Enjoy The Fruits Of Your Labor
even in the off-season!
Dehydrating fruit is best done at the peak of season when your favorite fruits are readily available... you'll save money too. You can have dried apples, oranges, and strawberries available TO YOU year 'round!
Click on the small pictures/fruit names below for instructions on dehydrating the fruits of your choice! And just below the links: there's more important information on how much fruit fills four dehydrator trays; the ideal temperature settings to use while dehydrating your fruits; fruit preparation; and how do I know when the fruit is done?
Yummy healthy snacks... and dare I mention great baked apple pies!! So make a quick trip to your local grocery store, on even better, to those great roadside stands and buy your apples in bushels. Dehydrated apples, bananas, and strawberries can be in your family's backpacks, lunch bags - and your pantry. Create tasty fruit rolls -- it's nature's own candy -- and your kids will love them!... Adults too!
Fruits are best dehydrated between 125°F and 135°F – any hotter than that may cause the skins of certain fruits to get crusty i.e. 'hard' - this is known as 'case hardening' which prevents the inside of the fruit from drying properly. Don't be tempted to turn the food dehydrator on high to speed up the process!
Fresh lemons, limes, and oranges can be washed and sliced and put on your food dehydrator with no further preparation necessary!
See the dehydrating fruit clickable pictures at the top of this page for each specific fruit.
All frozen fruits can be placed on your dehydrator trays with no further preparation - how easy is that?
Before opening your bag of frozen fruit, throw it down onto your counter top (not too hard!) a few times to loosen any fruit that may have frozen together in a clump! If you still have a few small clumps on your dehydrator tray, run it under cold water for a few seconds and that'll take care of it!
Certain fruits like bananas, apples, and strawberries, need to have a generous spraying of lemon juice. Lemon juice is a totally acceptable substitute for ascorbic acid which is used by professional dehydrating plants, and the lemon juice works wonderfully! Two reasons for spraying with lemon juice is to prevent the fruits from darkening and to prevent bacterial growth during drying.
...they don't stick together! Dehydrated fruits such as oranges, lemons, and limes get really dry, almost brittle. Place the fruit in airtight bags, (such as zip-lock bags), and let them hang around your kitchen for a day or overnight.
This step is known as conditioning and enables the air and any moisture in the bag to distribute evenly – so that the dehydrated fruit will be ready for vacuum sealing! Bear in mind, that some fruits will remain naturally sticky such as prunes, raisins, and dates.