Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Healthy Homemade Food Gift Ideas

I recently went to a garage sale and scored a great deal - a food dehydrator for $8!

Now that it's Christmas time, I thought that you could make some good and healthy homemade treats as gifts.

Dried apples:

-Core, peel and slice apples to a thickness of 1/4-1/2".
-To prevent browning, dunk the apple pieces in a mixture of 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1 quart water.
-Place the apple slices in a single layer in the dehydrator
-Dry for 4 to 6 hours -- until the apples are completely dry.

For a less-healthy (though rather yummy ) version, dip the apple slices in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Make sure you have a solid tray underneath all your vented trays for this one, as some of the sugar will turn to liquid and drip down.

You can also use a wide variety of other fruits. Drying time will depend on the kind chosen.

Dried Herbs:

You can also dry herbs for kitchen use. Wash well and place in a single layer in the dehydrator. Dry for 1-3 hours. If your dehydrator uses temperature settings, dial it to 90-100 to help prevent the loss of essential oils.

We also made beef jerky as presents this year. Our recipe is a family secret ;), but here is a recipe I found for "World Famous Beef Jerky", which MUST make it good, right? (just like the billboard I saw for "World Famous Fried Chicken"...at a gas station in the middle of nowhere, Utah....)

Have more ideas for food gifts? Foodie Mama is having a Last Minute Food Gifts Contest - head over and enter ASAP (ends 12/23) for your chance to win great foodie prizes!

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