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5 Best Fruits to Dehydrate at Home

home dehydrated fruit stored in mason jars

Making dehydrated fruit at home is super simple and a fun way to preserve extra produce that you purchase or grow. In the past few years, I've dehydrated so many different fruits that I've found some fruits work better than others!

Dehydrated fruit is different than the freeze-dried fruit we utilize in our Bushka meals (Citrus Chia Morning Bowl; Harvest Bowl). If you're curious what the difference is, see our blog on What is Freeze-Dried Food as there's a section dedicated to explaining the difference!

Here is my list of the 5 best fruits to dehydrate at home. This list is based off three factors: 1) taste, 2) dehydration time, 3) ease of prep.

You'll notice that I don't have many berries on my list or many stone fruits. Trust me, there's a reason! I once harvested almost 40 lbs of wild plums; after trying to pit and dehydrate maybe 5 lbs of them, I gave up and made jam and sugar plums instead. 

So, without further ado, the 5 Best Fruits to Dehydrate at Home!! 

1. Cantaloupe

#1 on my list is cantaloupe! Dehydrated cantaloupe is like candy, so sugary and sweet it almost melts in your mouth. I guarantee this will be a crowd pleaser! Grocery stores often do flash sales of cantaloupe, so buy 2 or 3 of them to make a good sized amount of dehydrated fruit. 

Dehydrating temperature: 125 F

Time: 14-18 hours (depends on how juicy and ripe)

Preparation: Cut melon in half and remove seeds (do not throw out!! Turn into salted/roasted seeds). Place melon cut side down and use knife to cut the rind away. Cut melon into slices that are approximately 1/4" thick and then cut into smaller squares.

When Done: The melon will be fully dried when it is flexible but dry. It should easily and if you press two ends together, the fruit will not stick.

dehydrated cantaloupe

2. Strawberries

Truly a classic! Dehydrated strawberries are super yum, but remember the quality of the berry before will impact the quality of the dehydrated product. Even though it's a little more expensive, I highly suggest buying organic strawberries or fresh farm picked strawberries that are red all the way through and not white on the inside. Dried strawberries are excellent on their own or a good addition to cereal, granolas, and cookies!

Dehydrating temperature: 125 F

Time: 8 hours (sliced) or 16-18 hours (halved)

Preparation: Wash and core strawberries. Either halve the strawberries or cut into very thin slices (~1/8"). If you dehydrate halves, place the cut side up on the dehydrator otherwise it will stick. 

When Done: The melon will be fully dried when it is somewhat flexible but dry. They'll make a plink noise if you drop onto a hard surface. 

homegrown garden fresh strawberries for dehydrating

3. Peaches/Nectarines

Nectarines and peaches are my favorite fruit to eat! I will go from stand to stand at a farmers market to find the very best ones, no shame at all. If you won't let me taste test your peach, I'm not buying it! When dehydrated, peaches and nectarines make great snacks! I love bringing a ziplock bag of these on long hikes as the sugar is a nice, natural pick me up.

Dehydrating temperature: 125 F

Time: 12-16 hours (depends on how juicy, ripe, and if you leave the skin on)

Preparation: My personal preference is to leave the skin on; however, this does increase the dehydrating time. If you choose to remove the skin, you can either peel the fruit like you would a potato, or, if they are super right, drop into boiling water for about 1 minute until the skin rips and blisters. Drop immediately into cold water to stop the cooking process. The skin should pop right off after being blanched. If that seems like too much trouble or you want to keep the skin on for the extra nutrients, then simply wash the produce and slice thinly (1/8" to 1/4").

When Done: Like cantaloupe, the peach will be fully dried when it is dry, flexible, and if you press two edges together the fruit does not stick to itself. 

dried nectarines and peaches in mason jar

4. Pineapple

I have a girlfriend who is always asking me for dried pineapple and mango. I don't particularly care for the taste of dried mango, so I usually make extra dried pineapple to compensate! Dried pineapple tastes great in hot breakfast cereals like oatmeal.

Dehydrating temperature: 125 F

Time: 12-16 hours (depends on how juicy and ripe)

Preparation: Cut the top and bottom of the pineapple. Cut in half through the middle. Place the pineapple cut side down and use your knife to remove the peel. Core both halves. You can either cut into 1/4" rings, 1/4" thick long stalks, or into 1/4" thick stalks that are then cut into smaller sections (this is my preferred method.)

When Done: Dried pineapple feels a little sticky to the touch, but will not stick to itself if you press two edges together It should be flexible and tear easily.

Pineapple is one of my all around favorite fruits, and it's one of the four fruits used in our Citrus Chia Morning Bowl. YUM!!!

dried pineapple stored in mason jar

5. Kiwi

Kiwi slices are great little bursts of tartness in your mouth and are a welcome change from how sweet other dehydrated fruits can be. It's best to peel kiwi before you dehydrate, and you can accomplish this with a regular vegetable peeler or with a knife depending on how ripe your kiwi is.

Most people are familiar with green kiwi, but did you know there's another type of kiwifruit called golden kiwi? We use golden kiwi in our Citrus Chia Morning Bowl as the pairing with our freeze-dried pineapple is absolutely DELICIOUS. Since I've started eating golden kiwi, I find green kiwi so much more tart.

Dehydrating temperature: 125 F

Time: 10-12 hours 

Preparation: Either use a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife to cut the skin off of the kiwi. Turn on side and slice into 1/8" circles. 

When Done: Similar to cantaloupe, dried kiwi will be flexible, dry, and tear easily. 

kiwi slices on a dehydrator tray

And there you have it! My top 5 favorite fruits to dehydrate at home.

Want more tips on making dehydrated snacks at home? See our blog post on making gourmet dehydrated food that is sure to wow your family and friends!

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