If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to grocery store snacks for your family, dehydrating fruit is a great way to go. Because fruit is typically sweet, kids will love it and they’ll be eating something good for them. Dehydrating fruit will also help you save money. If you buy dehydrated fruit in the store it’s expensive and typically has unhealthy additives, preservatives, and added sugar. Plus, now you don’t have to throw away fruit that doesn’t get eaten. Just dehydrate it. Here’s how to dehydrate fruit for a healthy snack.
How Healthy is Dehydrated Fruit,
and What About the Sugar?
Dehydrated or dried fruit is higher in fiber than fresh fruit. As well, the process of dehydration seems to make the antioxidant content more concentrated and therefore, effective. It is true that drying fruit reduces the amount of water-soluble vitamins like B and C.
The biggest criticism of dehydrated fruit, however, is sugar content. It's not that there's more sugar in dried fruit than in fresh fruit. It's that there's more sugar and calories per ounce as it is concentrated. A 1/4 cup of dehydrated fruit is equal to 1 cup of fresh fruit. So the consumption of dehydrated fruit should be moderate. This is especially true for diabetics and obese people. And, for people that don't exercise to burn off calories.
Having said the above, dehydrated or dried fruit is the healthiest snack you can provide for yourself and your family as long as you do not overindulge.
Dehydrated Fruit Stores Very Well
Another money-saving feature of dehydrated fruit is that it stores well and literally lasts for years. Once dehydrated, place in an airtight bag or container and store in a cool, dry place. Dehydrated fruit is great to have for school and work snacks, hikes, outings, and road trips. Or, as simply a healthy snack for watching TV. If you live in an earthquake or hurricane zone it’s also great for your emergency kit.
If you have a chronic condition or just want to feel your best each day...
Get Yourself a Good Dehydrator
First off, you need a dehydrator. Yes, you can dehydrate fruit in the oven. But an oven just won’t give you the same result and may dehydrate unevenly. Plus, operating your oven for the hours it takes for the dehydration process may end up costing you more on your utility bill. Get yourself a good dehydrator. After doing my research I chose the Emeril Lagasse Power AirFryer 360. The biggest reasons are quality and versatility. This machine doe so much more than just dehydrate food.
The Emeril Lagasse Power AirFryer 360 is a:
- Air Fryer
- Rotisserie (up to a 10 lb chicken)
- Pizza Oven (up to a 12” pizza)
- Slow Cooker
I recommend that you become an Amazon Prime member so you can get some great deals and receive your purchases the next day. If you don’t yet have a dehydrator go to Amazon and order one now. You can have it tomorrow!
Let’s Talk Fruit
Assuming you have your dehydrator lets talk fruit. I’m a big fan of buying locally grown organic fruit. It’s typically better for you than fruit bought in the grocery store without the pesticides and wax. Plus, you’re supporting local farmers and reducing the carbon footprint by not buying fruit flown in from halfway around the world. And, it’s way less expensive. Not by a little bit. It’s WAY cheaper than the grocery store.
You can dehydrate just about any fruit. Some will come out better than others. And, of course, it’s up to you and your family's taste as to what fruit you like to eat best. You’ll see in these videos below that I show you how I prepped and dehydrated apples, mangos, kiwi, and grapefruit. I also dehydrated strawberries not shown in the video. Bananas are a great option too. But you can experiment with just about any fruit. Then you can also try vegetables like broccoli. Don’t be afraid to add seasonings if you like. If you and your family like cinnamon, try it on apples and bananas by applying a light sprinkle before your fruit goes into the dehydrator.
Dehydrating fruit takes time. It’s a slow process. Typically, depending on your dehydrator, it will take 6 hours or more. And, the dehydrator makes noise. If your kitchen is near other areas of the house where the noise may bother you or your family, consider dehydrating during the day when you’re at work. Or, dehydrate at night while you’re in bed. I sometimes bring the dehydrator out onto our covered patio if I’m going to dehydrate during the day. Dehydrators are typically not large, and they don’t weigh a lot. So, moving them around is not a problem.
How to Dehydrate Fruit
Check out this recipe I made for you. It’s a very simple process. Note that you’ll need a corer, peeler, cutting board, and sharp knife as well as a dehydrator.
- Food dehydrator
- Cutting Board
- Sharp Knife
- 2 ea Apples of your choice
- 2 ea Mangos
- 4 ea Kiwis
- 2 ea Grapefruit
- 20 ea Strawberries
- Use locally grown, organic fruit if possible and wash
- If not organically grown, wash fruit preferably in vinegar and water to remove wax and pesticides
- Cut the fruit of your choice into 1/8 inch slices. Grapefruit will be difficult to slice. Use wedges or partially freeze first and then slice.
- Remove core, seeds, stems as needed
- Place the fruit into the dehydrator trays and/or racks.
- Set the temperature at approximately 125 degrees. The temperature will depend on your dehydrator so some experimenting might be required.
- Set the dehydrator for 6 hours. However, follow the instructions that come with your dehydrator.
- Store in a sealed container in a cool, dry area at room temperature. Dehydrated fruit stored properly can last for years. If you live in an earthquake or hurricane-prone area it's great for your emergency kit.
Have Fun With It!
Now that you’ve learned how to dehydrate fruit for a healthy snack, have fun with it! Be sure to sign up for our Sunday Morning Coffee Emails. Among other fun and informative topics, we add a new recipe every week. Thanks for stopping by!