When it comes to food dehydration, it is not uncommon to hear about dehydrated fruits. There are several reasons you should try out dried fruits, and there is so much to know about fruit dehydration is you are planning on trying them out yourself.
Fruits are generally a delight because they are a source of healthy sugar and offer a lot of benefits to the body. Rehydrating fruits provide more options for fruit intake and can help you live a healthier life, especially if you have a sweet tooth.
What benefits can you get from dehydrating fruits?
Dried fruits can offer a lot of home and health benefits. Some of which include:
Dried fruits make high-energy snacks you can munch on anytime. They can come in handy on trips and provide a healthier alternative, especially for kids. They also have more fiber in them than fresh fruits and can help fight health conditions like cancer and obesity. Dried fruits are generally loaded with nutrients that aid digestion and keep your body and your heart healthy. And while you are likely to consume more calories than you would if you are eating fresh fruits, you can rest easy knowing you are eating healthy and there is no cause for worry.
Lightweight and portable
Another benefit of dehydrating fruits is that they become lightweight and easy to carry around if you need to. This means that you have more space for packing if you are going on a trip and choose to pack dried fruits instead of fresh ones. You can also carry your dried fruits with you on hikes and camping, or even to places where you do not have easy access to refrigerators.
Dehydrated fruits are a good option for you if you are a food lover always looking to try out new recipes. You can add dried fruits to your granola recipe, your cookie, pancake, muffins and waffle mix, yogurt, cereals, and cocktails, and you can always check out new recipes on the internet or just come up with your own unique recipes.
Long Term Storage
Dehydration is a great way to preserve fruits when you have them in excess. If you happen to stumble on a fruit sale or you have a garden in your backyard, and you end up with more fruits than you need, then you should dehydrate to extend their shelf life instead of having to throw them away.
Continuous access to seasonal fruits
One benefit of dehydrating fruits is that you can continue to enjoy them even when they are out of season. Fruits like mangoes are seasonal and soon become scarce or unavailable at the end of their season. This also means that you would probably have to buy them at a high price since they will no longer readily available. But you can save yourself the additional expenses by dehydrating your fruits and storing them so that you have continuous access to them after they are gone.
Why you should dehydrate your fruits by yourself using a dehydrator
Dehydrated fruits are readily available in stores, but it is best to dehydrate them yourself for the following reasons:
Many of the dehydrated fruits offered for sale have artificial sugar and other additives in them. This is not only unhealthy; it can also be bothersome for people who like to watch what they eat. Dehydrating your own fruits makes them safe for you since you are doing the process yourself and can be sure there are no additives present.
You will end up saving more money when you buy a dehydrator to dehydrate your food items because dehydrated foods cost more in stores. And while single purchases can be inexpensive and convenient, you will end up raking up more expenses in the long run than you would, dehydrating your foods yourself.
Quick and easy
Dehydrating with a food dehydrator is naturally preferred because it is the fastest and easiest way to dry your foods. Most dehydrators have automatic timers so, you do not even have to hang around throughout the entire dehydration process. You can prepare your fruits and have them dehydrated in various easy and quick steps and go on with other activities while they dry in the dehydrator machine.
Comparison table of the best fruits to dehydrate
|Recommended Temperature for Dehydration||135° 2-7 hours or until completely dry||135° until crispy or leathery (usually 6-8 hours)||135° until completely dry (usually 7-15 hours)||135° until it is pliable (usually 8-12 hours)||120 to 140ºF until completely dry|
|Expected Shelf Life After Dehydration||Up to 2 years with proper storage||6-12 months in room temperature. 12-18 months in the freezer.||12-18 months with proper storage||6-12 months with proper storage||6-12 months with proper storage|
|Dehydration Benefits||Orange tea & healthy snacks||Healthy snacks & may help fight nicotine addiction||Tasty and healthy snack Very rich in antioxidants||Healthy snacks & recipe variety||Healthy snacks Helps digestion, good toppings for cereals, yogurt, and other foods|
Oranges are very easy to dehydrate because all you need along with your cutting tools, and the dehydrator is your oranges. They are also tasty and can be enjoyed as snacks or added to your food and drink recipes. It is best to use seedless oranges because if your orange has seeds, then you will have to take them out before dehydrating.
Benefits of dehydrated oranges
- Dehydrated oranges can be used to make orange tea.
- They are healthy snacks.
- They can be grounded into powder and used as food flavors.
- They make good garnishes for food and drinks.
How to dehydrate oranges
- Rinse your oranges properly
- Cut oranges with a sharp knife or mandolin into slices that are about ⅛” to ¼” thick
- Arrange your slices properly on your drying trays without them touching each other
- Place in dehydrator and dry under a temperature of 135° until they are dried.
- Allow dehydrated oranges to cool completely.
- Store in air-tight containers and keep refrigerated or in cool, dark areas.
Apples are also one of the easiest fruits to dehydrate, and they make great fruit snacks you can enjoy and benefit from. One important thing you should know about dehydrating apples is that apples tend to change color upon exposure to oxidation. Oxidation, in turn, will reduce the nutritional benefits of your apples. You can choose to place apples in the dehydrator immediately to minimize oxidation or preferably pretreat your apples by putting in lemon juice or ascorbic acid mixture before dehydrating.
Benefits of Dehydrated Apples
- They are easy to dehydrate and tasty.
- Can be eaten dehydrated as snacks
- They are a good source of fiber.
- They offer a variety of other food recipes like adding to cookie mixes and sautéing with vegetables.
How to Dehydrate Apples
- Rinse apples properly to get rid of dirt and germs.
- Slice apples into rounds of about ¼ to ⅜ inch thick
- Soak in citrus water for about 10 minutes to prevent oxidation
- Dehydrate at a temperature of 135° until it is pliable
- Allow dehydrated apples to cool.
- Store in air-tight containers.
Note that drying at a lesser temperature would mean keeping apples in a dehydrator for long periods. It is, however, not advisable to dry in hotter temperatures because heat destroys nutrients in foods.
Bananas are another easy fruit to dehydrate and enjoy as a snack. They are suitable for kids because they are high in carbohydrates and will provide them with all the energy they need. You also need to have them soaked in a citrus solution to prevent browning before you can dehydrate. You should also remember that ripe bananas are naturally tastier than unripe ones.
Benefits of Dehydrated Bananas
- They are healthy snacks, especially for children.
- They contain nutrients like magnesium and potassium that can help fight nicotine addiction.
How to dehydrate bananas
- Peel bananas
- Cut into discs about ⅛ to ¼ thick.
- Soak in citrus solution for about 10 minutes to prevent browning
- Arrange them on your drying trays, and dehydrate at 135 ° for about 6 hours or more, until crispy and leathery.
- Allow dehydrated bananas to cool down.
- Store in air-tight containers, refrigerate or keep in cool and dark areas.
Mango is another tasty fruit you can dehydrate to serve as a healthy snack. Aside from serving as fruit candy, it is also very rich in antioxidants and will offer lots of benefits to your health. Mangoes are also very easy to dehydrate as they do not require much work.
Benefits of dehydrated mangoes
- Yummy healthy snacks, especially for kids, can serve as a replacement for candy.
- It is very beneficial to health.
- Consumption is beneficial for skin rejuvenation and improvement.
How to dehydrate mangoes
- You can dehydrate mangoes with a dehydrator in the following easy steps:
- Wash your mangoes properly
- Peel off the flesh and cut into slices about ¼ inch thick
- Place on your drying tray and dehydrate at 135° until completely dry.
- Allow dehydrated mangoes to cool completely.
- Store in air-tight containers and keep in the freezer or cool and dark areas
Dehydrating Grapes into Raisins
Raisins are delicious snacks and additives to improve the flavor of your food. Buying raisins from stores can be expensive, and this makes it a good thing that you can make your own raisins with grapes with your dehydrator. It is best to use seedless grapes for your raisins, but you can produce good raisins with all kinds of grapes.
Benefits of Raisins
- They make healthy snacks
- They can be used as toppings for yogurt, cereals, and other foods.
- They aid quick digestion.
- High in copper, iron, and vitamins that can prevent anemia
How to dehydrate grapes into raisins
- Wash your grapes properly and remove any spoiled ones
- Strain in a colander
- Boil some water and soak your grapes in it for blanching, just long enough to soften the skin.
- Strain once again in a colander
- Place your grapes in your drying tray.
- Place in a dehydrator and dehydrate at a temperature of about 120-140ºF until completely dry.
- Allow raisins to cool.
- Store in air-tight containers and keep refrigerated or in dark and cool areas.
Making Fruit Rolls with food Dehydrator
Fruit rolls are also referred to as fruit leathers and are the best options for overripe fruits so that you do not have to throw them away. But you can make fruit rolls even with just-ripe fruits, as all you need to do is have it blended before setting out on your drying sheets to be dehydrated.
Benefits of fruit rolls
- A healthy and fun snack
- Great way to utilize overripe fruits
- Allows a combination of fruits
- Can be used for cake, cookies, and ice cream recipes
How to make fruit rolls
You can make delicious fruit rolls in these easy steps:
- Clean your fruits thoroughly
- Blend fruits in a processor into a puree
- Cook for about 10 minutes until the puree is thick
- Stretch out on your fruit roll sheet about ¼ inch thick and place in dehydrator
- Dehydrate at a temperature of about 135° until its tacky or leathery
- Allow to cool down completely.
- Roll up and store in air-tight containers
Note that fruit rolls should be kept in air-tight containers and must be stored in freezers to achieve a longer duration of storage or, they will only last for about 1 month.
Fruits that should not be dehydrated for storage
While you can dehydrate almost all fruits, some will not fare well with dehydration methods and should be preserved using other options. Some of such fruits include:
Whatever you do, you should avoid dehydrating avocados for storage because not only will they take a long time to dry, they contain high-fat levels and will go stale soon after drying. Dehydrated avocados can serve as snacks, but avocados are better frozen for storage.
Factors to consider when choosing fruits to dehydrate
While there is hardly any fruit you cannot dehydrate, there are some factors you must consider before you choose fruits you want to hydrate. This is because some fruits are nicer to dehydrate while others are best preserved using other means. Considering certain factors will help you choose the best fruits you can enjoy and prevent waste of time, energy, and resources. Some of these factors are:
Consider the purpose for which you are dehydrating fruit and other possible options that are available for use. This can help you consider whether to go on with it and what quantity you should dry.
Your purpose will ultimately determine whether or not you are dehydrating a particular kind of fruit, but you should also consider the dehydrating process involved. Some fruits dry faster than others, and some will have to be cut into thinner slices to achieve the level of dehydration you want. If you are dehydrating apples, then you should try to pretreat them to safeguard against the effects of oxidation upon exposure to air. Knowing the dehydration process for your choice of fruits can help you get the best results from the process.
If you are dehydrating fruits as snacks, then you should know that some fruits are tastier than others after dehydration. This is a relevant factor to consider, especially if you are making them as snacks for children. Overripe bananas and apples are very tasty options kids will love when dehydrated.
Recommended tools for fruit dehydration
The most relevant tool for dehydration is your dehydrator. If you do not have one and you are planning to dehydrate fruits on your own, then you should get one. Fruits are among the easiest foods to dehydrate so, you don’t have to spend a fortune on buying a good dehydrator. Here are some great recommendations that can help guide your purchase:
You will need to slice some fruits before you can dehydrate them. You can use a sharp knife for this purpose, but a preferred alternative for more even-cuts is to get a fruit slicer. You can consider the following options if you would like to get one along with your dehydrator.
Fruit Roll Sheets
Fruit roll sheets are great for making fruit rolls or leathers. This process is basically dehydrating fruit pulps until they are completely dried or leathery. Many dehydrators come with roll sheets for drying fruit rolls but, if you do not have one with your dehydrator, they are readily available on Amazon, and you may consider buying them alongside other dehydrating tools.
- Silicone Dehydrator Sheets, Non-stick Food Fruit Dehydrator Mats
- 4Pcs Kitchen Non-Stick Silicone Dehydrator Sheets For Fruit Dryer
Frequently Asked Questions on the best fruits to dehydrate
Are dried fruits as healthy as fresh fruits?
Fresh fruits are preferred over dried fruits because they offer more hydration. Dried fruits are great snack alternatives and perfect for hikes and long trips, but they can cause weight gain if they are not consumed in moderation. It is best to incorporate dried and fresh fruits in your diet as required.
Can dried fruits be eating on an empty stomach?
There are no rules against consuming dried fruits on an empty stomach, but citrus fruits should be taken with caution because they can cause acidity when eaten on an empty stomach.
How do I store dehydrated fruits?
Dehydrated fruits are best stored in air-tight containers. Refrigerating will extend the shelf life of your dried fruits, but if you are not keeping them in the fridge, then you must ensure they are stored in cool and dark areas.
How do I know when my fruits have been dehydrated?
You should dehydrate your fruits until you do not get any moisture when you pinch them. But, it is advised that you check the containers in which they are stored after some time for condensation. If you find any condensation in the air-tight containers, then you should put them back in the dehydrator to dry.
Can I dehydrate different kinds of fruits at the same time?
Yes, you can. Fruits generally dehydrate at a temperature of 135°, and this means you won’t have a problem combining fruits in your dehydrator as long as you monitor the drying process. Also, dehydrating different fruits are the same time is not likely to compromise the smell of your fruits since fruits do not usually have a permeating smell.
What is blanching?
Blanching is the process of soaking fruits or foods in hot water or oil for a specific period. It is mostly but not always done before cooking such foods for several reasons. Blanching grapes before dehydration is a great way of softening the skin so that it can give way for the moisture to be sucked out of it during the dehydration process. It also allows for a faster dehydration process.
Dehydrating fruits comes with a lot of benefits and exposes you to several options to spice up your diet in a healthy way. And while you can get already dehydrated fruits from the stores, it is more beneficial to buy fresh fruits and have them dried in your own home. Fruits are easy to dehydrate, tasty to enjoy, and provides you with lots of health benefits. There is really nothing to stop you from enjoying the goodness that comes with dehydrated fruits with your loved ones.
- Dehydrating Fruit Backpacking Chef
- Dehydrated Oranges (Dehydrator and oven directions) Hilda’s kitchen blog
- Drying fruit leathers National Center for home food preservation
- Ten surprising benefits of dried fruits and nuts First Cry Parenting