A food dehydrator is one of those kitchen tools that is surprisingly useful. I use mine all of the time and it inspires me to be creative in all kinds of fun ways. Not only do I dry my garden herbs to use all year and make healthy snacks for the kids like fruit leathers and beef jerky. I also dehydrate unused fruits and vegetables and use them later in recipes. Recently I made gluten-free raw cookies and a wonderful smelling potpourri. But today I made craft pumpkins. Yes, crafting in the dehydrator!
With this salt dough recipe and my Ronco Turbo Dehydrator I plan on doing all kinds of creative things this holiday season. I started with this cute paint your own pumpkin craft for the kids. For Thanksgiving I think I’m going to make name place cards in the shape of turkeys for the table (I’ll keep you posted). And each year my family loves to make homemade ornaments and decorate them for our tree. Another creative idea could be making some keepsake hand prints and footprints of little ones or even pets. Or you could even make a diorama for a school project. All you need is a food dehydrator, some all-purpose flour, salt, and water.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup table salt
- 1 cup luke-warm water
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (Optional: I threw this in to make my pumpkins smell festive. Plus, the house smells great while they are dehydrating.)
- In a large bowl mix salt and flour.
- Gradually stir in water. Mix well until it forms a doughy consistency, like pizza dough. If your dough is too dry or too wet adjust with wet or dry ingredients accordingly.
- Form your dough into a ball and knead it for at about 5 minutes. The longer you knead your dough the smoother it will be.
- Roll out dough on a floured surface to about ¼ of an inch thick and use cookie cutter to form pumpkin shapes. I scored mine with a knife to suggest a stem and ridges.
- Place cut pumpkins on to your Turbo Dehydrator trays making sure they don’t touch. Set the temperature to 125° F. Depending on thickness of your dough, they will be completely dehydrated and ready to paint in 12-14 hours. You can test them by gently pressing on them to make sure there is no give in the dough and they are solid.
- Use acrylic paints to create your fun pumpkins. After you paint them and they are dry, you can seal them with polyurethane spray to set the paint and give them a nice finish. Get creative! Pull out those old buttons, yarn, twine, cut out letters and family photos.