Snacks are always a problem when you are trying to feed your family a healthy diet. Most snacks are laden with fat, sugar, or chemicals and additives you really don’t want your children to have. So how is a mom to feed their kids healthy, but still provide them with the snacks they crave? These dehydrated fruit chips are a great place to start. Dried fruit is expensive in the store, but it is not hard to make, and is much cheaper when you do it yourself. These sweet treats will cure your child’s sweet tooth in a healthy way you can feel good about. Make your chips soft and chewy, or make them crisp. The longer you keep them in the dehydrator the crisper they will be.
- Any other fruits you have on hand
Lemon Water Juice Solution
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3/4 cup water
- Spray bottle for your lemon water juice solution
Wash fruits and peel if desired. You can leave peels on apples if you would like, this makes apple chips more nutritious, but not everyone like them with the peel on. Core fruit with an apple corer.
Slice fruit using a meat slicer, mandolin, or by hand. All slices should be of uniform thickness, but you should adjust the thickness of different types of fruits by the amount of water content they have. The more water content they have, the more the fruit will shrink. You will need to experiment to find out what thickness you prefer, typically between 1/8″ and 1/4″.
Place your fruit on the trays of the dehydrator, leaving plenty of room in between them to allow for air circulation. Do not overlap fruit.
Mix up the lemon – water solution and put it in a clean, new spray bottle. Spray the tops of any non-citrus fruits, such as bananas, apples, and pears. The lemon juice will keep fruit from oxidizing and turning brown. You can also dip fruit in this mixture before placing it on the tray if you do not have a spray bottle handy.
Place dehydrator trays in the food dehydrator, and set temperature to 105 – 115 degrees F. Set the timer on your dehydrator for 8 hours to start. The amount of time it will take your fruit to actually be ready will vary depending on several factors. First you must determine how dry you want your fruit. Fruit that is pliable, but not crisp will take less time. The time will also depend on how thick you cut your fruit, as well as how humid it is where you are doing the drying. Finally how long you dehydrate will also depend on the fruit. Apples will take approximately 8-10 hours, whereas bananas and pineapples will take 12-20 hours. Set your timer according to the fruit that takes the least amount of time and then check the fruit, remove anything that is ready, and turn the dehydrator back on.
Seal finished fruit in air tight containers, or in food sealer bags. Store in the fridge to keep fruit longer.