Learning How to Dehydrate Fruit is Easy

Once you know how to dehydrate fruit and have a good fruit leather recipe, a whole delicious, fun, easy, nutritious way of preserving opens up for you!

There are a few methods to dehydrate fruit. However, investing in and using a food dehydrator will result in perfectly dried, delicious and nutritous fruit every time. Knowing how to dehydrate fruit is very simple. A little know how and tips and you will be on your way!

Tips on How to Dehydrate Fruit

  • Choose mature, ripe fruit to dry. Overripe fruit is good to puree for fruit leathers, but not to dry alone. See fruit leather recipe below.
  • Peel the fruits or leave the skins on if you prefer. If you dry fruits with the skins on be sure to wash them thoroughly to remove any waxes or sprays. Trim to remove any soft or bruised parts.
  • Slice the fruits to about ¼ of an inch thick. Small, fleshy fruits like apricots, plums (remove the pits first) and grapes etc., can be either halved or quartered. Flatten the fruits so that there is more exposed surface to dehydrate. The larger the cut surface, the faster the food will dry.
  • Place your cut and prepared fruits in a single layer onto the dehydrator trays. Set your dehydrator at the highest setting, about 145º F, for no more than 2 hours, then reduce the temperature to 105º F and finish drying. This two-step drying method explained in more detail on my page Excalibur dehydrators. Using this drying method will both preserve the important enzymes and significantly cut down on your drying time. If you cannot turn the temperature down, set your dehydrator between 105º and 110º F.
  • Dry a batch of fruit before adding more fruit. The moisture of the fresh fruit will cause the partially dried fruit to reabsorb some of the moisture. Feel free to dry several kinds of fruit together.
  • Dry until the desired texture is reached and there is no visible moisture. If the fruit is not dry enough it will develop mold and spoil. The dried fruit should be either crispy or chewy depending on your personal preferences. When the fruit is dry enough, cool it to room temperature before storing.I store my dried fruit in the freezer in airtight containers.

How to Dehydrate Fruit - Optional Pretreatment

Although most fruits dry very well, others discolor during the drying process so you may consider to pre-treat them. A totally natural way to prepare your fruits is to first dip them in an acidic fruit juice dip such as pineapple, lemon or lime juice.

Stir 1 cup of lemon or lime juice into a quart of filtered, room temperature water. Submerge the fruit into this water for a few minutes, then drain well on an absorbent towel before putting the fruit into the drying trays.

Some of the fruits recommended for this optional pretreatment are: Apples, apricots, bananas, nectarines peaches and pears.

How to Dehydrate Fruit to Make Fruit Leather

A discussion on how to dehydrate fruit should not leave out the delicious, easy and yummy directions for making fruit leather. Just about any fruit can be made into delicious fruit leather. In fact, some fruits such as berries, which are not suitable for dehydration in traditional ways, are excellent for fruit leathers. This fruit leather recipe is a general guide to get you started. The directions are full of tips for you to learn how to dehydrate fruit and make fruit leathers successfully.

Tutti-Fruiti Fruit Leather Recipe

Ingredients:

2 bananas

2 apples, cored not peeled

1 bag of cranberries (14 to 16 oz size)

1 quart of homemade raw yogurt or kefir (The presence of the yogurt or kefir is to stretch the fruit.)

¼ cup of raw honey

½ teaspoon of cinnamon

Directions:

Blend all of the ingredients thoroughly in a blender; you may have to do two batches.

Spoon onto lined dehydrator sheets.

Tilt each dehydrator tray gently and shake to evenly spread the mixture. To make small, individual fruit leathers, drop tablespoon size amounts onto the dehydrator tray liners.

Dehydrate at the highest setting, approximately 145º F, for no more than 2 hours, then turn the temperature setting to 105º F until the fruit leathers are dry enough to be removed from the liners.

Once the fruit leather is dry enough to be removed from the dehydrator sheets, carefully peel the leather off the dehydrator sheets, remove the sheets and finish drying the leathers at 105º F on the mesh dehydrator trays alone.

Easy Berry Fruit Leather Recipe

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup of mixed fresh or frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, pitted cherries, strawberries, etc.)

Raw sweetener to taste

Directions:

Process all the berries and sweetener in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour onto dehydrator sheets. Dehydrate at 145º F for no more than 2 hours then turn the dehydrator setting to 105º F and continue to dehydrate until dry to the touch and chewy.

Fruit Leather Recipe Tips

  • Fruits that are good to make leathers with include most berries (which do not dehydrate well since they tend to shrivel) and most other fruits and fruit combination.
  • All you have to remember when making fruit leathers is to blend all of your fruits together, add a raw sweeter such as honey or agave syrup to taste, a yogurt product if desired, and dry.
  • Be careful that you do not over-dry your leathers. You can get them too dry and they will become crispy, not chewy.

Now that you know how to dehydrate fruit, here are some other dehydrator pages you may enjoy:

How to Dehydrate Food

Best Food Dehydrator

How to Dehydrate Vegetables

Dehydrator Recipes


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