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Delicious Dried Fruit Using a Food Dehydrator

Updated on July 14, 2013

Adventures with a Food Dehyrdator

My "Presto Dehyrdo Electric" food dehydrator arrived last week. It was a very exciting day! Rather like Christmas in July. In fact, I just told Country Boy that I wanted a food dehydrator for Christmas... and then I decided I couldn't wait 6 more months! I got the Presto Dehydro Electric on Amazon for $35.00 with free Amazon Prime Shipping. And thanks to a couple of gift cards, it only cost us $8.00. Best $8.00 I've ever spent!

So I spent my weekend playing with my new toy, and experimenting with the fruits I had in my kitchen. Everything turned out great, it was a lot easier than I thought, and we've been munching on dried fruit all weekend. There are still A LOT of things I want to try, so check back often for more food dehydrating fun!

1 pound of strawberries--washed, hulled, and cut in half
1 pound of strawberries--washed, hulled, and cut in half
One tray of teeny tiny strawberry halves
One tray of teeny tiny strawberry halves
One tray of HUGE strawberry halves
One tray of HUGE strawberry halves
Put the lid on, plug it in, and walk away. (Don't eat all the strawberries before they're done dehydrating!)
Put the lid on, plug it in, and walk away. (Don't eat all the strawberries before they're done dehydrating!)
Dried Strawberries!!!
Dried Strawberries!!!

Dried Strawberries

I saw a photo on pinterest once of dried strawberries. They looked so beautiful and sweet and delicious, almost like bright red gummy hearts. It was later determined that the photo was not of a dried strawberry at all and was in fact a fake, and the recipe to dehydrate strawberries in the oven was flawed. I was heart-broken, but never stopped thinking about dried strawberries. So, I was very excited to try them out in my new food dehydrator, and bought a pound of fresh strawberries just for that very purpose. Yes, in general, it probably makes more sense to eat your beautiful, fresh produce and use the dehydrator for bulk produce or foods that are about to spoil, but I wanted dried strawberries!

I began by washing and hulling the strawberries. I grew up thinking you had to have a "strawberry huller" to hull strawberries. When I asked Country Boy where our strawberry huller is, he looked at me like I was crazy and handed me a pairing knife. And you know what? It works just fine! Then I cut the strawberries in half.

The Presto Dehydro Electric is round--all my research indicates that round food dehydrators are the best because they allow maximum airflow--and came with four trays. It holds up to eight trays so you can dehydrate twice as much at one time, but for now I'll stick with the four trays! Once the strawberries were washed, hulled, and cut in half, I arranged them on the trays. One pound of strawberries took two trays. Meaning, you could dehydrate up to two pounds of strawberries at a time using the four trays.

Now if you've ever bought a pound of strawberries from the store you will know that they are far from uniform in size. I had HUGE strawberries and teeny tiny strawberries. The problem with that? The small strawberries will dehydrate faster than the large strawberries. So, I arranged my strawberries on two trays, one tray with the HUGE strawberries and one tray with the teeny tiny strawberries.

Next, I put the two trays on the dehydrator, set the lid on top, plugged it in, and walked away. And then I proceeded to check it every 30 minutes and eat a strawberry each time, so by the end I probably only dehydrated about 3/4 a pound of strawberries!

The first tray of teeny tiny strawberries was fully dehydrated after four hours. The second tray of HUGE strawberries was fully dehydrated after six hours. When they were finished I took the trays off the dehydrator and spread the fruit out on parchment paper. I left them overnight until they were no longer sticky, and am now storing them in plastic containers. They should last up to six months, but we might have them all eaten by next weekend!

Peaches, Apricots, Bananas, Oh My!

Other fun experiments this weekend!

Dried Peaches

  • Peeling is optional. I peeled half of my peaches, then was running out of time, energy, and enthusiasm, so I left the other half unpeeled. They taste great both ways! Halves and slice the peaches into thin disks.
  • Arrange in a single layer on food dehydrator trays.
  • Takes approximately 6 hours if sliced thin.

Dried Apricots

  • Wash, peel, halve, and slice apricots.
  • Arrange in a single layer on food dehydrator trays.
  • Takes approximately 8 hours depending on the thickness of the slices.
  • Note: my apricots were overly rips so they turned out all different sizes and shapes, but still taste delicious! However, this is easy too do when fruit is not too mushy!

Dried Banana Chips

  • Peel banana and slice into 1/2 cm. slices.
  • Arrange in a single layer on food dehydrator trays.
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar if desired (I highly recommend this; it's so yummy!)
  • Takes approximately 12 hours. Chips should snap in half when completely dried.


Average Dehydrating Times

Fruit
Time to Dehydrate
Strawberries--teeny tiny
4 hours
Strawberries--HUGE
6 hours
Peaches
6 hours
Apricots
8 hours
Banana Chips
12 hours
Cast your vote for Dried Fruit

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      SLewis958609 2 years ago

      I have always loved dry fruit as well as deer and buffalo jerky. I think they are great because not only do they taste great, but they also last a lot longer than most foods. I am thinking about getting an electric food dehydrator. http://heathershousewares.com/store/products/preci...

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