Make your own dehydrated fruit at home that you can add to cocktails and health bowls

Dehydrated fruit has always been popular. Most of us have it as dried fruit and either add it to our breakfast bowls or have it as a snack.

It makes a great addition to a midday snack and can act as a natural sweetness to your morning oats and cereals. Or even in your smoothie.

But these days we are seeing more dehydrated fruit used as a garnish in beverages, taking them up a notch. Popular with gin and tonic and other spirit-based cocktails, it’s time we learnt how to do our own, you know, so we save some money, while also learning a new skill.

Sometimes, walking through the bulk section of the grocery store results in a loud gasp or two. Sure, the thought of stocking up on dried fruit is all fun and games at first, but that hefty price tag is no joke.

The good news, though? You can make your own dehydrated fruit cheaper at home. And all it takes is one tiny secret for sweet success.

Historically, dehydrated fruits were always dried in the sun, but now many different methods are used.

According to wikiHow, below is how you can make dehydrated fruit. You can dry a wide variety of fruits, including grapes, apples, apricots, pears, peaches, figs, dates, plums, and bananas.

It’s also a great way to preserve fruit. They say that dried fruit is a great way to keep summer’s harvest feeding you through the winter season and it won’t take long for you to learn the art of drying fruit, whether it’s for cocktails or for your breakfast bowls.

Select fruits that are suitable for drying

Not all fruits will dry well, so focus only on the ones known to produce excellent results when dried. Fruits that dehydrate well include apples, pears, peaches, plums, apricots, bananas, spanspek, strawberries, blueberries and citrus fruit.

Choose ripe fruit

Make sure that the fruit you use is mature, firm, and ripe. Fruit that is damaged, unripe, or overripe will lack nutritional value, won’t dry as well, and won’t taste as good since the sugars aren’t at their peak stage of development.

Preparing fruits for drying

Wash the fruit. Rinse the fruit under cool, running water, scrubbing it gently with your fingers to remove any visible dirt or debris. Pat the fruit dry with a clean paper towel when finished.

Cut larger fruit into very thin slices. Most tree and bush fruits need to be cut into slices roughly 0.3cm to 0.6cm thin, but many small vine fruits (berries and grapes) can be left whole.

Lay fruit on a parchment covered cooking sheet. The fruit slices should be in an even, single layer and should not touch each other.

Drying the fruits

Place a tray of fruit in the oven. Preheat the oven to its lowest setting (50ºC). You need only to dry the fruit, not to cook it. After the oven is fully preheated, place the cooking sheet of fruit inside.

Dry for 4 to 8 hours. Depending on the type of fruit, the exact oven temperature, and the thickness of the slices, fruit can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to dry. Keep an eye on the fruit to make sure that it shrivels up without burning.

Remove from the oven when the fruit is sufficiently dehydrated. Fruit should be chewy, not crunchy or squishy.

Enjoy now or store for later.