Today I’ve got something really important to share…
A Complete Guide To Dehydrating Fruit For Long Term Storage & Snacks
Because dehydrating fruit is an ideal way to store some nutritious snacks without relying on your freezer.
Fortunately, the process of dehydrating fruit is fairly straightforward:
- How To Dehydrate Fruit 101
- The Ideal Dehydrating Temperature
- It’s ALL About Proper Preparation
- How To Know When It’s Done
- A Few Extra Dehydrating Tips
- Factors That Can Affect Results
- 3 Common Dehydration Myths
Ideally, dehydrating fruit should be performed during the peak season for your target fruit.
That means you’ll dehydrate different fruits at different times of the year.
For instance, oranges, strawberries, and apricots have different peak seasons.
This is good news to me, as I enjoy different peak fruits throughout the year.
↓ How To Dehydrate Fruit
A good dehydrating fruit temperature is roughly 125 – 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
Any temperature above this range will cause the skin of some fruits to become very hard or crusty.
This hardened layer then creates a barrier and prevents the insides of the fruit from drying properly.
So it’s recommended that you remember that dehydration is a slow process.
It takes time and should not be rushed.
↓ How To Get Started Dehydrating Fruit
Preparation is key to successful dehydration.
First, slice the fruit carefully. The thickness of the slices affects the results.
If slices are too thick, they may not achieve full dehydration, no matter how long you leave them in the dehydrator.
Plus, you will need to increase the drying time for thicker fruits.
The thinner the slices of the fruits being dried, the quicker will be the drying time.
thick thin you want your fruit to be; keep them as consistent as possible.
The thickness consistency of individual slices will provide uniform drying of that specific fruit piece.
And consistency between fruit slices allows the entire batch to dry evenly.
To get nearly perfect consistency, I recommend a good Madeline slicer.
A slicer such as this makes the dehydrating prep work a breeze.
Once my fruit is sliced properly, I like to run cold water over the slices for several seconds.
This helps remove any slight lumps and makes the surface a bit smoother.
You should spray the slices with lemon juice, such as apples, strawberries, and bananas.
There are two different reasons why lemon juice is sprayed:
- To prevent the fruits from ugly browning
- To avoid bacterial growth while in the drying process
Now take all the fruit slices and lay them out on the drying rack.
You don’t want any overlap (this will negatively affect the drying process).
↓ How To Pretreat Fruit For Dehydrating
Now that you’ve prepped your fruit slices, it’s time to put them into your dehydrator.
Use the 125 – 135 degrees Fahrenheit temperature range and these approximate drying times, to help get you started:
- Apples – 7 – 15 hours
- Bananas – 6 – 10 hours
- Cherries – 13 – 21 hours
- Cranberries – 10 – 12 hours
- Grapes – 22 – 30 hours
- Kiwi – 7 – 15 hours
- Pineapple – 10 – 18 hours
- Strawberries – 7 – 15 hours
These ranges are quite wide.
But that’s because each dehydrator, location, and fruit will differ for everyone.
↓ Recommended Dehydrating Temperatures
You can safely set it and forget it until you reach the lower end of the time range.
At that point, you’ll want to check up on the slices periodically.
So when are they “done”?
It’s a personal preference.
The dryer the fruit is, the longer it will last in storage.
So if building your food stockpile is your main objective, then the dehydrated fruit should be drier, harder, and crisp.
If you plan to eat the fruit or add it to a party mix for the upcoming weekend, you might want to take them off when they still have a little moisture left.Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.
Choose mature fruits.
They tend to have higher nutritional value and are rich in sugars.
But, avoid ones that have bruises or are overripe.
Before drying fruit, you have to wash and rinse it properly.
You’ll want to remove any wax or pesticides on the fruit.
Cut the fruits into small pieces for the best results.
About 1/8 of an inch is what I recommend.
Expect the fruits to be pliable when done.
You can easily bend or tear it apart but do not expect it to snap.
The model of the food dehydrator can sometimes affect the results.
Older models might not give you the outcome you prefer.
Newer models are equipped with extra features that give you more control which might improve your overall results.
Humidity will most definitely affect your results.
High humidity will extend the drying time, while low humidity will reduce it.
Amount of fruit slices in the dehydrator
Not all dehydrators are capable of lots of fruit.
Do not be tempted to cram more slices in than what you’re dehydrator is designed for…
The lower the temperature, the longer it will take.
Some people recommend using a reduced temperature range of 105-110 degrees to help preserve more of the fruit’s natural nutrients and enzymes.
The Nature of the Fruit
All fruits and different varieties of fruits will dry a little bit differently.
More Than One Kind Of Fruit
Mixing and matching different fruits within the dehydrator will create unique flavors.
Give it a try.
Adding dehydrated fruit to your family’s emergency food stockpile is easy and smart.
Before we jump into more tips and tricks, you got to separate fact from fiction!
Myth 1. “Dehydrating fruit destroys all the nutrients!”
Sure, dehydrating does cause some loss in nutrients like vitamin C, but truth be told, it’s no worse than cooking them on a hot skillet.
Plus, them minerals and fiber, they hang on tight even after the dehydration dance.
So don’t go fretting ’bout losing all them goodies – your dried fruit still packs a punch.
Myth 2. “You need one of them fancy dehydrators to get the job done right.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, dehydrators are fine machines.
But a good oven on low heat or even the power of the sun can work some magic on fruit.
It might take a tad longer, but hey, good things come to those who wait.
Myth 3. “Dehydrated fruit’s just candy in disguise, loaded with sugars.”
Sure, while drying does concentrate the natural sugars, it’s still natural sugars.
You’re still getting the goodness of real fruit, minus the preservatives and unnatural sweeteners.
Just remember, moderation’s the name of the game, no matter what’s in the food.
Just follow the directions, and you’ll have a nice stash of fruit for short-term or long-term survival scenarios.
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