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Making Dehydrated Food Gifts

If you are looking for gift ideas that are one-of-a-kind that have your personal touch, make dehydrated food gifts like I do for health-conscious family members, and friends!

Heck - make them for yourself too!

Zucchini chips in Mason jars

When summer ends, it's time to welcome the cooler temperatures in the US and Europe. I love it when my supermarket and local roadside stands are loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables that summer gifted us. The timing couldn't be better.

TOP Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Is dried fruit healthy?
A. Great question! I have the answer for you in this page about the pros and cons of dried fruit.

Q. Dry fruit gift packing ideas?
A. Check out the page you're on for using Mason jars filled with dehydrated citrus, and tied off with bows!

These gorgeous handmade dehydrated food gifts - that you're about to create - won't sit and spoil on your recipients' countertops any time soon. Why not?

Dehydrated food - when dried and packaged properly - has a long shelf life. Tucking in an 'oxygen absorber' package right inside your gift keeps your dehydrated food feeling fresh!

Seriously, oxygen absorbers inhibit mold growth. Sorry to get all serious on you there. But it has to be said.

Are you ready to craft your very own DIY dehydrated food gifts tucked inside Mason jars and baskets? Yes? Let's get going...

Choosing the Right Foods to Dehydrate for Making Dehydrated Food Gifts that Delight

The first step is choosing the right foods to dehydrate. For the record, most fruits and vegetables dehydrate well.

The key is to choose ripe produce. Again, it doesn't matter what "shape" the fruit is. We have to slice, dice and dehydrate it!

Why Give Dehydrated Food Gifts?

Unhappy man with a pair of socks as a gift

To m, dehydrated food gifts are not just unique, they are also a healthy and useful alternative to the usual (boring) gift options of socks, scarves, and underwear.

The joy of giving a homemade gift that you've put so much thought and effort into is the best feeling in the world. My friends and family love me (even more) for that and so will your family and friends!

If you're at all worried about your lovely edible creations spoiling... well don't be. When foods are dried carefully, dehydrated food has a surprisingly long shelf life - so no fretting over your gifts going bad!

And that's why adding the oxygen absorber in the Mason jar before screwing on the lid works to make sure your food doesn't go moldy.

No one wants a moldy gift.

Use Ripe Fruit for Best Results

The reason I use ripe fruits is this: Ripe fruits have higher sugar levels that results in sweeter and more flavorful dried fruit.

So make sure your fruit is ripe before dehydrating. As stated above, the ripeness of a fruit drastically affects its sugar content which will impact the taste of the final dehydrated item.

Keep in mind: The actual process of dehydration doesn't ripen fruit further. Starting with ripe fruit is ideal.

Avoid overripe or bruised fruits as they will 'darken' too soon and are more prone to potential spoilage. Misshapen fruit is not to be associated with 'bruised' and when sliced and dried, no one (but you) will know what their original shape was!

Side note: If you're making smoothies from ripe fruit, then by all means use the bruised and misshapen fruits! (I don't want to hurt their feelings...)

two glass mason jars filled with dehydrated fruit

The Dehydrating Process

Now, let's talk about the dehydrating process itself. Visit my fruit and vegetable pages to learn how to dehydrate individual fruits (and veggies).

Try not to get impatient waiting for the dehydrating process to finish. Remember, good things take time.

Tools and Stuff

All you need is fresh produce, an oven - or a dehydrator. Check out these pages on Nesco and Excalibur dehydrators, and What Are Food Dehydrators too.

My choice - every time - is to use a dehydrator, I tried the 'oven-drying' method - once. (That ought to tell you all you need to know about oven drying). So, get a dehydrator! You can "set it and forget it" and not worry about burning the food...

The key to successful dehydration is to make sure the food is dried fully - and correctly. Dried foods MUST be allowed to cool and then I package them in airtight containers or vacuum-sealed bags.

For long-term storage, plastic food storage bags (specifically manufactured for use with a food vacuum sealer) can work well. But for short-term storage, you'd want to use glass Mason jars to keep your dehydrated food safe and fresh. Plus they look great!

Creating Themed Dehydrated Food Gifts

How about creating themed gift baskets or jars filled with your dried goodies?

I love to make a 'Tropical Delight' basket filled with dehydrated pineapple, mango, and coconut.

Or how about a 'Veggie Crunch' jar with zucchini and beet chips... (now you're talkin').

Wicker basket with fruit and nuts inside Mason jars

Gift Basket THEME IDEAS!

  • Orchard Harvest (apples and pears).
  • Fruity Fiesta (bananas, apples, and berries)
  • Rollup Rainbow (different fruit leathers/rollups)
  • Crunchy Courgette Cascade (zucchini chips)
  • Zesty Zucchini Zing (for flavored zucchini chips)
  • Berry Bliss (mixed berries)
  • Exotic Explosion (for tropical fruits)
  • Citrus Symphony (for dehydrated citrus fruits)
  • Autumn Abundance (for fall fruits like apples and pears)
  • Delightful Dried Medley (for a mix of different fruits)
  • Veggie-Crunch Victory (for any mix of dehydrated vegetables)
  • Classy Crunchables (for a high-end assortment)
  • Healthy Heartful (include heart-healthy options)
  • Campers Crunch (could include a mix of fruits and veggies loved by campers)
  • Sunshine Snackables (fruits that are summer favorites)
  • Fiber-Full Feast (for fruits and veggies rich in fiber)
  • Sweet and Subtle Surprise (for subtly sweet fruits like apples and pears)
  • Light and Crisp Delight (for lightly flavored options)
  • Fruit Fun Fusion (for an eclectic mix)
  • Bountiful Berry Basket (for a basket full of different kinds of berries)

Side note: Apples and pears make excellent fruit roll-ups. Check out how I make fruit roll-ups here.

Another side note: Did you know that "going up the apple and pears," is Cockney-rhyming slang for "going up the stairs?" Yup, Now your day is complete.

(What's Cockney-rhyming slang?) Thought you'd never ask. Check that out here but COME BACK to continue learning how making dehydrated food gifts will make you the best gift-giver ever!


Tissue Paper and Clear Cellophane

Looking to weave magic with some wicker basket gifts? Jazz them up with tissue paper and clear cellophane!

Jars nestled in tissue paper look great, and you may wish to wrap the whole basket in crinkly cellophane.

Perfect for Making Dehydrated Food Gifts Sparkle

Tissue Paper

Go for something high-quality, sturdy yet soft. Acid-free tissue paper is the star of the show here because it won’t fade or damage our dried goodies in our basket. Now, when it comes to colors, it's your, er, their party!

Pick something that complements the dehydrated goodies stuffed inside or matches the occasion. Think red and green for Christmas. Pastels for Easter. Orange and black for Halloween. Don’t be shy to stack more tissue paper if your present is playing hard to get or has sharp edges.

Ribbons

Bows

Our gift of dried fruit deserves a stunning wrapping such as colorful ribbons and bows. Satin or organza ribbons add a touch of luxury.

Wired ribbons hold their shape well, and you can pick a color that matches or contrasts your tissue paper. Just make sure your ribbon isn’t trying to hog all the limelight from your basket...

Last but certainly not least, that crinkly-sounding clear plastic. It's often cellophane, the unsung hero of gift wrapping!

Crinkly Cellophane

Not only does it give your gifts a lovely, see-through dress to wear(!), it also keeps everything clean and secure, like bubble wrap’s classy cousin.

Choose a clear or patterned sheet depending on your gift's theme and vibe.

Crinkly Cellophane Bags

I also use these cellophane bags

Remember, everything we choose is a reflection of our great taste and the love we put into the gift.

Just like a favorite recipe, it's all the ingredients combined that make the end result magnificent.

Clear Plastic Bags

And if you don't want to go "the basket route," I use these lovely clear plastic bags that measure 5.9" x 6.3" - I use an assortment of smaller (half-pint size) Mason jars inside these bags!

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

Mason Jars - Different Sizes

Mason Jars Regular Mouth Quart Jars

  • Ball brand regular mouth Glass Mason Jars. Quart size (32oz)
  • Package of 12

Mason Jars Wide Mouth Pint Jars

  • Ball brand wide mouth Glass Mason Jars. Pint size (16oz)
  • Package of 12

Mason Jars Wide Mouth Half Pint Jars

  • Ball brand wide mouth Glass Mason Jars. Half-Pint (8oz)
  • Package of 12

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


Embrace the Gift-Making Journey ~ It's Worth the Effort

I love creating delicious, long-lasting, and unique gifts and it's well worth the effort. And who knows? You might discover that dehydrating food becomes a regular part of your kitchen routine. It's not just for holidays!

I hope you enjoyed my inspiring gift basket images above! Remember, all you need to do is learn how to dehydrate fruits and vegetables safely. Read our "How to dehydrate fruit" and "How to dehydrate vegetables" pages.

Once you've mastered the art of dehydrating food, you'll be well on your way to creating unique healthy, and thoughtful gifts.

Before I sign off, please check out these beautiful potato-beaded necklaces by Janetta here.

Dehydrated blue painted potato-beaded necklace on a brown background
Dehydrated potato-beaded necklace closeup view showing beads in between the potatoes

And learn how to dehydrate potatoes here so you can try your hand at necklace-making - just like Janetta!

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