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Dehydrated Recipes

How to dry fruit | Commercial Dehydrators

Dried fruit is a great snack and dehydrating fruits and vegetables a fantastic way of reducing food waste. In this blog, we take a look at what you need to consider for a safe dehydrating

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How to dry fruits and vegetables

What fruits and vegetables can you dehydrate?

Short answer – loads of them! There’s a wide range of fruits and vegetables that are suitable for dehydrating, with various degrees of preparation needed. But to get you started, here are some ideas:

  • Bigger fruits like apples, pears, apricots, peaches, mangoes and pineapple
  • Berries like strawberries, blueberries and raspberries
  • Citrus like oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits – great for garnishing cocktails or decorating cakes!
  • Vegetable chips with sweet potato, kale, beetroot and more

Many cultures have a tradition of sun drying fruits and vegetables as a way of preserving a seasonal bounty. But for a consistent final product and a safer dehydrating process, investing in a commercial dehydrator is a good idea.

Benefits of dehydrating

Dehydrating fruits and vegetables is a fantastic way of managing seasonal gluts and reducing food waste. 

For growers of fruits and vegetables, adding on a processed product like dried fruit can help you to increase the profitability of your products, and increase the shelf-life. After all, while fresh fruit might only have a shelf life of a few days, if you invest in a very affordable commercial dehydrator, you can extend this by many months and often charge a premium rate for the end product.

Dehydrating also reduces the necessary space for storing food, with dehydrated fruit and vegetables typically taking up 8-30% of their original volume


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How to prepare fruits and vegetables for dehydrating

Step one is, of course, to wash your fruits and vegetables. Then, if you wouldn’t normally eat the peel, remove that.

Some fruits and vegetables are great to dehydrate whole, while others are best sliced. Remember, the thicker the slices or larger the pieces of fruit and vegetables are, the longer they will take to dehydrate. Try to cut pieces at the same thickness for a consistent drying time, and remember to cut away any blemishes that might spoil the final product.

To preserve their color and prevent browning, some fruits, like apples and pears, benefit from being treated with some kind of acid before dehydrating. This can include the juice of acidic fruits like lemon juice or pineapple juice, but in a commercial environment, a more consistent result can be obtained by using ascorbic acid.

If you are making vegetable chips, some root vegetables, such as beetroot, will benefit from being blanched before dehydrating.

Whole fruits and vegetables or purees

The other option as well as whole fruits is to make fruit leathers from pureed produce. This can result in some fantastic flavor combinations and is a great option for using produce that doesn’t work well as a whole fruit. Rhubarb pairs well with a stack of fruits, like apples, pears and berries, and blended in combination can make a fantastic fruit leather for lunchboxes, hiking trips or just any time you want a healthy but sweet treat.

Drying times

Drying times will depend on what fruits and vegetables you are dehydrating and the temperature you are using. Around 125°F to 140°F is a good temperature to start with and then you can adjust based on the results you achieve.

It’s important to ensure your fruits and vegetables are placed on the dehydrator trays in a single layer with no overlapping. 

Once you’ve reached your desired dryness, store your dehydrated fruits and vegetables in airtight containers. If you’ve adequately dried them, most dehydrated fruits and vegetables will have a shelf life of up to 12 months.

Ready to start experimenting with dehydrating fruits and vegetables?

With so many variables, there’s lots of options for using a dehydrator to increase your business’s profitability and reduce wastage. To get you started, here’s our recipe for [which produce?] that will give you some indicative timings to start experimenting with other fruits and vegetables.

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Author Details

Kate Joncheff

Kate spends her days doing life as a mother of two young boys, working on her organic vegi garden and developing organic recipes that she shares with her friends via instagram. Researching and documenting comes naturally to Kate as share has a flare for design and photography.

https://www.instagram.com/katejoncheff/