You might not be aware that the majority of dried fruits available in stores are not truly raw. During the production of dried fruit it is generally heated to temperatures well above 108 degrees, which is the point where enzyme disruption begins to occur.
Luckily, making your own dried fruit is really easy. You can be sure that your dried fruit retains its optimal nutrition. Additionally, if you buy your fruit in season and in bulk, you can actually save yourself some money as well!
Not only that; homemade dried fruit tastes so much better.
You can use pretty much any fresh fruit you like. However, I wouldn’t recommend melons because they have such a high water content that by the time the fruit has dried there isn’t much substance remaining.
When I’m in Costa Rica I like to make dried pineapple, papaya and mango. This is a great way to make use of any fresh fruit that you have in abundance, especially if you find yourself with too much to eat.
Simply cut your fruit into the desired size and shape. Remember that it will shrink quite a bit as the water is removed during dehydration. Place your fruit on the mesh dehydrator trays.
Leave enough space between the pieces to allow for ample air flow. This will ensure faster and more even drying.
Place in the dehydrator at 105 degrees for at least 24 hours or longer. Drying time can vary greatly depending on the size of your dehydrator, what else you are dehydrating at the same time and the humidity of your local environment.
When the fruit has dried sufficiently, remove it and place in zip-lock bags or a sealed container for storage. Be aware that if you don’t dry it for long enough you will begin to notice the fruit becoming slightly damp within a couple of days. If this is the case, simply put it back in the dehydrator again until it is completely dry, taking a note to dry your fruit for longer next time.
Enjoy your homemade dried fruit as a portable healthy raw snack or chop and add to your raw granola. If you like you can also rehydrate it by soaking in a little water than add it to your smoothies or raw puddings.
Making your own dried fruit is a much better alternative to purchasing fruits that may have been oven-dried at high temperatures.
Have you ever made your own dried fruit?
What is your favorite dried fruit?