The facts about the nutritional value of dried fruit are more cut and dried than you might think. Dried fruits like dehydrated apples carry many benefits, including more concentrated nutrients, longer storage potential and normally more fiber. If you’re thinking about drying fruits to use as snacks for you or your kids, just remember that because the moisture has been removed, each piece will be less filling but have a higher concentration of calories. This can be great news if you’re doing a rigorous activity like hiking or biking, but if you’re on a diet, it’s probably best to just stick to regular fruit.
For those looking to make a foray into drying fruit, check out this method, which can be used to make a range of dried fruit treats including apple chips, dried banana chips and dried grapes.
First, choose your fruit and make sure it is ripe. Next, wash or peel them and pit or core them. Once you’ve washed and pitted your fruit, slice them into uniform pieces and place them on a baking sheet. The thicker the slices, the longer it will take to dry. Place the baking sheet in the oven and turn the heat to 90° F – 150° F. Anything higher than 150° will cook the fruit and you simply want to dehydrate it. Leave it in the oven for many hours and check every couple of hours to see how squishy the fruit is. Dehydrated fruit should be chewy and not squishy. Let the fruit sit out over night before packing them away in containers. When placed in hermetically sealed containers and kept around 70°, dried fruits can have a shelf life of about five years.
If you’re looking to make apple chips, keep in mind that you will want a bit more of a crispy texture to the chip so be sure your slices are not too thick and feel free to turn the heat up as high as 225°.
Dried fruit is a great on-the-go snack that is high in nutritional value and can be stored for a long time. When it’s this easy to dry fruit, you almost don’t have an excuse not to be making your own healthy snacks of dried fruit mixture!
- “A fresh look at the value of dried fruit”, The Seattle Times
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