The basics of dehydrating fruit the easy way

Dehydrating fruit is the best way to preserve fruit’s nutrients and intensify the taste: healthy, delicious, and easy to cook and store. When you dehydrate your fruit, you know you addded no MSG, preservatives, or artifical colouring. The best healthy snacks I ever made, be that banana chips, apple crisps, or nutritional bars, were made of dehydrated fruit.

dehydrated fruit: apples

In this article I will review

Side note: find out more about Dehydrating vegetables

How to dehydrate fruit

Like everything else in life, dehydrating fruit could be accomplished the hard way or the easy way:

  1. Sun drying - this only works if you live in a very hot region where you can depend on several sunny days in a row.
  2. Oven drying - this way is a little bit easier, but time-comsuming and energy-demainding, and it doesn’t always yield the best results.
  3. Using a food dehydrator is the most efficient and easy way of dehydrating fruit. Commercial dehydrators use very little energy and come with several stacking trays so you can preserve a lot of fruit at one time.

Preparing fruit for dehydration

To get started, wash, peel, pit and slice or dice the fruit. Some people rinse the fruit with lemon juice so it doesn’t brown while drying. Your dehydrator should have a fruit setting, but if it doesn’t, set the thermostat for 135 degrees. Arrange the fruit on the trays so that no slices touch – you need room for the air to flow around each piece. Generally it’s easier if you dry fruits that require the same amount of time in the machine together. For example, peaches and pears take nearly the same amount of time to dry (minimum of 10 hours), crispy dry apples dry in 20 hours.

dehydrated fruit: pears

Dehydrating fruit and checking the result

To know whether your fruit has dried properly – touch it. It should feel leathery. Tear a piece in half. There should be no signs of moisture inside. If the fruit has dehydrated properly, you now need to store it in an airtight container (a jar, food storage bag, etc.). Otherwise it will accept moisture from the air and eventually go bad.

The most popular fruit for dehydration are bananas, cherries, apples, pears and peaches. Dehydrated fruit makes an excellent healthy snack. Dehydrating process ensures fruit retains all the natural sugars and nutritional content for you to enjoy for weeks to come.

Using oven for fruit dehydration

To use your oven you want the interior temperature to be no higher than 140 degrees. Since most ovens don’t have low settings, prop open the door using a measuring cup or something else that’s heat proof and safe. The door needs to remain propped open for the entire time – this means you want to plan to dehydrate your fruit on a cold day (that way you’re not wasting a lot of energy – dry the fruit and heat your kitchen!).

Using a dehydrator for fruit dehydration

There is no better way to create healthy food snacks than using a commercial dehydrator. I use Excalibur - the best dehydrator available, and I can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone considering dehydration as a way of healthy cooking.

Just put your sliced fruit into the trays, spread evenly, don't let pieces overlap. Set the dehydrator to the "Fruit" setting, and set a timer to turn it off in 12 to 16 hours. That's it! No need to watch, turn the fruit, or worry about them being burnt or undercooked. Here is how you can use your dehydrator:

With dehydrator, you can go beyond just frying fruit - you can create your own fruit and yougurt rolls, nutritional fruit, vegetable and berry bars, healthy food snacks and healthy appetizers.


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