Recently I bought a food dehydrator at our local thrift store and I’ve been looking around for food to dry! I’ve settled upon two of the dogs’ favorite tastes: sweet potatoes and bananas!
2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
4 ripe bananas
This dehydrator is really a simple kitchen appliance; it has a heating coil in the bottom, stackable trays, and an adjustable vent on top. (Some dehydrators have fans, too.) The key is that the trays closest to the heating element will dry out first so the trays need to be rotated (and the fleshiest fruit goes closest to the drying element.)
First, peel the sweet potatoes, being careful to remove any green “eyes” and parts you find. (The green parts of potatoes are toxic to dogs.)
Slice the potatoes as thin as you can. (I don’t have a Mandolin Slicer which would be the best way to slice the potatoes but I was able to slice them pretty thin with a sharp knife.) If you’d rather make sweet potato chews instead of chips, make your slices a little thicker.
Next, peel and slice the bananas. I sliced these about 1/4 inch thick; again, if you’d rather they be chewy, just slice them a little thicker.
Many recipes for dried bananas begin by soaking the bananas in unsweetened lemon juice (to prevent the bananas from turning brown). Since dogs dislike citrus (and they don’t care if the dried bananas are brown), I skipped this step.
Next, arrange the slices on the dehydrating trays. I kept the sweet potatoes and bananas separate on the trays so I could rearrange the trays depending on their drying speed. Don’t allow the slices to touch one another or the edges won’t dry properly.
I dried the potatoes and the bananas about 14 hours.
The chips were chip-like:
and the bananas (which were on the top racks) were just slightly chewy:
Both were a real hit (the sweet potatoes were the most popular of the two). The taste of the bananas was even more concentrated thanks to the dehydration process and both treats are now perfect for putting in my waistpack for morning and evening walks!