Why dehydrated fruits?
- No more filling up your organic bin with wasted overripe fruits as they can now be rescued and converted into your own dehydrated stash of garnishes and healthy snacks.
- Buy fresh fruit in bulk for a much cheaper price from your local farmer's market or produce store and use it to create your own dehydrated fruits.
Whilst dehydrated fruits are no substitute for wholesome whole foods in your daily diet, they’re still packed with a heap of nutrients and stacks of flavor, making them a great addition to drinks, breakfast bowls, or as a healthy, all-natural snack for the whole family.
When it comes to making your own dehydrated fruits, there’s almost no fruit that’s off-limits!
So, what are the different types of dehydrated fruits and their benefits? Read on to find out.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF DEHYDRATED FRUITS & THE BENEFITS
1. DEHYDRATED ORANGES/BLOOD ORANGES
With a high vitamin C content and a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants, dehydrated oranges deliver a variety of health benefits as well as a sweet, zesty flavor. Being that dehydrated fruits retain their nutritional value much longer than fresh produce, dehydrated oranges are a great snack to pack whilst out camping or hiking or even to enjoy daily. Not only do they provide anti-inflammatory benefits, but they also support the immune system and help to rebuild bone and tissue.
Any type of orange is perfect to use for dehydration, but keep in mind that during the dehydration process the flavor is intensified so the sweeter the orange, the sweeter the flavor! A great garnish for cocktails, drinks, platters, and charcuterie boards, dehydrated oranges can be great decorations for Christmas—added to wreaths, Christmas trees, or table decorations—or as a finishing touch to baked cakes or cupcakes.
Some other uses for dehydrated oranges include:-
- Use in hot tea, water, champagne, or spirits for added flavor.
- Dip half in chocolate and sprinkle with sea salt for a sweet treat.
- Add to oats, smoothie bowls, and breakfast cereal.
- Place slices on chicken or fish when roasting or baking.
- Make your own at-home potpourri or citrus bath infusion.
2. DEHYDRATED LIMES
Much like oranges, dehydrated limes are filled with vitamins and minerals that deliver multiple health benefits to the body. A great source of antioxidants and vitamin C, dehydrated limes are low in calories, strengthen immunity, improve digestive health, boost skin health and provide anti-inflammatory benefits. They’re also rich in potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and support overall heart health, and they contain vitamin D which strengthens bones and muscle tissue—talk about wonder fruit!
Delivering a sweetly sour flavor, dehydrated limes are a great decoration for cakes, ice cream, muffins, and cupcakes, and make the perfect garnish for cocktails—think margaritas! Do remember that limes change in color significantly when dehydrated, often darkening as the natural sugars in the fruit brown from the temperature. We will look at the dehydration process in more detail later, but this is important to know if you’re using them for decorative purposes and were hoping for that lime-green color.
Other ways to use dehydrated limes include:-
- Added flavor for chicken or fish.
- A garnish for various cocktails and drinks, including sparkling water.
- Use for potpourri or decoration in clear jars or canisters.
- Add to a hot bath for citrus-infused water.
- Chop and add to soups and stews for incredible flavor.
3. DEHYDRATED LEMONS
Dehydrated lemons are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, and are considered one of the best sources of vitamin C, helping to fight against damaging free radicals and protect the body against illness and disease. They’re rich in fiber and low in fat and can support everything from heart and digestive health to assisting with weight loss and boosting hydration.
Like other citrus fruits, dehydrated lemons make a great decorative feature in jars and canisters, or on various Christmas decorations, including wreaths or even tied onto gift wrapping, but as with limes, be mindful that dehydrating will change the color of sliced lemons from a bright yellow to a darker, orangey tone. Dehydrate a bunch of lemons, limes, and oranges and combine them to create your own pouches or jars of dried drink garnishes as gifts for friends, or the dedicated bartender in the family! Whilst it may not be your favorite thing to eat fresh lemon slices, dehydrated lemons provide that same intense citrus flavor, making them a great addition to soups, stews, teas, and hot water.
The uses for dehydrated lemons are endless—here are a few more suggestions.
- Decorate cakes, muffins, cupcakes, and slices.
- Use to flavor fish and chicken dishes.
- Perfect for a cocktail, drink, or ice cream garnish.
- Add to tea, hot water, or fresh/sparkling water for added flavor
- Make lemonade
4. DEHYDRATED GRAPEFRUIT
Grapefruit is one of the most forgiving citrus fruits when it comes to the dehydration process. Unlike its citrus sisters, lemons, and limes, grapefruit maintains most of that lovely pinky/orangey coloring when dehydrated and delivers a sweet, tangy flavor too. Filled with nutrients and antioxidants, dehydrated grapefruit is high in vitamins A and B and also rich in potassium, folate, and magnesium, providing a heap of health benefits to the mind and body. Some of the health benefits of dehydrated grapefruit include improving heart health, supporting weight loss and appetite control, and protecting the body against illness and disease.
As with other citrus fruits, dehydrated grapefruit can be enjoyed and used in various ways. Whether it be as a garnish for a drink or dish, as a healthy snack, or as a decorative touch at your home or business, dehydrated grapefruit adds a tropical touch to almost anything!
See below for our favorite suggestions.
- Flavor your favorite cocktails or use as a garnish—think Paloma, Grapefruit Mojitos, or Margaritas.
- Add to hot teas such as green tea for added flavor.
- Use in salads and various sauces.
- Decorate desserts and sweet dishes.
- Use to flavor fish or chicken dishes.
- Make potpourri or use as decoration in clear jars and canisters with other citrus fruit.
1. DEHYDRATED BLUEBERRIES
Dehydrated blueberries deliver a tonne of health benefits and are super tasty too, making them a perfect choice to snack on when traveling or to keep you going throughout a busy day. Most of us know that fresh blueberries are filled with stacks of nutrients that support optimal health and well-being, and the great thing is that the dehydrated version contains the same! During the dehydration process, the water content is removed, but the vitamins, minerals, and rich sources of antioxidants remain. Being that blueberries are so small in size, you can dehydrate them whole, but the skin will need to be broken to ensure effective dehydration. This can be done either by blanching or cutting or poking with a knife or skewer.
Dehydrated blueberries contain exceptionally high levels of antioxidants, which help to fight off damaging free radicals that cause illness and disease, and they’re also a rich source of calcium and fiber which help to strengthen bones and support a healthy digestive system. Dehydrated blueberries also help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, support blood and heart health, reduce signs of aging and promote positive brain function and mental health—there’s a reason why they’re considered a superfood!
Super low in fat and calories, dehydrated blueberries can be used in various ways—see our suggestions below.
- A delicious addition to morning oats, granola, yogurt, and smoothies.
- Can be mixed with various nuts and other dehydrated fruits to create your own trail mix.
- Use in baked goods such as cakes, muffins, or even pancakes.
- Mix through salads for a hit of sweetness.
- Make delicious fruit wraps (more on this later).
To speed up the dehydration process, the skin of blueberries should be broken prior to dehydration. You can do this by either piercing the skin of each blueberry with a sharp knife, blanching so the skin splits, or cutting them in half or even quarters—this will not only enable them to dry quicker but will result in a crispier finished product.
2. DEHYDRATED STRAWBERRIES
Like most other berries, fresh strawberries have a particularly short shelf life and are unfortunately not a fruit that you can enjoy all year round as their quality and flavor varies greatly when they’re out of season. Dehydrating strawberries is a great option if you can’t get enough of this sweet fruit, as it preserves both the nutrients and taste, and you can store and use for up to 6 months, providing all the moisture has been removed during the dehydration process. To prep for dehydration, remove the green stems and slice across the strawberries to ½ cm thickness. This will allow them to dry quicker and more evenly.
Dehydrated strawberries provide significant health benefits and are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. They’re also low in calories, free of fats and cholesterol, and retain their nutrient value once dehydrated. Dehydrated strawberries help to lower cholesterol, boost immunity, act as an anti-inflammatory, promote heart health, and support healthy bowel function, plus they help to keep you feeling fuller for longer—preventing unhealthy snacking between meals. Being that dehydrated strawberries are also a good source of natural carbohydrates, they’re great to consume pre or post-exercise as they provide you with the energy needed to get through your workout or refuel after an intense session.
See below for our suggestions on how to incorporate dehydrated strawberries into your diet.
- Add to morning oats, yogurt, granola, or cereal for some sweet flavor.
- Mix with nuts for a homemade trail mix.
- Blend into your morning smoothie.
- Use as a garnish on various cakes and desserts, either whole, sliced, or crushed.
- Add to glasses of champagne or as a garnish in various cocktails.
- Mix through salads for added sweetness.
- Dip in chocolate for a sweet treat.
3. DEHYDRATED RASPBERRIES
That zesty, sweet flavor from fresh raspberries is just as present in the dehydrated version, making dehydrated raspberries a delicious snack on their own or great addition for both flavor and color to various dishes. We recommend cutting raspberries in half prior to dehydrating, as this will speed up the dehydration process more than if they were dried whole.
Low in calories and rich in vitamin C, dehydrated raspberries are rich in antioxidants and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, copper, and fiber and provide multiple health benefits to both the mind and body. The high levels of antioxidants in raspberries make them a powerful superfood that fights against disease and illness, as well as boosts brain function and memory. This makes dehydrated raspberries a great snack not just for adults, but for the little ones in your life too as they can provide nutrients that support learning and brain development. Other benefits of dehydrated raspberries include improving vision, reducing signs of aging, controlling blood sugar levels, and promoting healthy digestion.
Whilst we love munching on dehydrated raspberries as is, there are many wonderful ways you can enjoy them. See below for our suggestions.
- Use for baking cakes, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, and granola bars.
- Add as a topping on morning cereals, oats, porridge, and granola.
- Mix through pancake batter or use as a topping.
- Combine with other dried fruits or nuts.
- Blend into your smoothie.
- Stir through salads for a burst of flavor.
- Add to water or other drinks/cocktails for flavor or garnish.
4. DEHYDRATED BLACKBERRIES
Dehydrated blackberries are much like dehydrated raspberries in that they deliver a burst of flavor just like their fresh version and can be cut to make the dehydration process quicker. High in vitamins A, C, and K, and rich in antioxidants, dehydrated blackberries are super low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates making them a great choice for those who are looking to lose weight. They’re also high in fiber which promotes a feeling of fullness, therefore preventing unnecessary snacking on unhealthy processed foods which can contribute to weight gain.
Other benefits of dehydrated blackberries include reducing cholesterol, assisting with digestion, supporting overall blood health, protecting the immune system, improving brain health and function, and producing collagen in the skin.
One thing to keep in mind when dehydrating both raspberries and blackberries is that they’re both filled with a heap of little seeds which are very much still present in the dehydrated result. After enjoying the sweet, fleshy part of the berries, you’re left with the seeds which definitely have more of a tart/bitter flavor. You will notice this more of course if you’re snacking on dehydrated blackberries on their own, but if you’re mixing them in various baked goodies or as a topping on breakfast dishes it won’t be so obvious.
Some of our favorite ways to use dehydrated blackberries include:
- Add to salads for extra sweetness
- Use in various breakfast dishes including pancakes and waffles or as a topping on oats, cereal, and granola.
- Blend into smoothies.
- Use in baking cakes, muffins, and cupcakes.
- Perfect as a drink or dessert garnish.
- Stir through yogurt or ice cream.
5. DEHYDRATED CRANBERRIES
As with all other berries, cranberries need to be cut or have their skin broken prior to dehydrating to make their drying time more efficient and effective. Ensuring that berries are fully dried post-dehydrating will extend their shelf life from anywhere up to 1 year if stored in the pantry, or 2 years if kept in the refrigerator which is recommended for warmer and more humid climates (more on correct storage for dehydrated fruits later).
Dehydrated cranberries offer numerous health benefits, not just for adults but for children and young adults too. Rich in nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants, dehydrated cranberries have anti-inflammatory properties that support heart health and reduce the risk of chronic disease. Dehydrated cranberries also contain certain antioxidants that prevent bad bacteria from causing infections like UTIs as well as improving oral hygiene by preventing harmful bacteria from sticking to gums and teeth. Other benefits include boosting collagen and hydration in the skin, supporting weight loss, and assisting with digestion.
Discover some of our favorite ways to use dehydrated cranberries below.
- Mix with nuts and other dehydrated fruits to make a nutritious trail mix.
- Use in desserts such as various cakes, muffins, and cookies.
- Use to make a variety of bread, muffins, and scones.
- Make homemade granola by mixing dehydrated cranberries with oats, nuts, and seeds.
- Add as a topping on morning oats, porridge, or cereal.
- Sprinkle into salads.
Feeling inspired? Why not try some of our other nutritious berry suggestions below and create delicious, dehydrated berries to store and use all year round.
- Goji berries
- Inca berries
- Acai berries
DEHYDRATED STONE FRUITS
1. DEHYDRATED PLUMS
Firstly, to clear up any confusion, prunes are in fact dehydrated plums. It should be said however that whilst all prunes are plums, not all plums can be made into prunes and it’s usually the smaller, denser, and less juicy varieties of plums that get turned into prunes.
Dehydrated plums or prunes deliver a super sweet flavor (more than fresh plums) derived from their concentrated content of natural sugars, so it’s important to be mindful of serving sizes and how many prunes you snack on throughout the day too many can also cause an upset tummy and regular toilet visits!). Whilst they may have more sugars and carbs, they also have a higher concentration of nutrients following the dehydration process. Dehydrated plums provide multiple benefits to our health and well-being and contain a rich source of antioxidants and nutrients including fiber, magnesium, and potassium as well as vitamins A, K, and several B vitamins. Dehydrated plums help to reduce inflammation, support digestion, and healthy bowel movement, improve bone and heart health and reduce the risk of illness and disease.
With most plums, we recommend pitting and then either slicing or cutting them into chunks prior to dehydrating. If you have a smaller variety of plums, you can dehydrate them whole and leave the pit in, but you’ll need to blanch them first to break the skin to allow for more effective dehydration.
Dehydrated plums are a delicious snack on their own, but there are many ways to use them, see below.
- Add chopped to cookies, cakes, muffins, scones, or bread in replacement of raisins.
- Dip in chocolate for a sweet treat.
- Chop and mix with nuts and various other dehydrated fruits to create a trail mix.
- Use in a variety of meat dishes (chicken, pork, or beef).
- Wrap in bacon for a delicious party favor.
2. DEHYDRATED PEACHES
Juicy peaches are delicious when dehydrated, giving that burst of flavor to any dish or as a healthy snack. When choosing peaches to dehydrate there are a couple of things to consider. The firmer the peach, the quicker it will take to dehydrate, however, because they’re not as ripe, you likely won’t get the same sweet flavor that you would from softer peaches. Choose peaches with good coloring, a strong sweet fragrance, and that are slightly soft to the touch—avoid peaches with any bruising or brown spots It’s completely up to you if you wish to remove the skin pre-dehydrating or keep the skin on, but the best way to do this is by blanching or gently using a peeler. We recommend removing the pits by cutting the peach in quarters (they should pop out easily this way) and slicing the peaches evenly to ensure consistency when dehydrating. You can also choose to pre-treat the peaches prior to dehydrating to prevent a change of color as they can brown when exposed to heat (more on this later).
Dehydrated peaches provide a lot of nutritional benefits and are a great source of energy, making them a perfect snack for athletes or those who exercise frequently, and when hiking or riding. Dehydrated peaches are packed with vitamins A, B, C, and K and minerals including iron, copper, and magnesium. They’re also high in potassium and low in sodium which supports optimal blood and heart health. Other health benefits of dehydrated peaches include protecting the immune system, strengthening bones, boosting skin and eye health, and supporting digestive health.
Whilst dehydrated peaches are super delicious on their own, there are many ways you can use them in cooking to boost flavor. See our favorites below.
- Mix into a homemade trail mix.
- Use as a topping on morning oats, cereal, porridge, or yogurt.
- Add to a cheese plate or charcuterie board.
- Mix through salads.
- Use in baked goods including cakes, muffins, pies, and scones.
- Perfect with chicken and pork dishes.
- Partners well with sweet potato and carrots.
3. DEHYDRATED APRICOTS
Apricots are one of the most popular fruits found in dried fruit and nut mixes and are enjoyed as a sweet, healthy snack, but the benefit of dehydrating your own apricots over purchasing dried apricots is that they’re without the stacks of sugar you’ll likely find in the store-bought varieties. As with plums and peaches, choose apricots that have a little bit of give over the super firm, unripened ones as these will deliver a sweeter flavor post-dehydration. To prep for dehydration, we recommend removing the pit and either halving or slicing as suggested with peaches. If keeping in halves, push the back of the apricot inward so it exposes the flesh further which will allow for a more effective and efficient dehydration process.
Dehydrated apricots are packed with so much goodness, making them undoubtedly one of nature's super-powerful superfoods! Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, dehydrated apricots and fat-free, low in calories, and filled with flavor. A great source of fiber, potassium, and vitamin A, dehydrated apricots help to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, boost brain function and memory, fight off illness and disease, strengthen bones and teeth and support weight control by keeping you feeling fuller for longer.
As mentioned, dehydrated apricots are a deliciously sweet snack, perfect for school lunchboxes, or to keep in your handbag or office desk drawer. Here are some other ways you can enjoy them.
- Use for baking cakes, muffins, scones, and various pies or pastries.
- Add to morning oats, granola, cereal, porridge, and yogurt.
- Dip in chocolate for a sweet party treat.
- Chop and sprinkle over desserts, ice cream, or salads.
- Add to cheese boards.
- Mix with other dehydrated fruits and nuts to create a homemade trail mix.
- Use to make stuffing or in various meat dishes.
4. DEHYDRATED MANGOES
Mmmmm mangoes!! Is there a fruit that screams summer more than mangoes? The juicy, rich, sweet flavor of mangoes delivers a delicious treat and a high concentration of nutritional benefits when dehydrated, making it a favorite fruit to snack on or add to various dishes. Being that mangoes are seasonal in the warmer months, buying in bulk and dehydrating means you can store and enjoy them all year round!
Choose your mangoes for dehydrating the same way you would pick your other stone fruit—they shouldn’t be too firm, slightly soft to the touch but not overripe. With mangoes, you want to remove the pit and the skin, gently cutting the flesh off the pit and peeling back the skin with a small knife. Whilst you can cut thicker slices (which will take longer to dehydrate), we recommend cutting the fruit lengthways, just over ½ cm in width.
Like other dehydrated fruits, dehydrated mangoes offer a more concentrated source of benefits, however, they are high in natural sugars and calories so it’s important to enjoy them in moderation to avoid high blood sugar or weight gain. Rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, B, and C, dehydrated mangoes also contain folate, fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium which all deliver a tonne of benefits for both the mind and body. Some of these include improving eye health, boosting immunity, supporting digestive health, promoting healthy skin, increasing energy, and reducing stress. Being high in fiber also means they will keep you feeling fuller for longer, therefore, preventing unnecessary snacking.
Some ways to enjoy delicious dehydrated mangoes? Check out our list below.
- Before dehydrating, sprinkle with chili powder, lime juice, and sea salt to make dehydrated chili mango.
- Add to your morning smoothie.
- Use as a topping on yogurt, cereal, desserts, or ice cream.
- Chop and mix through salads.
- Use in baking cakes, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, and scones.
- Make various chutneys, jams, or sauces.
- Create energy balls or dip slices in chocolate and crushed pistachios for a sweet treat.
- Combine with pork and various meat dishes.
5. DEHYDRATED CHERRIES
Last on our list of favorite dehydrated stone fruits are dehydrated cherries. In the US, we know that cherry season is in the warmer months of the year, and lasts only a short period, from April through to the end of July. Because of the short time that fresh cherries are in their prime and the fact that they can be expensive, purchasing them in bulk when they're slightly cheaper and preserving them through dehydration allows you to enjoy their sweet flavor throughout the year.
Prior to dehydrating, discard any super soft cherries—we don’t want them overripe— and remove the pit. Because cherries are rather small, de-pitting them can be a tedious task, but we recommend cutting them in half and then quarters—you can keep the stem in whilst cutting if this makes it easier to hold, and remove before loading onto the dehydrating trays. Although whole cherries are delicious, cutting them ensures a faster drying time and a more even result. It may require a little more prep work, but will save you hours when dehydrating.
Dehydrated cherries provide many benefits and are a rich source of vitamins A, C, and E and minerals calcium, and iron. They’re high in antioxidants which work to prevent illness and have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits. They can help to lower cholesterol, improve digestion and even assist with calming the mind and getting a good night's sleep.
As with other stone fruits, there are many ways to use dehydrated cherries to add flavor and fun. See below for our suggestions.
- Add to nuts and other dried fruits to make your own trail mix
- Sprinkle over cereal, oats, porridge, and granola
- Use in baked goods such as cakes, muffins, or pies.
- Stir through salads.
- Make jams, sauces, or compotes.
- Use as a topping on ice cream, chocolate mousse, or in various desserts.
- Make fruit cocktails or use to infuse alcohol.
OTHER DEHYDRATED FRUITS
1. DEHYDRATED BANANAS
We all know how quickly bananas can turn bad, so if you’re not freezing them for smoothies or waiting for them to go super ripe for banana bread, then why not preserve them through dehydration—preventing unnecessary food wastage and creating a healthy snack in the process.
If you’re buying bananas in bulk specifically for dehydrating, choose bananas that have slight brown speckling rather than overripe or bananas that are still too green. This will ensure you get maximum sweetness from your dehydrated banana chips. The prep for dehydrating bananas is super easy—simply peel and slice bananas across, anywhere from just under ½ cm to just over. You can cut them in wedges, but slicing them this way will allow them to dry easier and faster.
Being that the water content is removed during dehydration, dehydrated bananas have a high concentration of nutrients. Rich in potassium, fiber, magnesium, iron, vitamin A, and protein, dehydrated bananas are also high in antioxidants which boost immunity and improve mental well-being. Other benefits include supporting heart and blood health, increasing energy and endurance, promoting healthy digestion, and maintaining healthy skin and bones.
Ways to enjoy dehydrated bananas? See below.
- Use as a topping for cereal, oats, porridge, or yogurt.
- Dip in yogurt or peanut butter for added sweetness.
- Mix with nuts and other dried fruits for a healthy trail mix.
- Dust with cinnamon or sugar for added flavor.
- Use in cakes, muffins, banana bread, or homemade bars.
2. DEHYDRATED APPLES
Dehydrated apples provide a sweet, nutritious snack that’s perfect for the kids’ lunchboxes or in a variety of dishes. You can dehydrate apples so they’re more crispy—think dehydrated apple chips—or take them out a little earlier for a chewy texture (still just as delicious!).
When apples are cut, it doesn’t take long for the flesh to discolor and turn brown—this is called oxidation. Whilst this doesn’t affect the flavor or nutritional value of the fruit itself, you can pre-condition sliced apples in lemon juice prior to dehydrating to minimize the discoloration or get them in your dehydrator quickly after cutting which will preserve the color too. To prep for dehydration, cut in quarters to remove the core, then slice or cut into rings approximately ½ cm in thickness.
Dehydrated apples, like other fruits, have high levels of nutrients that provide a heap of health benefits. A rich source of vitamins and minerals, dehydrated apples contain vitamins A and C, along with high levels of B vitamins which boost metabolism and nourish the skin. Packed with fiber and potassium, dehydrated apples improve blood and digestive health, support mental focus, and well-being, and keep teeth and gums healthy. You know the saying—an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
Whilst you can grab apples year-round in the US, apple picking season usually runs from early July to late November—this makes it a perfect time to stock up when apples are in their prime, and dehydrating to enjoy their benefits throughout the year. Whether you’re dehydrating Red Delicious, Granny Smith, or Gala apples, they will all deliver a slight variance of flavor but their sweet or tart taste will be intensified following dehydration. As mentioned, dehydrated apples are a fantastic snack for kids and adults alike and can be used in a variety of ways to add flavor to dishes. See some of our suggestions below.
- Chop and add to mixed nuts or homemade trail mix.
- Dip in yogurt or peanut butter as a snack.
- Add on top of oats, cereal, muesli, porridge, or yogurt.
- Use in baked goods like pies, bread, scones, muffins, or cakes.
- Add as a garnish to hot drinks like a Hot Toddy, mulled wine, or cider.
- Use in Christmas decorations or add to potpourri.
- Include on a cheese board.
3. DEHYDRATED PINEAPPLE
Fresh pineapple is one of our favorite fruits for dehydrating! Pineapple may be available all year round but the peak season for enjoying this delicious fruit is March through to July. When buying fresh pineapple, it’s recommended that you eat it within 2 days if kept at room temperature or no longer than a week if refrigerated. Dehydrating pineapple not only maintains all that incredible, zesty, sweet flavor of fresh pineapple with minimal mess, but it provides a much longer shelf life meaning you can enjoy it for months on end.
To prepare pineapple for dehydration, remove all of the outer layer and core before cutting it into pieces or ring slices of anywhere between ½ cm thickness to 1 ¼ cm thickness—keep in mind that the thinner the slice the quicker it will take to dehydrate. Dehydrated pineapple will have a slightly chewy texture and is one of those fruits that consistently dehydrate well.
Dehydrated pineapple contains calcium, potassium, fiber, and manganese as well as vitamins A, B, and C, therefore providing numerous health benefits to both the mind and body. Some of these benefits include increasing collagen levels in the skin, boosting the immune system, strengthening hair and bones, supporting gum and dental health, and assisting with digestion. Dehydrated pineapple also contains antioxidants, protecting the body against illness and disease.
Although super delicious and one of our favorite dehydrated fruits to enjoy on its own as a snack, there are a heap of ways to enjoy dehydrated pineapple. See our suggestions.
- Add to breakfast dishes like oats, porridge, cereal, and yogurt.
- Combine with nuts and other fruits to add flavor to trail mix.
- Use in desserts such as puddings—delicious in rice pudding or chia seed pudding!
- Add to baked goods including muffins, scones, cakes, or cupcakes.
- Perfect in savory dishes such as stir fries, curries, pork dishes, or sweet and sour sauces.
- Add to herbal teas for extra sweetness or as a garnish for cocktails.
4. DEHYDRATED KIWI FRUIT
Kiwi fruit is one of the easiest fruits to dehydrate—perfect if you’re a beginner or just dipping your toe in the dehydrating pool. Simple to prepare, you can peel off the skin if you wish or keep it on but ensure you thoroughly wash the skin if you choose to do so (the skin is actually edible!). We recommend slicing at approximately ½ cm thickness to maintain efficient and effective dehydration and the result should be a soft, chewy texture.
Kiwi fruits are in season in the US between October and May so it’s a great idea to stock up and dehydrate them at this time when they're at their peak and you can enjoy them all year. Depending on which kiwi fruit you dehydrate, some will deliver a super sweet flavor, whilst others will be slightly sour and tart. Either way, they both provide a delicious flavor, making them a perfect nutritious snack for the whole family.
High in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and low in calories, kiwi fruit protects the immune system, boosts the skin’s appearance, strengthens hair and bones, and supports weight loss by reducing feelings of hunger. Dehydrated kiwi fruit also helps with digestion, lowers blood pressure, and assists with sleep and mental wellness.
There are many ways to enjoy dehydrated kiwi fruit, some of our favorites are listed below.
- Sprinkle with sugar pre or post-dehydration to add sweetness to more sour kiwi fruit.
- Add as a topping to breakfast dishes such as oats, porridge, and cereal.
- Use as topping on smoothie bowls for added crunch.
- Perfect as a cocktail or drink garnish.
- Add to water for a hint of flavor.
- Chop and stir through salads for a touch of sweetness.
- Use to decorate desserts or cakes.
5. DEHYDRATED FIGS
Although fresh figs are in season in the US from mid-May and last through November, dehydration allows you to preserve and enjoy them for much longer periods. When it comes to dehydrating figs, you can keep them whole or choose to half or quarter them, keeping in mind that when they’re cut they will dry quicker and keep longer being that more moisture has been removed from the fruit. You can of course slice figs too which ensures even faster and more effective dehydration and makes them a perfect lightweight snack or addition to breakfast dishes.
Dehydrated figs are rich in calcium, potassium, and fiber and are packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Dehydrated figs help to improve digestion, boost the appearance of skin and hair, strengthen bones, improve mental focus, and protect the immune system. Being that they’re high in fiber and contain natural sweeteners, dehydrated figs can also support weight loss by curbing hunger cravings and increasing feelings of fullness. It is important to be mindful, however, that dehydrated figs are more concentrated in calories and sugars so should be enjoyed in moderation. That being said, they are perfect as a post-workout snack to replenish glycogen levels and support muscle recovery.
We all know figs are delicious on their own, but they make a great addition to various recipes and dishes. Here are some of our favorite ways to use dehydrated figs at home or if you’re running a business.
- Add to cheese and charcuterie boards for added color and flavor.
- Use in desserts and baking including cakes, muffins, cheesecakes, pies, tarts, puddings, and cookies.
- Delicious addition to various salads.
- Use as a topping on morning oats, cereal, porridge, granola, or yogurt.
- Wrap in prosciutto for a delicious sweet/savory combo.
- Perfect as a drink or cocktail garnish.
- Add on top of pizza or toast with ricotta.
how to dehydrated fruits
BEST STORAGE SOLUTIONS AND SHELF LIFE
- Check all pieces of fruit after dehydrating to ensure they’re all dry—if you still sense moisture, ensure you continue dehydrating.
- Allow all pieces of fruit to return to room temperature post-dehydration.
- Place fruit in an airtight container (jars are a good choice because you can see the fruit easily) and allow a little room so you can shake the contents of the container. You don’t want to have a huge amount of space however as this can produce even more moisture.
- Over the next 5 days, shake the contents of the container to check that the fruit doesn’t stick and can move freely. You also want to look out for any moisture beads on the container and be sure that the fruit doesn’t stick to the sides of the container or to each other without coming off with ease. If either of these occurs, remove them and put them back into the dehydrator for further drying.
- If you notice any mold at all, discard all of the dehydrated fruit. This means some of your dehydrated fruit wasn’t completely dry before conditioning.