Dehydrated fruit is a delicious and functional snack you can enjoy the whole year. Drying it with the right dehydrator is the simplest way to make it and an excellent option for long-term storage without filling your freezer. But the good news is even if you don’t own a dehydrator at your home, you can still enjoy this homemade delicious snacks.
Here’s the deal:
These methods are quite simple. You just need to heat the fruit at the low temperature to allow moisture to evaporate. This way you are decreasing the chance of bacterial growth.
You could use the oven, toaster oven or a microwave to dry it. It may take a little longer time to prepare, but it is worth it. Not only it is a delicious snack, it is also very healthy.
So, follow these instructions for preparing your own favorite dried snack.
Prepare Your Produce
First, you need to decide which fruit you want to dehydrate. Peaches, apples, plum, berries, apricots, and bananas are a great choice for making a perfect dried snack. Choose the one that is rip because it will taste better.
Wash it thoroughly and remove any stems, brown spots, and pits or stones from stone fruits. Make sure that the slices are even in size. If some pieces are larger or thicker than the others, it will not dry evenly. Be careful not to cut it too thin or too thick.
Some of it will dry better and faster if you remove its skin. The skin contains a lot of nutrients, so you could also leave it. But you should know it will probably take a longer time to dry.
You could also soak it to minimize discoloration and to look nice. Soak it for 10 minutes in lemon juice and water. Drain it and blot dry with a lint-free towel.
Now you are ready to dry your fruit and prepare some delicious snacks.
Use Oven to Dry Fruit
This is a very easy method. Turn your oven to the lowest setting and cut your fruit into ¼ inches slices. Put them in the oven on the lined sheet pan and let them dry for about 6 to 8 hours.
If this is too long to wait for you, just set the temperature to the 225 Degrees F. But for a better taste, let them dry longer at the lower temperature. To know when it is ready, dried fruit should feel like leather but pliable.
You could also dehydrate different types of it at the same time. Start the first hour at 145 degrees F and then low the temperature at 135 degrees F.
General drying time, bake at 130 – 160 degrees F for:
- Peaches – 6 hours
- Plums – 6 hours
- Apples – 6 hours
- Pears – 6 hours
- Berries – 12 hours
- Grapes – 8-10 hours
- Bananas – 6 hours
- Apricots – 12 hours
- Citrus Peel – 8-10 hours
Use Toaster Oven
This is also a great option to dehydrate your fruit. Just turn it on the lowest setting and leave the door slightly open. This way you will avoid condensation. Let it dry for about 7-8 hours.
When it’s done, let it cool. Keep your eye on it and you will get a perfect snack.
Dry Fruit in the Microwave
Use the microwave to dehydrate those fruits which will dry quickly, like for example apples. Use a glass plate and lay a paper towel on it. Cut it into about 1/8 inch slices.
Lay the slices on the paper towel and put it in the microwave. Dry it for about 10 minutes at a high power level and then another 10 minutes at the lowest setting.
For extra crispy, you could put it in the oven at the 200 degrees F for another 20 minutes. Let it sit in the oven until they cool.
Sun Dry Your Fruit
This is also an easy method, but it could take a longer time to dry it. Cut your fruit into thin slices, put them on a baking sheet, and place them in a very sunny spot. It is important to put some mesh material over it, to keep the flies away.
Dry the fruit until it is perfect, which could take a few days.
Build Your Own Dehydrator
If you are feeling adventurous you can make your own dehydrator. Just follow these instructions and make this device for a small amount of money.
How to Know if Fruit is Fully Dried?
If you think your fruit is finished drying out, place it in a plastic bag and fold it over. If there any condensation in the baggie after a few minutes, continue dehydrating it.
Cure The Dried Fruits
When the fruit is dried, remove it from one of these devices and place it in a plastic or glass container to cure. Leave it open for 4 days so that the moisture left from the dehydrating process can evaporate. Seal it after 4 days and enjoy these delicious snacks for a whole year.
Store it Safely
Place your dried fruit in clean airtight plastic containers, dry glass jars or plastic baggie. Store it in quantities, so you could use it all together. Because every time you open the package, it will be exposed to moisture and air which will reduce its quality.
Place it in a dry, cool and dark place since moisture and heat can have a negative impact on it. ‘’Because food quality is affected by heat, the storage temperature helps determine the length of storage; the higher the temperature, the shorter the storage time. Most dried fruits can be stored for 1 year at 60ºF, 6 months at 80ºF.’’ according to National Center for Home Food Preservation.
Drying your fruit is an excellent choice to prepare a delicious and healthy snack for you and your family. If you don’t want to spend additional money on buying a dehydrator or you simply don’t have enough room to place it in your home, you can follow these instructions and make a delicious meal.