Ever want to learn to dry your own fruit? Mary shows us how! Right now, there are so many delicious fruits available and many are going on sale for super cheap! If you’re like me, you like to stock up on them when they are on sale. If you’re tired of eating them fresh or making jams and jellies, I have the perfect solution for you!
Use your oven to dry them and have them on hand for healthy snacks. When dried correctly, the fruit will keep in an air tight container for one month, or you can freeze it and it will keep for up to six months!
I started with 1 apple, 1 pineapple, 1 banana and 10 strawberries.
Choose your families favorite fruits, or those that are in season. I’ve chosen strawberries, pineapple, apples and bananas.
Fresh squeezed lemon juice (to prevent browning)
(1) Wash fruit and remove any stickers that may be on them.
(2) Set oven to 200 degrees or lowest setting.
(3) Decide whether you want the skin on or off. Peel fruits that you don’t want to eat the skin of. I will be leaving the skin on my apples, as it is high in fiber and you can’t even tell the skin is on once it’s dried!
(4) Using a mandolin slicer, or a sharp knife, cut the fruit in to thin slices. The thinner the slice, the faster it dries! For fruits like strawberries and pineapple, you may want to cut them in chunks. I set my mandolin for setting number 2.
(5)Place fruit on cookie sheet, making sure none is overlapping. If you have wire racks, you can place the racks on the cookie sheets and put fruit on top of it. This prevents you from having to turn the fruit halfway through. If you lay your fruit on the cookie sheet, be sure to turn it over frequently to allow proper drying on both sides.
(6) Squeeze lemon juice over top of fruit. It will cook off, but helps prevent fruit from getting overly brown.
(7) Drying times will vary, but here are the times for my fruit. Make sure to keep a close eye on your fruit so that you don’t over dry it!
Bananas- 1 1/2 hours
Strawberries- 1 1/2 hours
Apple Rings- 2 1/2 hours
Pineapples- 3 1/2 hours
After you’ve dried them, what can you do with them?
Serve them in place of the current “fruit” chews you purchase for your kids. Measure out a fourth of a cup in small, snack size Ziploc bags and have them in the pantry ready to go the next time you hear “Mom, I’m hungry!”
Everyone has those bags of cereal in the pantry with just a handful left. Throw all the little bits of cereal in a large Ziploc bag, add in some of your freshly dried fruit and voila, you’ve got a fairly healthy trail mix! Bonus is, you finally use up those tiny bits of cereal hanging around in the pantry.
Use the fruit in your morning cereal or on top of low fat yogurt!
Calories in 1/4 cup of each dried fruit:
Strawberries- 46 calories
Apple Rings- 78 calories
Pineapples- 140 calories
What fruit are you excited about trying to dry?