Dried fruit is a delicious, healthy snack. Buying it in the store can be a little bit expensive, but you can save a lot by drying fruit at home! And, the best part — you don't need any special equipment like a fruit dehumidifier! Once you've made it, you can eat it on its own or add it to granola, trail mix or yogurt parfait.
Follow these simple steps to make delicious homemade dried fruit.
1. Prepare Your Favorite Fruit
Pick the fruit you want to dry. It should be ripe, but not too ripe, and have no bruises. Apples, mango, peaches, pears, blueberries, bananas, cherries and more work great!
Wash and peel all your fruit. If you're drying blueberries, apricots or other smaller fruits, it's better to dry them whole. If the fruit has any seeds or pits, you need to remove them before putting them into the oven.
Slice up the fruit however thick you want it to be. Whether you like it thinner or a little thicker, make sure all the pieces are consistently the same thickness. That way, when you put them into the oven, they'll all dry at the same rate.
2. Dry Your Fruit in the Oven
Once you've cut up your fruit, you're ready to bake it in the oven! You should only dry one type of fruit at a time because your bake time and oven temperature will vary depending on what kind of fruit you're drying and how thick you like it. Place your fruit evenly on a non-stick baking sheet that's been covered with parchment paper. To keep it from curling while it dries, cover the fruit with a silicone pan liner.
Heat your oven between 130 and 160 degrees. If you sliced your fruit thinner, heat it on the lower end. For thicker slices or fruits kept whole, like strawberries, heat it on the higher end of that range.
Your bake time will also vary. Expect to let the fruit to stay in the oven for between four and eight hours, maybe more. To make sure the fruit dries evenly, rotate the pan every two hours. You'll know the fruit is done when it feels like leather but is still bendy.
3. Store Your Fruit Properly
When the fruit is done, take it out of the oven and let it sit overnight or for a few days. Letting it sit makes the rest of the moisture evaporate from the fruit. Once it's been cured, store it in sealed containers. You can store your dried fruit for around 10 months.
Whether you choose to eat it right away or store it for a while, you've got a delicious, healthy snack that you can make whenever you're craving it! You no longer have to pay those high prices for small bags of your favorite dried fruits.
If making your own dried fruit seems like too much of a hassle, Sincerely Nuts offers a great selection at a fair price! Browse through our selection today of dried fruit and purchase whatever quantity you need.