I am the proud owner of a new Nesco food dehydrator.
I got this beaut on Amazon as a thank you for some dog sitting that I did earlier this year.
I’d been wanting a dehydrator for a while to make dog treats and now that I have one I can’t understand how I lived without it! I knew that one of the first things I wanted to dehydrate was yams for The Little Blogger.
This batch of dehydrated yams is my fourth, so I think I’ve got the hang of it. If you have a dehydrator at home, here are step-by-step instructions on how to make yam chews for your dog.
At the grocery store, purchase the biggest (widest and longest) yams you can find. My dehydrator fits roughly 2.5 yams, so keep that in mind if you only want to make one batch. The widest and longest yams will make the best chews.
Whether or not I buy organic depends solely on the size of the yams. If the organic yams are wimpy, I head straight for the non-organic and vice versa. Wimpy yams make even wimpier yam chews because they shrivel in the dehydration process.
Wash (and scrub) your yams before cutting them. I used to peel the yams completely but then decided that it was a giant waste of time. As long as you scrub the yams to remove all the nasties you should be fine.
Cut the ends off of each yam.
I usually try to slice the yams as thin as possible so I end up with more treats, but cutting them at varying widths is totally fine.
Once your yams are sliced, blanch them by placing them in a microwave-safe bow, covering them with a few tablespoons of water, and nuking them for45-60 seconds. Blanching the yams preserves their flavor and supposedly helps their moisture escape more effectively, thus giving you crunchier, chewier yam treats.
Once the yams are blanched, place them in your dehydrator. Since the dehydrator has to run for 9-10 hours to dehydrate yams (that’s what I’ve found, at least), I like to get the most bang for my electrical buck by filling all of the trays completely. If I can’t fill each level with yams, I’ll cut up apples or something similar (carrots, sweet potatoes, etc.) and toss ’em in with the yams. You can dehydrate pretty much anything, but do some research on how long particular fruits and veggies take before just busting out the ‘ol dehydrator and filling it to the brim.
Plug that sucker in, turn ‘er on, and get on with your day! Set it and…forget it! Ok, not really. But kinda. Set a timer in your kitchen or on your cell to remind you when it’s time to turn off the dehydrator. Like I said, I generally give yams about 9-10 hours to get fully dehydrated. If you want them to be a little less crunchy because you have a dog with sensitive teeth or gums, opt for a 8-9 hour window instead.
While you’re waiting for the yammies to be done, you can gaze into the eyes of your pupper.
You mean to tell me I have to wait 9 hours for those things to be done?!
Once your yams are dehydrated to your liking, turn off your dehydrator and pat yourself on the back.
You’ve just made yam chews for your dog for less than half the cost of store-bought yam chews.