Updated: May 14, 2019
Dehydrating fruit is one of the easiest, healthiest and cheapest way to get fruit in your mouth. Most dehydrated fruit that is store bought is coated with unnecessary sugar, food dyed and preservatives to make them look prettier. In addition, companies charge a lot of money for the amount that is received. Furthermore, they are not really nutritious anymore because most of the nutrients were destroyed in the making.
When making dehydrated fruit, there is no added sugar needed. First off, be aware your fruit is more than likely not going to look the way it does in the store. You may be surprised at the difference in color and appearance but that's because you're not adding anything extra. Also, you probably dont have a fancy die cut machine that evenly slices each banana in the same shape. If you do, I want it though.
There are 2 ways to make it, either by using a dehydrator or by using the oven. I have personally used both methods. I prefer the dehydrator because it's easier to control and you can fit more but currently I use the oven because my dehydrator finally died and havent ventured for a new one yet.
Besides the nutrition and cost benefits, dehydrating fruit, veggies, jerky etc is a great way to experiment with new foods and get the kids involved. Surprise yourself!! We have tried so many different foods. My personal favorite is watermelon! Yes I said watermelon. It dries down really thin and gets a smoky, black color and flavor that is so addicting. It almost tastes like a fruit roll up and its 100% real fruit.
7. Mangos and papayas
Things we ve tried that were weird to us:
1. Vegetables: We've tried a lot of vegetables and havent liked how any of them turned out.
2. Chocolate: It was a gamble but it was a bust
Get creative and experiment. Some things we have done is add chocolate or peanut butter powder on top for added flavor. It doesnt hurt anything to try. It may turn into something u like. That's how watermelon was to me and now I love it!. I have made jerky but am not going to post the details. If you 2ould like more information on my experience with jerky feel free to ask.
Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Cut fruits into 1-2 inch pieces. You want the items to be thin and in small cuts but not too small that they will disintegrate. In the same aspect, making them too big will take forever to dehydrate. It's a lot of trial and error at first but dont be discouraged, it will take a few batches to perfect but you ll get it. Items usually take 6-8 hours. You will know they are done when they are golden brown to black. In addition, they should have a crispy outer shell. If they are soft and not crispy yet, leave them in a little longer. Keep items in an air tight container at room temperature.
Enjoy and lmk what you decide on doing!