A few years ago we caught the 'dehydrating' bug. Hubs learned to make homemade beef jerky. Then we expanded and learned to dry fruit. Fruit at our fingertips.
Since it is Military Saves week it seems appropriate too to mention that we buy fruit in bulk when it is in season. This makes it not only a tasty treat but a treat full of savings! Pineapple, Mango, and Apple are our top three picks. You can also do bananas, apricots, plums, cherries, or pears. Your options are limitless.
Yesterday I dehydrated two mangos. We picked them up grocery shopping last week when we saw they were on sale. (Apples are perfect in autumn. Go apple picking, a fun family activity, and then dehydrate some of them to last you through the winter.)
Some quick directions if you want to give it a try yourself.:
When you cut the fruit to dehydrate the thinner you cut, the quicker it will dehydrate, and the end result will be less chewy.
Start by peeling your fruit. Then with a sharp, serrated knife, cut thin slices. (Get rid of the core.) Lay the slices on your dehydrator trays so that they are touching but not overlapping.
After your trays are filled set the temperature of the dehydrator to 135 degrees and let them "cook" for about 8 hours. You can do it at night and let them cook overnight, or start in the morning up to early afternoon and have them ready before bed.
After eight-hours check the fruit. If it is still wet, spongy, or just not quite crisp enough give it another hour. If you don't cut as thin it will need a bit more time.
We buy snack sized ziplock bags and fill each bag when the fruit is crisp. (You can refill the bags when you have gobbled up the contents.)
I keep the bags full of yumminess in our cabinet with other snack options. It is a very easy food to grab and go! It saves us from buying unnecessary food at concession stands, hitting the fast-food restaurant, or general grumpiness from being hungry. I keep some in the console of our van, a bag or two in the diaper bag and my husband keeps some in his brief-case. My son enjoys packing them in his lunch as an alternative to candy or twinkies. I enjoy them when I just don't have time to sit and eat but need a little something.
If you are on the go like we are I would encourage you to give it a try! Pineapple is sweet like candy. Mango and apples are similar, sweet yet crunchy like a chip. Your possibilities are endless. Pick up your favorite fruit and give it a shot.
I hope you enjoy nature's candy. Pure Deliciousness!
- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com