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Dehydrated Sweet Potato Treats:
Human + Dog Approved

Dehydrated
Sweet Potato Treats:
Human + Dog Approved

Calling all sweet potato lovers with two (or four) legs!

Are you and your dog craving a healthy crunch that wows your taste buds and gets tail wags? Try your hand at making my Dehydrated Sweet Potato Treats: Human + Dog Approved!

Seasoned sweet potato chips + fries

My sweet potato chips are packed with natural sweetness, a satisfying chewy texture, and contain pawsitively good-for-you ingredients.

They are the perfect way to share a delicious moment with your furry best friend!

See our recipe in the orange box further down this post. If you're ready to make dehydrated sweet potato treats, click the red "recipe" link above!

white and brown dog eating sweet potato treats

The key to making dehydrated sweet potato treats is in the slicing. The thinner the sweet potato slices, the crunchier the end result will be. Also, they will dry faster.

To aid in the drying department, lay the slices on your dehydrator trays without overlapping them.

Sweet Potatoes Nutrition Info.

Before we get going, here are some deets on the nutritional value of sweet potatoes.

VITAMINS: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Thiamine, Niacin, and Pantothenic acid.

MINERALS: Potassium, Manganese, Copper, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, and Phosphorus

I love sweet potatoes because they are rich in beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a bright orange pigment found in many fruits and vegetables. It's a type of carotenoid which is a natural pigment that give plants their vibrant colors. But beta-carotene is more than just a pretty color; it's a powerful antioxidant with lots of health benefits.

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases with no price increase to you. Read disclosure here.

TOP Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. What gives sweet potatoes their bright orange color, and are all sweet potatoes orange?
A. The vibrant orange color in sweet potatoes comes from a group of natural pigments called carotenoids, specifically beta-carotene as mentioned above. Beta-carotene is in such abundance and gives sweet potatoes their nutritional punch.

However, not all sweet potatoes are orange! While orange is probably the most familiar color, sweet potatoes can actually come in a variety of hues, including:

  • White: These varieties lack significant amounts of beta-carotene, resulting in their pale flesh.
  • Purple: These contain anthocyanins, pigments also found in blueberries and grapes, which contribute to their vibrant purple color.
  • Yellow: These contain a mixture of beta-carotene and other carotenoids, resulting in a less intense orange color.

The specific color of a sweet potato depends on the variety and the presence of different carotenoids. So, while orange sweet potatoes are most common, exploring other colors can offer unique flavors and nutrient profiles!

Q. Dried sweet potato treats for dogs?
A. Yep, and you're on the right page for sweet potato chews and chips! Also, these are OK for mere mortals to eat too. And please check out the recipe in the orange box further down the page.

Q. How to dehydrate sweet potato?
A. Sweet potatoes can be dried in many ways, ranging from simple sun-drying to ovens to dehydrators:

Natural methods:

  • Sun drying: This method involves slicing sweet potatoes thinly and spreading them on a drying rack in direct sunlight. It's a simple and energy-efficient option, but requires warm, dry weather and takes several days.
  • Air drying: Like sun drying, this method uses air circulation instead of direct sunlight. You can use a fan or hang the slices in a well-ventilated area. It takes longer than sun drying but works in any climate. I won't be doing that any time soon! Hanging slices, come on!

Heat-based methods: (now you're talkin')...

  • Oven drying: Slice the sweet potatoes and bake them at low temperatures (around 150°F) for several hours, turning them occasionally, until dry and crispy. This method is faster than natural drying but uses more energy.
  • Dehydrator: A dehydrator circulates warm air, perfect for drying sweet potatoes in controlled conditions so you don't need to keep an eye on the weather or worry if they're gonna burn in your oven.
  • Air Fryer: Consider using an air fryer set to its 'dehydrator setting' (if it has one) or use the lowest possible temperature setting. Turn the slices over often.

Experiment and see what works best for you and your taste preferences!

Prep Steps for Dehydrating Sweet Potatoes

Washing and Drying:

  1. Wash Thoroughly: Wash the sweet potatoes under running water, removing any soil/dirt. Scrub with a vegetable brush if needed.
  2. Dry Well: Pat the sweet potatoes dry with a clean towel or paper towel. Excess moisture slows the drying process.
Raw sweet potato evenly sliced and "chips" in two bowlsRaw sweet potato evenly sliced and "chips" in two bowls

Cutting:

  1. Uniform Thickness: Slice the sweet potatoes into even pieces, aiming for a thickness between 1/4" and 1/8". The uniform thickness of the slices creates consistent drying.
  2. Shape: Choose various shapes, like rounds, chips, or julienne, depending on your desired shape.

Blanching and Soaking:

  1. Blanching (optional): Blanching briefly in boiling water for 2-3 minutes helps preserve color and texture, especially for thicker slices. It's not mandatory for thin slices or if you like a more natural color.
  2. Soaking (optional): Soaking the slices in cold water for 10-15 minutes can help remove some starch, which results in crispier dehydrated sweet potatoes. 

Both the blanching and the soaking steps are optional.

Seasonings used on the sweet potato slicesOlive oil, Italian seasoning, Garlic Pepper seasoning, and salt

Seasoning:

Optional: You can add spices, herbs, or salt to the slices before dehydrating for added flavor.

Adding Oil: Toss the raw chips in olive oil, or coconut oil first so that the seasonings stick to the slices. Read more here.

These are the basic prep steps!

Do You Have to Blanch or Soak Sweet Potatoes?

No, as stated earlier, you don't have to blanch or soak the sweet potatoes before dehydrating. It depends on your preference and the desired outcome:

  • Without blanching: Sweet potatoes will retain their natural color but might shrink more and have a slightly chewier texture.
  • Blanching: This helps preserve the color and gives a crispier texture, especially for thicker slices.
  • Soaking: This removes some starch, resulting in crispier chips. Soaking also affects the sweetness and will lengthen the drying time.

Ultimately, experiment and see what works best for you and your taste buds!

How to Make Dehydrated Sweet Potato Treats
With an Electric Dehydrator

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases with no price increase to you. Read disclosure here.

1. Prep your sweet potatoes, then slice them on a Mandoline slicer

Check Out this Progressive International Mandoline Slicer

This is a fantastic mandoline from Amazon, but be very careful of the sharp blades – always use the slicing hand guard when appropriate!

It's a PL8 model and comes in white.

- OR -

SUPMAKIN Slicer + Dicer Mandoline ~ OnceForAll Brand

French fry cutter, vegetable chopper, vegetable slicer cutter, potato slicer, chopper for kitchen meal prep.

A multi-function mandoline that I just couldn't resist getting!

or cut carefully with a good sharp knife, like this one:

Cutluxe Chef Knife

A sharp and sturdy knife is essential for cutting the pumpkin (and anything else!) into smaller, manageable pieces.

This chef's knife has a full tang (that means the handle and blade "are one" so they can't come apart when we're slicin' and a dicin').

When using either cutting method, treat yourself to these "NoCry Premium Cut Resistant" gloves. Sweet potatoes are pretty hard vegetables to slice and I don't want you hurting yourself... or use a food processor.

NoCry Premium Cut Resistant Gloves - Food-Grade

To protect your hands while cutting or peeling the pumpkin, consider purchasing a pair of these cut-resistant gloves.

Safety is always be a priority in the kitchen.

*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases with no price increase to you. Read disclosure here.

2. If you want crispy sliced treats and want to add your favorite seasonings, blanch your sweet potato slices, as mentioned before.

3. Seasonings: While humans enjoy a wide variety of seasonings, dogs have a much more sensitive digestive system and different flavor/taste preferences. When choosing seasonings for sweet potato slices you AND your dog can share, prioritize dog-safe and low-sodium options (see our Seasonings section after this dehydrating how-to section).

4. Arrange your raw sweet potato slices in a single layer on your dehydrator trays and dry them at 115°F for at least 24 hours. For faster drying, set your food dehydrator at 145°F and run it for around 10-12 hours. Either way, check them often so you don't over dry/cook them!

IMPORTANT NOTE: After dehydrating (any foods), it's important to allow them time to cool down on a cooling rack to room temperature before putting them in an airtight container, or in Mason jars.

Using a Regular Oven to Make Dehydrated Sweet Potato Treats

Use your regular oven for dehydrating sweet potato:

1. Put your potato slices on a baking sheet, but a great way to get better air circulation and even-drying is to add a cooling rack inside the baking tray first - then lay your sliced potatoes on the rack. One issue with using a regular oven is keeping a steady low temperature setting. 

2. Aim for 115°F, and my favorite way to prop the oven door open is by using the handle of a wooden spoon. This allows the moisture to escape. We need proper airflow to prevent uneven drying or mold growth

3. Dehydrate Thin slices (1/8"): 6-8 hours. 
    Medium slices (1/4"): 8-12 hours. 
    Thicker slices (1/2"): 12-18 hours or more.

Drying times will vary due to the water content of sweet potatoes, and depending on the sweet potato variety and growing conditions. Also, there's the humidity in your kitchen to take into consideration. High humidity will extend the drying time. 

dark-colored dog eating sweet potato treats

Popular Safe Seasonings for Homemade Sweet Potato Dog Treats

Popular Safe Seasonings:

  • Cinnamon: Offers a warm, sweet flavor both humans and dogs enjoy in moderation. Avoid large quantities as it can irritate their stomachs.
  • Ginger: Similar to cinnamon, ginger provides a warm, slightly spicy kick that dogs can tolerate in small amounts.
  • Turmeric: This vibrant spice boasts anti-inflammatory properties and has a subtle earthy flavor.
  • Parsley: This fresh herb adds a touch of green and dogs often enjoy its taste. Fresher breath too? Just a thought.
  • Dill: Another fresh herb with a mild, slightly sweet flavor that's safe for dogs.
  • Coconut oil: This healthy fat adds a touch of richness and moisture to the slices. However, use sparingly as it's high in calories.

Other Safe Options (use with caution):

  • Rosemary: Offers a woody, herbal flavor but can be too strong for some dogs. Start with a pinch and observe your dog's reaction.
  • Thyme: This herb has a slightly minty taste and is generally safe in moderation.
  • Cilantro: While safe, some dogs (and humans!) dislike its strong, citrusy flavor. Introduce it slowly.

Important Reminders:

  • Always AVOID: Garlic, onion, salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, and other spices because they are toxic to dogs.
  • Start small: Introduce new seasonings gradually, monitoring your dog for any adverse reactions.
  • Portion control: Even safe seasonings can cause upset stomachs if overdone.
  • Consult your vet: If unsure about any ingredient, seek guidance from your veterinarian.

Remember, the best seasoning is often no seasoning at all. Many dogs love the natural sweetness and texture of plain sweet potatoes!

Sweet potato chips are an excellent way to get that beta-carotene goodness that's great for our immune system.

As a dog owner, I also add sweet potato to my "Chicken Chow Dog Food."

Recipe for Sweet Potato Treats ~ Biscuits

Here's a simple recipe for sweet potato treats that are safe and healthy for both humans and dogs:

Dried Sweet Potato Treats

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. In a pot, boil the sweet potato pieces until they are soft and tender. Drain and mash the sweet potatoes until smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the mashed sweet potatoes, whole wheat flour, unsweetened applesauce, and egg until well combined.
  4. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 1/4-inch thickness.
  5. Use cookie cutters to cut the dough into desired shapes, or simply cut into small squares.
  6. Place the treats on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the treats are firm and lightly golden brown.
  8. Allow the treats to cool completely before serving to your dog or enjoying them yourself.

Store the treats in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze them for longer storage. These treats are healthy and nutritious for both humans and dogs, as they contain no added sugars, salt, or harmful ingredients.

Pros & Cons of Adding Olive Oil to Sweet Potato Chips

You can add olive oil to raw sweet potatoes for dehydrating as chips, but there are some things to consider:

Pros:

  • Adds flavor and richness: A light coating of olive oil can enhance the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes and make them more palatable.
  • Promotes browning: Olive oil can contribute to a slightly crispier and browner chip compared to plain dehydration.
  • Some recipes call for it: Many dehydrated sweet potato chip recipes specifically include olive oil for flavor and texture.

Cons:

  • Increases calorie and fat content: Even a thin coating of oil adds calories and fat, which you might want to avoid if looking for a healthier snack.
  • Possible burning: At low dehydrating temperatures, oil might not evaporate completely and could lead to burning or rancidity.
  • Not necessary for crispness: With proper slicing and dehydrating methods, even oil-free sweet potato chips can achieve a satisfying crispiness.

Dog Safety:

  • Olive oil itself is safe for dogs in moderation. However, the other ingredients you add along with the oil might not be.

Alternatives to Olive Oil:

  • For humans: If concerned about added fat, consider other flavorings that don't require oil, like spices, herbs, or nutritional yeast*.
  • For dogs: Stick to dog-safe seasonings like cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, parsley, or dill. Avoid salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and other toxic ingredients.

It's up to you whether to add olive oil or not. Consider your dietary preferences, desired texture, and potential risks for your dog before making dehydrated sweet potato dog treats.

*What is nutritional yeast? It is the same type of yeast as baker's yeast but it's not ACTIVE yeast. It's rich in protein and an excellent source of B vitamins (especially B12), and contains iron, zinc, and selenium.

Nutritional yeast has a unique cheesy/nutty flavor and is used in dishes to add depth of flavor and is often used as a vegan stand-in for use in dips, sauces, and cheese spreads!

Storing Your Dehydrated Sweet Potato Treats

When your sweet potatoes have totally cooled down, vacuum seal them.

I didn't bother to add an oxygen absorber because these treats will be eaten within a week!

Note that I wrote on the sealed bag what they are (plain sweet potato chips) and the date.

Plain sweet potato chips, vacuum-sealedPlain sweet potato chips, vacuum-sealed
with description and date!

Don't forget to get your free "Six Simple Steps" eBook where I share how to dehydrate food safely!