This is my foolproof guide to dehydrating just about any fruit. The easiest way to make your favorite cocktail look extra boujee!
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If you’ve ever wondered if you need a dehydrator to dehydrate fruit, the answer is no! While it can make it easier, especially for an avid dehydrator, it is not necessary.
Today, we are dehydrating limes, lemons, strawberries, and blackberries. First, preheat the oven to the lowest temperature that it will go to, mine is 170. Next, I line baking sheets with parchment paper. Do NOT use wax paper.
This tiered baking rack (with baking sheets) does come in handy if you are dehydrating a lot at once (or baking a lot of cookies)! It saves a ton of room in your oven, and doubles as a cooling rack saving a ton of counter space as well.
Wash your fruit thoroughly, and then slice uniformly. Remember: it does shrink a lot while dehydrating, so do not cut them super thin to begin with.
I recently got a mandoline that makes slicing fruit uniformly so fast and easy, it even sliced through my citrus fruits whole! It can also julienne potatoes, turn zucchini into zoodles, and the mandolin function makes making pickles a breeze. Here is a complete list of my kitchen must-haves.
Place fruit on the lined baking sheet, making sure that none overlap. They will shrink, so it is okay to start with them close together. I set a timer for an hour, and after an hour I rotate the sheets so that they are not in the same spot in the oven. You can simply turn them 180 degrees.
After that, I set a timer for an hour, rotate, and repeat this process every hour until dry. Different fruits take varied lengths of time due to their difference in water content. Larger pieces will take more time than smaller pieces, and sometimes I remove the dry smaller pieces first and leave in the ones that are not done yet.
You can press them with a paper towel to ensure that they are fully dried and no liquid comes out. I typically just eyeball it, and feel it to see if it is hard and crunchy or soft and chewy still. If you have any that are not aesthetically pleasing, you can throw them into a food processor or a blender and turn them into flavor dust. Yes, you can do this with whole citrus fruits – no need to peel them. This is an excellent way to add a kick of flavor to a cocktail, oatmeal, or to top a baked good with.
Be sure to store them in a jar immediately, as they will hydrate a bit and get soggy from moisture in the air. I store them on my bar cart because I think that they are cute, so I use these extremely clear jars that have an excellent seal. I use the taller ones for sliced lemons and limes, the middle size for smaller fruits like strawberries and other berries, and the tiny ones for dehydrated fruit powder.
What have you tried to dehydrate, and what do you do with them? Let me know below!