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Dehydrated fruits are nutritious and healthy although they lose a few of their nutrients. They can be eaten alone as snacks used as salad toppings or used in various dishes.
Perhaps what most of us don’t know is that virtually all fruits can be dehydrated for future use. But let’s see what are the best fruits to dehydrate (see our food dehydrators reviews) and how to pick the right ones for the perfect dehydrated fruit snacks.
Best Fruits To Dehydrate
Here is a list of the best fruits to dehydrate for snacks, fruits that are in season for use when they are out! When the flood gates of fruits open, dehydrating a good amount of every type gives you a ready supply that will see you through to the next season.
Drying at temperature between 125℉ and 135℉, they take between 10-12 hours to be ready. Their tough skins make their dehydration a demanding task.
So, cranberries need close monitoring during dehydration as over-drying them can leave you with an awful end product just like under-drying them.
How To Dehydrate Cranberries In A Dehydrator
- Purchase fresh cranberries that you need to dehydrate immediately. This is because their spoilage begins the moment they have been picked.
- Rinse them thoroughly in running water and place them in a pot.
- In a separate pot, heat water to boil. The water should be enough just to cover the berries.
- Pour the boiling water over the cranberries and let them sit for 5-10 minutes or until their skin ruptures (don’t cook).
- Drain the berries.
- Sprinkle sugar on the cranberries to help absorb as much water from them as possible. A quarter cup is enough for a 12oz bag.
- Spread the cranberries on your dehydrator’s tray evenly.
- Turn the heat ON to around 140℉. The dehydration process should take 12-24 hours. The end product should be dry to the touch and chewy.
Apricots make lovely snacks when dehydrated. As per the rule of the thumb, you need to buy them when they are fully ripe.
If they are firm, placing them near the window in a paper bag will help in softening them a bit. Click here for a guide on how to dry apricots in a dehydrator.
Peaches are among the easiest fruits to rehydrate in case you prefer rehydration before consumption.
Avoid firm peaches as they may not be fully ripe. Ripe peaches are a bit soft when squeezed and have an attractive color.
The ideal temperature for dehydration for them is 145℉ during the first 2 hours and later 135℉ for the remaining hours of the 8-12 hours recommended for drying them.
They are some of the most widely dehydrated fruits thanks to their popularity and availability. However, not all apples will give you the desired results when dehydrated. You need to choose wisely the appropriate one from the wide pool of varieties depending on what you prefer.
For instance, the dehydrated chips from the Gala variety are too sugary and might not be ideal for snacking while the Macoun variety can be used both for snacking and also as an ingredient in recipes. Apples are dry well at 135℉ and take 8-12 hours. You can get all the information about best apples to dehydrate here.
Tomatoes are wonderfully multipurpose. If they didn’t find their way to a sandwich, then you should consider drying them for later use in a variety of foods including pasta and chili.
The good thing here is that virtually all tomatoes can be dehydrated. The chips can also be ground into powder and form terrific ingredients for preparing tomato puree.
How To Dehydrate Tomatoes:
- Cut them into a half-inch slices (avoid cutting them too small as they tend to turn black when dried). You could remove or leave the seeds. It’s optional.
- Place them on the trays- don’t place the slices on top of each other as they might stick and tear.
- Dry them at 1350F for 8-10 hours. When cooked, the tomato slices should peel from the trays easily. They should also flatten into flakes.
Anyone who has munched a dehydrated pineapple will tell you that it tastes magical. Although you’ll still lose a considerable amount of its nutrients, you’ll still be left with a load of vitamins and sugars that will give you a perfect pick-me-up on your hikes.
For those who live far from the tropics, drying is with no doubts the only way to have a ready supply all read round.
Pineapples dry at 125℉ and 135℉ and will take 12-16 hours. You might want to turn them every 8 hours for even drying.
Another one of the best fruits for dehydrating, a pear makes adds a tasteful touch when added to compotes or sprinkled on salads.
Ideal pears for dehydration should be ripe but not too soft.
How To Dehydrate Pears:
- Peel, core, and slice each fruit into ½-inch slices.
- Put the slices in a bowl of acidulated water (water plus a spoonful of lemon juice or vinegar) to prevent browning.
- Drain the slices in a colander and bloat them with a paper towel.
- Lay them on your dehydrator trays making sure to leave space between them for proper air circulation.
- Dehydrate them at 130℉-140℉ for 8-10 hours.
Can’t feed all the kiwi fruits in your kitchen to your family before they go bad? Well, you’ll be surprised that they are still as healthy and full of nutrient even when dried. Kiwi is dense in minerals and fibers and it’s also a reliable source of quick energy.
How To Dehydrate Kiwis:
- Wash the fruits in running water.
- Trim the brown peel on the outer edge.
- Cut into ½-1/4 inch sizes (don’t go so thin).
- Arrange the slices on single layers in your dehydrator trays.
- Dry them at 135℉. Kiwi takes anywhere between 8 and 12 hours to dry completely.
As their heart-shaped silhouette depicts, strawberries are a fat-free, cholesterol-free, sodium-free, and low-calorie food.
These fruits also pack lots of vitamins (mostly vitamin C) and antioxidants and are said to put certain ailments including cancer and heart attacks at bay.
When dried, these potent packages can go on cereal, baked foods, and in a mix of other dried fruits.
Strawberries are among the easiest fruits to dehydrate as they don’t require pretreatment to produce desired results.
How To Dehydrate Strawberries:
- Wash and drain them in a colander. Give them a few minutes to dry.
- Slice off the hull and discard or compost.
- Slice them from crosswise aiming at getting thin slices (1/4 to 1/8 inch is preferable).
- Arrange them on the dehydrator’s trays leaving at least ¼’’ space between the slices.
- Dry them at 135℉ for 8-10 hours or till they are dry to the touch.
- Cool for around 30 minutes and store in your glass jars.
Rich in potassium and fiber, banana chips (fried or dehydrated banana slices) can form a really good part of your healthy-eating regimen.
As most experts will tell, this snack is better made at home.
When selecting the best bananas to dehydrate, it’s advisable to go for those that have brown speckles on their peels. Avoid over-ripe bananas that have black streaks on their peels.
Note that bananas require pre-treatment before dehydration to stop them from turning brown during the process.
They dehydrate at between 8 and 12 hours at 135℉.
Learn how to dehydrate bananas here.
A true tropical delight, mangoes are a rich source of vitamin A that promotes eye health and minimizes macular degeneration. These fruits also offer loads of soluble fibers that help in keeping your blood sugar levels in check.
When dried, mangoes make really good treats and can either be eaten as a snack or used to make a delicious dessert.
How To Dehydrate Mango
- Collect firm and ripe mangoes- while the idea is to get ripe fruits don’t consider mangoes that are too soft. On the same note, remember that selecting ripe mangoes for dehydration might not be as simple as just looking at their colors. Some varieties don’t change from green when ripe. The best mango for dehydration should have a slight give when squeezed.
- Wash and peel off the entire skin.
- Cut the fruit into ¼ inch slices. You could go thicker if you like them chewy. But remember that thicker slices take longer to dry.
- Place the slices on the trays and dehydrate at 145℉ during the first two hours of the 8-12 recommended hours for drying them and later set the temperature to 135℉.
- After the drying process, let them cool for 10 minutes before storing them in an air-tight container.
Dried oranges sound weird at first. But this is one of the sure-fire ways of preserving their natural taste. When dried, oranges slices add a fun flavor in tea and cold drinks. You could munch them as sweet, chewy snacks or spice up your muffins, breads, sauces, and salads.
Simply put, you have no reason to let the oranges go sour when the season comes.
How To Dehydrate Oranges:
- Pick ripe and firm oranges.
- Pre-heat your dehydrator at 120-130℉.
- Meanwhile, wash the oranges and dry them.
- Using a knife, make thin slices around ¼ inch thick. You can either peel or opt to dry the orange with the skin together.
- Place the orange slices on the trays and let them dry for 15-24 hours.
- Cool the dehydrated slices and store in an airtight bag or container.
These little North American fruits are known as a powerhouse for vitamin C, and K, manganese, fiber and high levels of antioxidants.
These die-hard fruits are amazingly easy to work with if you prefer to dry them. The good thing about them is that they don’t require hulling, pitting, or coring.
When dehydrated, blueberries form crunchy and sweet snacks. They can be a part of ingredients in a couple of dishes if rehydrated and warmed.
How Do You Dehydrate Blueberries?
- Bring a pot of water to boil.
- Wash the blueberries and plunge them in the boiling water for 25-30 seconds or until their skin starts to crack.
- Drain the blueberries using a colander or pick them up using a slotted spoon (this process should be fast).
- Plunge them in another bowl of icy water immediately (this stops the cooking process).
- Drain and dry them completely.
- Place them on the trays evenly and dehydrate at 135oF for between 12-20 hours.
- Cool and store in dry jars.
From a nutritional value point of view, grapes are hands down one of the best fruits for dehydrating. Nutritionists say that grapes are packed with antioxidants that could help in preventing cancer, heart attacks, blood pressure, constipation, and diabetes among others.
Mind you, these cute fruits are not great when eaten fresh, they also make snacking easy both at home and in dense outdoors.
If you love raisins (who doesn’t!), then you know what I mean.
How To Dehydrate Grapes:
- Wash and rinse the grapes.
- Cut them in half.
- Place them on your dehydrator sheets. The cut side should look up to keep the juice from dripping to the trays below.
- Dehydrate them at between 125℉ and 135℉ for 6-10 hours.
Cherries, sweet or sour, burst with nutrition. These fruits have lots of health-promoting compounds and antioxidants. Besides having it fresh from the trees, you could also have it in baked products or dehydrated.
In their dried form, cherries can be eaten as a snack, as a salad topping and even in compotes.
Here’s How To Dehydrate Cherries In A Dehydrator:
- Wash them.
- Pick and pit- this will definitely be the hardest part if you don’t have a cherry pitter. So you could use some help from your kids.
- Decide whether to cut them in half or dehydrate them whole. This depends with how you intend to use them. If you’ll be snacking on them, then dehydrating them whole might be the best idea. If you plan to use them in muffins and granola, cutting them in half sounds like a cool idea.
- Load the cherries onto your trays. Similar to grapes, you’ll want to place the side cherries side-cut up. Otherwise, they might stick to the screen when lifting.
- Dehydrate at between 125℉ and 135℉. They might take 13-21 hours to dry.
Selecting The Best Fruits For Dehydration
The end products of proper fruit dehydration are either crispy fruit chips or chewy fruit leather. Leathery dried fruits can be bent and torn while crispy ones can be snapped. Actually, this is one of the advantages of dehydrating fruits over freeze-drying. Dehydration allows you to choose what suits you best.
When selecting the best fruits for dehydration, there are a few factors that you should always keep in mind so as to achieve the desired results.
First, select only ripe and firm fruits for best results. The fruits have to be mature. Mature and firm fruits have the highest sugar content and nutritional level. Again, fruits with a firm texture dry faster.
Overripe fruits aren’t ideal for dehydration just like the bruised ones.
Second, go for sizeable, juicy fruits. These always give fantastic results. Actually, the moisture content of the fruit determines your final yield.
In addition, it is advisable to always grab the opportunity and go for in-season fruits.
Third, select the right equipment. Learn the difference between a dehydrator, microwave, air fryer, oven and smoker.
Dehydration is one of the best methods of preserving food is no longer a matter to be argued about. You can even do it without a food dehydrator.
When dehydrating fruits, it’s good that you use them when they are at their best. For fruits that brown when left in the open, dipping them in a mixture of water and lemon juice might help.
Lastly, remember that home-made fruit chips and chewy don’t have preservatives. Thus, you’ll want to ensure that your stash is properly sealed for long-term use.
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