Reviving Stale Snack Foods

Zero-Waste Quick Tip

Throwing away foods because they have become stale is one of my pet peeves. However, I live in a high humidity area and this is a frequent occurrence at Casa Colleen. Again, my dehydrator saves the day!

Snack foods including cereal, chips, popcorn, and crackers are revived in my home by simply putting them in the dehydrator. Cheerios and tortilla chips both refresh to their former glory of crunch, and I couldn’t tell the difference between them and their non-stale counterparts. This also dramatically improved the texture of the stale crackers.  Just last week I saved over $20 refreshing some snack foods!

Note: This does not work for snack foods that are high in oils, fats, or butter (similar to buttered popcorn).

The process is easy and takes very little time.

  1. Turn your dehydrator temperature to 135°F/55°C.
  2. Load food on trays in a single layer allowing space in-between. If the food is smaller (like Cheerios), use a mesh liner to prevent food following through the spacing in the trays.
  3. Allow dehydrator to run 1-3 hours until your snacks have returned to their former glory!

I have done this with:

  • Chips of all kinds (including veggie chips),
  • Cereals (puffed rice as well),
  • Crackers (even Triscuits although they take a bit longer),
  • Popcorn, both flavored and unflavored(those with high butter or oils were not as successful),
  • Tortilla chips, and corn chips,,
  • And bagel bites as well as French bread chips.

You can even revamp stale bread into breadcrumbs and croutons. Or take stale quick breads, muffins, cupcakes, and cakes and make a wonderful biscotti-like snack food! To learn how to save stale breads and baked goods as well here: Zero Waste—Dehydrate Stale Baked Goods.

©2017 21st Century Simple Living

7 thoughts on “Reviving Stale Snack Foods

  1. Marla says:

    What a great idea! Dehydrator have so many great uses. Thanks for sharing your useful tips. Congratulations on being featured on #WasteLessWednesdays ! Pinned & tweeted! Have a healthy,happy & blessed day!

  2. I don’t know why I never thought of this! It would have been a life saver in Hawaii. Things can get bad in Florida, but nothing like Hawaii. Thanks for sharing on the Waste Less Wednesday blog hop!

    1. Admin says:

      I love zero-waste projects with my dehydrator !!!

  3. My grandmother was fond of crackers and kept them crisp by storing them, in their serving bowls, in the oven of her gas range. The slight heat from the pilot light kept the air dry in there.

    Unfortunately, the way my cousin and I learned this thrifty practice was that, when our grandmother was in the hospital and we were cooking in her house, we preheated the oven and noticed a burning smell–“Why are the crackers in here?!” We asked her about it when we visited the hospital and were relieved to learn that she was NOT getting senile!

    Newer gas stoves don’t have pilot lights, though, so this might not work; I haven’t tried it since I got my new stove. Something I have done, though, is to revive stale foods in the oven or toaster-oven (depending on amount) at the lowest setting, 150F. It works pretty well, but there are usually some burned edges.

    1. Admin says:

      Yes, you sure can refresh them in the oven or taoster oven. The drawback, as you mentioned, is that they get a little burnt 🙂

  4. I’ve always wondered about dehydrators and whether they are worth the money. I had no idea you could use them to revive stale food. That’s great! #WasteLessWednesday

    1. Admin says:

      I can happily say without reservation, that my dehydrator has saved me more money and given me less waste than any other appliance I have ever owned. I now have 2. My 2nd one was bought with the savings from the first I have saved in the first 4 months of this year !!!

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