Make your own dried fruit for a healthy snack
Fruit is a *must* in a healthy, well-balanced diet. The problem is that it doesn’t last long sitting on your kitchen counter so you have to eat it fast—if you can even find quality fresh fruit off-season. Packing it in your lunch for school is also a struggle because it can get smushed or bruised. The easy solution? Dried fruit.
It has essentially the same nutritional benefit as fresh fruit, lasts *much* longer and will satisfy your craving for a quick snack. However, the dried fruit you buy in stores often has added sugar and other not-so-great ingredients (like sulfur dioxide, yuck). Try out the recipe below to dry your fave fruit at home, instead.
What you’ll need:
Pizza screen or silicone pan liner
Glass or plastic container
Ripe or overly ripe fruits and berries
1. Preheat your oven to 130-160 degrees F. Use a lower temperature for thin sliced fruits such as apples or peaches. Strawberries and other whole berries love the higher heat.
2. Wash the fruit thoroughly before removing blemishes, pits, seeds or stems. Removing the skin isn’t mandatory but you definitely can if you want.
3. Slice fruit evenly so that they will dry within the same time frame.
4. Soak the fruit in lemon juice and water for 10 minutes and then blot dry with a towel.
5. Place parchment paper on a sheet pan and arrange fruit in single layer. Don’t let the pieces touch. Then cover with pizza screen or silicone pan liner to keep fruit from curling up.
6. Place fruit in the oven and rotate every 2 hours. Use the chart below to determine how long you should cook it.
7. Place fruit in the container and leave the container open for 4-5 days to make sure that the leftover moisture has evaporated. Shake the container ever day to move the fruit around.
8. Seal the container and enjoy delicious dried fruit (it will last up to 10 months!).
Dried fruit or fresh fruit? Let us know your preference below!
Recipe credit: Spark People.