Home-made Food Dehydrator

March 16, 2010  
Topics: Health, India, Raw Food

Last month we shared with you our hobbies, where we mentioned our interest in a raw food experiments. Usually raw food cooks or, better, UNcooks besides the powerful blender, they also keep a food dehydrator, which is very important device in order to create raw pizza, cookies or simply fruit leather. Maximum temperature for drying in order to qualify as a raw food, as far as we understand, should be around 45-50ºC. The price of the factory made dehydrators start from $100. However, we have searched Internet for an alternative solutions, and we found a detailed description how to construct one by “Do It Yourself”.


Items for making dehydrator

Food Dehydrator – Do It Yourself

First, I went to the town and got all needed parts for the construction of the device (total cost was around $2):

  • carton box (got it from the computer shop)
  • aluminium foil
  • sellotape (scotch)
  • scissors (we had them)
  • 2-3 meters of wire, where at one end – a plug, and the other end will be connected to the holder of the old fashioned non-economy bulb (we use 60W)
  • 8 wooden sticks which will be speared through the box (for the plates)

It took me the whole afternoon to assemble the dehydrator. First, I made symmetric holes on both sides of the box for the wooden sticks. Measured the place for the bulb holder and made the holes for the screws (in the bottom middle of the box). Next, covered the whole box with aluminium foil, by fixing it with the sticky rings made out of the sellotape. Finally, the bulb holder was fixed, the bulb inserted and the wooden sticks put in their places – that’s it! The food dehydrator is ready!

Oh, one more detail. Add a piece of a carton between the bulb holder and the aluminium foil, otherwise the wires might touch the foil.

IMG_7461  IMG_7462  IMG_7465

IMG_7466  IMG_7512

One more important note. After using the dehydrator for few weeks, you might notice that the top “doors” of the construction deformed and are closing slightly inside the box. Important that the top “doors” are always forming a minimal triangle ^. Otherwise, condensated water will collect on our of the “door” and will start leaking directly to the plate with the food. This will make impossible the food to be dry, and the food will get a specific smell.


Energy raw nut bars - almonds, cashews, walnuts

How do we use the dehydrator?

We use this device for drying the flesh of the nuts, which is left after making the almond or coconut milk. It takes about 12h to dry this stuff, and it can be used for different purposes: baking, porridges, etc.

Our biggest discovery was addictive energy nut bars (the ones you see in the picture). Their base are almonds and few other ingredients, depending on the mood (cashews. walnuts, raisins, sesame seeds, etc.)

Energy Nut Bar recipe

  • Soak almonds overnight (~1.5 cup will become 2 cups in the morning)
  • Chop soaked almonds using blender, nut chopper or simply the knife.
  • Soak 0.7 cup of dates for at least 30 minutes.
  • Pour out the water from the dates (actually, nice sweet to drink)
  • Blend dates till smooth
  • Mix everything in one container: dates, nuts and everything else what you feel fits best to your mood: raisins, sesame seeds (might be good to blend them together with dates), sunflower seeds, any other kind of nuts (we suggest to soak them before use), fruits (apple, banana, etc.)
  • Spread some oil on the plates, and form cookie-like shapes out of your dough
  • Energy bars will dry in about 24h.

Everyone who tries some of these cookies – can hardly stop snacking them, they are sooooo goood!

Do you know more interesting and simple raw food recipes?


  1. eks says:

    Hi, I like the simple idea for the dehydrator. I wonder if you know what kind of temperature is reached inside this box. I would like to be able to avoid exceeding about 45 degrees C (about 115 degrees F).

  2. Sam says:

    Simple! I like it. Did you have two food trays? or just one and the non-economy light bulb underneath? how long would it take to dehydrate Spinach and cooked egg? (Scrambled).