- Lemon Juice
- Wash and slice your lemons into 1/4 inch (6 mm) slices.
- Mix equal parts lemon juice and water and submerge the sliced lemons. This helps keep the lemons looking better for longer.
- Place the sliced lemons onto dehydrator trays and dehydrate between 95-135°F (35-57°C) for 18-36 hours. (Dehydrating your lemons at a lower temperature will maintain the color as lemons like to brown during the dehydration process. The flavor profile is still very similar depending on which route you decide to take.)
- Once your lemons are completely dry and slightly pliable, store in an airtight container with an oxygen absorber in a cool dark place.
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.