What Are The Best Fruits to Dehydrate For Quick And Healthy Snacks?02/22/2023
Snacking has come a long way since the days of cavemen munching on raw fruits and vegetables. In fact, humans have been drying foodstuffs since ancient times to make them last longer and easier to transport.
Fast forward to the 21st century. Now, it's easier than ever to put together convenient and healthy snacks wherever you are. Dehydrated snacks provide portability, quick preparation time, and a diverse range of flavours - with all the nutrition of their fresh counterparts intact.
With dried fruit snacks in your pantry, you’ll never be left high and dry when hunger or cravings strike!
What is dehydrated fruit?
Dehydrated fruit is a food item that has been processed by a consistently low heat to remove most of its moisture.
Drying fruits is a process that evolved over thousands of years as a method for preserving them for long periods of time. Today, these products can be found in most grocery stores.
Rather than spoiling due to moisture content, dehydrated fruit remains fresh, and retains its nutritional value over long periods.
Different drying technologies
Today there are many different ways of removing moisture from food in order to preserve it. Freeze drying and air drying are also two recently popular methods as they create unique textures compared with typical infra-red drying, whilst still retaining the nutritional content.
In order to create the best snack textures, we use unique drying technologies to create a more satisfying crisp-like crunch (without the powdery mess of freeze dried fruit) as well as our irresistibly chewy soft dried slices.
Advantages of dehydrating fruit
Dried fruit is an increasingly popular snack that offers a variety of advantages over other snacks:
One key advantage is portability - dried fruit can easily be transported without worry of spoilage or going bad. This also makes them the perfect on-the-go addition to your kitchen pantry or travel bag.
While you can eat any dried fruit snack as is, they're also great for integrating into a variety of dishes, making them the ultimate utility snack! This delicious snack can be the secret ingredient to make your trail mix, granola bars and salads more exciting.
Additionally, dehydrating fruit helps to preserve essential vitamins and minerals, so you can enjoy a healthy snack even if it isn’t the peak season for fresh produce. Dehydrating your own snacks can empower you to eat healthier, whilst also satisfying your sweet tooth - without the added sugar of refined snacks.
In some cases, the taste of dried fruit may even be superior to its fresh counterpart (looking at you, dragon fruit)! When fruits are heated slowly to dehydrate them, their sweet flavour concentrates. This can create a sweeter and more intense result.
All in all, dehydrated fruits make for an ideal snack option due to their portability, preservation of nutrients, and potentially improved taste.
How to dehydrate fruit
Dehydrating fruit is a great way to enjoy the flavour of the summer's ripest fruits all year round. It might sound very technical, but this process is actually very easy. And if you plan it right, it can yield tasty dried fruit snacks for every day of the week.
With proper technique, you can successfully make quick, healthy snacks with real fruit in just a few hours! Here's how:
Dehydrating fruit in the oven
- Preheat the oven to 60°C.
- Arrange thinly sliced fruits on a silicone mat, and place them onto your oven racks.
- Ensure that temperatures are kept consistent for an extended period of time.
- Check on your fruit every few hours until your fruit has achieved a "leathery" texture to your taste.
- Depending on the type of produce used, total dehydration times may be anywhere between 4 and 24 hours.
Take note - temperatures can be less consistent in an oven, and there is a higher chance that you will over-dehydrate your goods into a crunchy texture instead. That could also be your preference, in which case, you do you!
Dehydrating fruit using a dehydrator
If you use a dehydrator, the process is much simpler:
- Peel and slice your fruits thinly and arrange them on the dehydrator trays.
- Spray with bottled lemon juice to prevent browning
- Set the temperature of the dehydrator between 40°C-60°C (depending on which fruit you’re drying) and set the timer for desired drying time. We recommend about 6 hours.
What are the best fruits to dehydrate for snacking?
Is there a bad fruit to dehydrate? We think not. However, some fruits are easier and more versatile than others. Fruits such as apples, apricots, plums, and bananas are great choices because they contain natural sugars that won't spike your blood sugar levels.
Some of the best fruit snacks for beginner dehydrators include:
- Banana chips
- Dried mango
- Dried cherries
- Dried apricots
- Dried apples
- Dried strawberries
- Dried cranberries
We encourage you to get inventive! The best raw fruits to use for dehydrating are ones that are fresh and local. Check out the seasonal produce at the local farmer’s market - or maybe your neighbour has an heirloom apple variety growing in their back garden. By drying and dehydrating seasonal fruits, you can capture their perfect ripeness to snack on all year round!
You can also get creative by adding sweet spices such as cinnamon or ginger to create unique flavours. Whatever type of dried fruit you select, it's sure to satisfy any craving.
If you want to get wild and experiment, you can try chilli-infused mangos, apples soaked in peach juice or cinnamon-sprinkled bananas. We also love a crispier dragon fruit, jackfruit or mango 'chip' for a different texture!
Tight on time? Try our Soul Fruit dried fruit snacks - gluten-free and vegan
Nothing beats the delicious taste of an easy fruit snack on the go. The real disadvantage to making your own dehydrated snacks is the countless hours spent staring at your dehydrator or oven, wondering when you’ll be able to taste that chewy goodness. Not to mention - heating an oven is expensive these days!
So why not leave it to the experts? Soul Fruit specialises in both perfectly chewy and crunchy dried fruits, perfectly sized for your hiking backpack, school lunch bag, or handbag. Live the sweet life (the healthy kind) and stock up on the ultimate healthy snacking option today!