Besides freezing fruit and making smoothies, another way to use up all that farmers market bounty in your kitchen is to dry it. Dried fruit is a great healthy snack that’s easy to tote around, and it also doubles well as a salad topping, cocktail garnish, or trail mix ingredient. Drying your own fruit is easy though a bit time consuming, but it’s totally worth it! Say goodbye to high prices, added sugar, and sulfur, and hello to an all-natural fruity goodness that’s sure to make Martha Stewart weep from joy, or whip around a strippe r pole in total glee.
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup waterSpecial equipment needed:
- Remove oven racks; preheat oven to 145ºF.
- Prep fruit: wash thoroughly, and slice into uniform pieces. Remove any seeds, pits, or stems. I cut small fruits like berries or grapes in half, and larger fruits like apples or peaches into quarter-inch rings or slices.
- Mix lemon and water together. Then dip fruit slices into this mixture. The acid in the lemons helps preserve the natural color of the fruit.
- Cover the removed oven racks with cheesecloth. Lay fruit in a single layer onto the covered oven racks. Place fruit racks into the oven, and leave the oven door slightly ajar to let steam escape while drying the fruit.
- Bake fruit anywhere from 4 to 12 hours, and make sure to rotate racks while baking. Fruit will look dry and/or leathery when done. Don’t be afraid to do a taste test!
- Transfer finished fruit in an airtight container or bag, and store in a cool, dry place.