate apples if I won! Thanks!

  71. Treen says:

    I would make Beef Jerky , thanks for the chance 🙂

  72. Tara Gauthier says:

    I would definitely make beef jerky, we use our oven right now and this would be easier!

  73. Kim Tanti says:

    I think I would have to try beef jerky. My husband and daughterlove it and I never want them to get it due to all the chemicals in it.

  74. dave g says:


  75. Brian W says:

    I’d love to win! I want to make fruit roll ups like I ate as a kid. But without all the added sugar and chemicals!

  76. penny says:

    apples or mango

  77. Josie says:

    apples, kale, zucchini

  78. we would try apples first 🙂

  79. Krista Embertson says:

    Want to try to make crackers with leftover pulp from juicing.

  80. S. Jackson says:

    The first thing I would do is beef jerky!

  81. Lushka Smith says:

    I think I would go with strawberries.

  82. Anna says:

    I would dehydrate sweet potaoes first.

  83. Fun Mom says:

    I would dehydrate peaches and pineapples first , they are the fruit the most eaten at home , i wonder what they would taste like dehydrated ! 🙂 Great giveaway such a awesome prize to be won.

  84. Lina Policelli says:

    I would dehydrate apple slices and banana’s first 🙂

  85. Eschelle says:

    I would totally do a jerk for hubby and fruit rol ups for the kids!!

  86. Sunshine H says:

    I would dehydrate pineapple or strawberries I think. So good!

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