Homemade Dried Fruit

Ever wanted to Make Your Own Homemade Dried Fruit? Tracy from Shutterbean shows you how!

Have you ever made your own Homemade Dried Fruits?

NO?!!

Have you wanted to?

YES?!!

Well then, let me show you a fun weekend project for you!

Ever wanted to Make Your Own Homemade Dried Fruit? Tracy from Shutterbean shows you how!

Did you say hello to my Nesco dehydrator?

This is not sponsored btw.  Which means I can put arms and a face on my machine if I feel like because this is my blog.

*Face and arms not included.  Although that would be kinda fun. Get the kids involved, you know.

We mostly make dried fruit and jerky in this dehydrator that doesn’t come with face and arm attachments.

TBH:

I bought this dehydrator because the price was right and I didn’t feel I was ready to invest in something substantial like this Excalibur (hello, rectangular trays and THAT NAME is so enticing! but BUDGET!).  Believe me, this tool works just fine.

Ever wanted to Make Your Own Homemade Dried Fruit? Tracy from Shutterbean shows you how!

This Nesco simple temperature instructions on the top so I don’t have to chase around my manual when I need to use it.

I usually don’t read manuals. I’m a jump right in and figure it out person. Not always helpful, that trait.

Here are some trays!

You get quite a few trays to start with.

You simply stack the trays up with fruit. Add the top part, set the temperature, plug in an go.

Ever wanted to Make Your Own Homemade Dried Fruit? Tracy from Shutterbean shows you how!

Below is the liner for the bottom. Or if you want, you can use it to make fruit leathers.

You just need to puree fruit and spread thinly/evenly on this tray.

I made strawberry fruit roll-ups (with an oven) on my blog once. True story.

Ever wanted to Make Your Own Homemade Dried Fruit? Tracy from Shutterbean shows you how!

The tray you see below that looks meshy?

Use this tray if you want to dry things that would easily slip through the cracks of the regular tray.

Ever wanted to Make Your Own Homemade Dried Fruit? Tracy from Shutterbean shows you how!

Things like:

  • blueberries
  • fresh herbs (you can make your own dried spices!)
  • raspberries
  • corn (YEAAAAHHH)
  • peas
  • small stuff, etc.

Here’s the view from the side again.

Make sure all the trays are even.

You can see that this stack isn’t perfect. If I had fruit in it, you wouldn’t get a tight seal.

Don’t do that.

Don’t be this picture.

Ever wanted to Make Your Own Homemade Dried Fruit? Tracy from Shutterbean shows you how!

Whenever you are going to be making your own dried fruit, you have to make sure that you cut all of your produce uniformly. You don’t want size variations or else your batch won’t be dried evenly. Then you’re waiting on 4 strawberries and you’ve ALREADY EATEN the batch you pulled off.

I like most of our fruit 1/4 inch thick.

Always wash your fruit and dry it off lightly before placing it in your dehydrator.

More moisture means it will take longer to dry.

Ever wanted to Make Your Own Homemade Dried Fruit? Tracy from Shutterbean shows you how!

Let me show you how magical the process is.

You just load up your trays.

Set a timer for at least 8 hours. Check your progress. Add more time if needed.

Always take notes.

This is how you learn!

Ever wanted to Make Your Own Homemade Dried Fruit? Tracy from Shutterbean shows you how!

BOOM. Dried fruit.

Ever wanted to Make Your Own Homemade Dried Fruit? Tracy from Shutterbean shows you how!

One of my favorite dried fruits to make is pineapple.

Ever wanted to Make Your Own Homemade Dried Fruit? Tracy from Shutterbean shows you how!

You get a lot of bang for your buck when it comes to a pineapple. Have you ever seen how much they share for dried pineapple at the grocery store? It’s nuts. They’re chewy and the edges are crispy. It tastes like candy.

I like to take the core out of ours. I just use an apple corer.

Works like a charm.

Ever wanted to Make Your Own Homemade Dried Fruit? Tracy from Shutterbean shows you how!

Another favorite is apples! We always have a ton of them at my house because it’s one of Cooper’s favorite fruits. If I have too many, I can whip up some dried fruit in less than a day. Pears aren’t really my favorite. The texture is a little grainy and tough.

Thank you, dear apple corer.

Ever wanted to Make Your Own Homemade Dried Fruit? Tracy from Shutterbean shows you how!

I read that if the browning aspect of the dehydration process bugs you, spray apples with a little bit of lemon juice.

It doesn’t bug me. I like them just the way they are. Sometimes when you leave the peels on the apples they can be a little sharp. My mom always told me to eat the skins because of fiber. So I leave them on. Plus it means I didn’t have to peel apples so YAY.  Make sure you wash them well first!

Ever wanted to Make Your Own Homemade Dried Fruit? Tracy from Shutterbean shows you how!

And the most loved snack according to my child is dried bananas.

The bananas aren’t like regular banana chips. They’re somewhere in between chip and chew.

Chewy chip.

Have you ever had dried mango? They’re somewhere in that texture family.

Which reminds me, I have YET to dry mangoes. Time to get on that.

Back to the bananas. Sometimes they stick to the trays so I like to spray a little coconut oil spray LIGHTLY on the trays before I put the bananas on. It makes clean up a bit easier.

Ever wanted to Make Your Own Homemade Dried Fruit? Tracy from Shutterbean shows you how!

They’re not pretty but they are PRETTY DANG GOOD.

Ever wanted to Make Your Own Homemade Dried Fruit? Tracy from Shutterbean shows you how!

Look at all of this loot! It took me a few days to process all of this.

The only thing that takes time is slicing the fruit.

It’s mostly a SET IT AND FORGET IT operation.

Don’t forget it, though.

That would be sad and dangerous.

Ever wanted to Make Your Own Homemade Dried Fruit? Tracy from Shutterbean shows you how!

Simple Instructions:

  • Take out your brand new  Nesco Dehydrator for a spin
  • Wash fruit
  • Dry fruit
  • Cut fruit thin, uniform slices  1/4 inch- 1/2 inch
  • Don’t let fruit slices touch each other on the drying trays
  • Follow instructions on manual if you need help with times
  • Set a timer to check
  • Don’t forget
  • Check
  • Let your house be perfumed by the smell of drying fruit
  • Pull fruit out when it has reached desired consistency
  • Store fruit in an air-tight container
  • Wash the trays with warm soapy water. Use a scrubber to get in between trays.
  • Enjoy and make sure you don’t eat a lot at once — that’s a lotta fiber!

Ever wanted to Make Your Own Homemade Dried Fruit? Tracy from Shutterbean shows you how!

I hope this inspires you to make your own homemade dried fruit!

We are still perfecting our jerky recipes (a sometimes holiday gift from the Benjamins) and once we figure that out, I’ll post it.

If you have a dehydrator, tell me what you love using it for. 

Happy snacking, friends!

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  • Christine Goyette

    We love our dehydrator! We use it for hot peppers, almost exclusively. You have to remember to pierce them first. I use my kitchen shears and snip, snip. Faster and easier than hanging them to dry and you don’t run the risk of them molding in this humid yuck.

  • Alicia A

    How long does it store?

    • Tracy

      I’ve read up to 6 months. I’ve never any that long though. We always eat through it pretty fast.

  • Jenna

    Love this post, I’ve had my eye on a dehydrator for ages, I need to justify the space it would take up in my cabinets (and the cost!) I think this might have convinced me, all that dried fruit looks so good & my kids would love it! Have you tried drying grapes? I would like to know how long the fruit lasts in the air-tight container

  • Erin

    Yay for a fun Fall project! My mother-in-law got me a dehydrator for Christmas years ago and I have never really used it. I have a ton of herbs that I’d like to dry and those banana and pineapple chips sound so good. Thanks!

  • Cathy

    Fair warning: each one of those delicious bites is packed with concentrated sugar. Eat them mindfully. I have used my dehydrator for herbs, all types ofgarden veggies, but “sun-dried” tomatoes are the best.

  • Crystal

    I have that same dehydrator. 🙂

    Try dehydrating mini marshmallows. They end up looking the same but with the texture of the dried marshmallow bits you get in breakfast cereal. It’s fantastic.

    • Melissa Lee

      Based on that comment alone, I know beyond a doubt that my boyfriend will be more than happy to help me dehydrate all manner of things as long as we make cereal-grade marshmallows! Thanks!

    • Tracy

      Cooper is going to freak out when he hears that!! Thanks for the tip!

  • Emily H

    I have sungold tomatoes coming out my ears right now, or maybe just bursting in my garden. I used our dehydrator the first time to dry a batch of those! Yum. I’d love to make dried fruit (or more accurately my kid will love it), and that comment above about marshmallows?! OMG.

    • Tracy

      I forgot we’ve done tomatoes before! THEY ARE AMAZING. I am sad we didn’t grow any this year now.

  • Emily b

    I am now toying with the idea of buying one of these cuz YUM! My mom and I would always make those cinnamon cookie cutter ornaments in her ginormous dehydrater at Christmas. The smell was DIVINE, I can just smell it now!!!

  • Caitlin

    We love using our dehydrator for tomatoes! It’s practically no work and the flavor is so concentrated and umami. After we dehydrate them we keep them in a jars in the freezer. Throw a handful in pasta, on pizza, etc. So good!

  • Cassie Sue

    I did it! I bought a dehydrator because of your post. I’ve been eyeing one at Bed Bath and Beyond for about 3 months now, and this weekend (yay labor day sales) I bit the bullet and bought it. I’m SO excited to start dehydrating ALL THE THINGS!!

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