You can create your own fruit snacks by dehydrating your favorite fruit.
A dehydrator is optimal for this process, but you can turn your oven into a makeshift dehydrator by setting it on its lowest temperature, propping open the oven door, and directing a fan into the oven.
The following fruits lend themselves well to the drying process. Allow 6-12 hours for drying, depending on your method.
- Apples. May be dried with or without the peel. Slice the apple and place on dehydrator sheets, or on parchment-lined cookie sheets for oven drying. The apple will turn slightly darker, but is still fine to eat. To maintain the original color simply dip the apple slices in pineapple, lemon, or orange juice before placing on trays.
- Bananas. Peel and slice into 1/4-inch slices. Arrange in single layer on mesh sheet or parchment paper. Allow 8-12 hours for dehydrating, depending on your method. You will know your slices are done when the banana is chewy and a little sticky. It will have a caramel-like color.
- Mangoes. Underripe or ripe mangoes can be easily dehydrated. Overripe mangoes are best turned into fruit leather. Pitting and peeling mangoes can be a challenge. One method is to stand the mango upright and with a sharp knife, cut the peel and flesh off the pit into four sections. Remove the peel from all pieces and scrape the flesh away from the peel. Slice and place on dehydrator trays.
To insure any fruit is dry enough, be sure there are no moisture beads present. Dried fruit can be stored in an airtight container for several months.
Try your hand at pitted cherries, sliced strawberries, and firm, whole blueberries. Combine with sprouted seeds and/or nuts for a grain-free granola. Enjoy!