How to make your own dried fruit at home
Dried fruit makes for a yummy snack and offers a burst of summer flavor in the dead of winter. But most brands contain tons of added sugar that turn a treat like dried pineapple from a healthy snack into a decadent dessert. It also carries a pretty considerable carbon footprint when you factor in its trip to a processing plant and all of that packaging.
But never fear; homemade dried fruit is just an afternoon away. It’s easy to do, albeit time-consuming, so save this recipe for a rainy day or a Saturday when you need to hang around for a furniture delivery. It’s worth it; we promise.
Choose fruit that’s ripe but not too ripe. Any fruit will do, though summery fruits like pineapple would be great picks for this time of year. Slice it thinly to help it dry faster.
If you’re drying a noncitrus fruit, soak it in orange juice or lemon juice diluted with water for a few minutes — the vitamin C keeps the fruit from turning brown. You can also steam the fruit for a few minutes to speed up the process.
Preheat your oven to its lowest setting, between 90 and 150 degrees F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the fruit on it so the pieces do not touch. Allow the fruit to dry in the oven for several hours — it took me five hours, but it can take longer, so check every once in a while. Fruit should be chewy but not crispy.
Remove the fruit from the oven. Let it cool before you try it, of course, and leave it out overnight before packing it away in containers.