Ok, so I'm a dried fruit addict. No, really, I am. I also am picky on my dried fruit....I don't want my dried fruit pumped full of sulfur dioxide. Kinda defeats the purpose of a healthy snack right? I also love that my little kidlet and hubby will gobble up bags and bags of my homemade dried goodies. Why buy FAKE fruit snacks when you can make your own at home? The cost is MUCH cheaper than buying prepackaged mass produced stuff (plus, it's pretty tough to find just PLAIN dried fruit without any additives. Just watch your local grocery store produce sales and shop your local farmer's market. Now, this is a fruit I had not thought of drying. I mean, watermelon? Isn't it like 80% water or something? I had a friend who is big into the raw food thing tell me how totally awesome dried watermelon was...and to be honest, I really didn't think it would work. Anyway, I made it a few years back and BOY let me tell ya. I'm addicted. The stuff tasted like candied fruit leather. It has a wonderful chewy texture and the sweetness of one piece rivals that of any sugar and corn syrup laden FFS (fake fruit snack). You WILL need a food dehydrator that has temperature control. I tried it on an older model that is just plug in with no controls and my fruit drying attempt failed miserably :(
Ok, so here is how to make your tasty scrumptious all natural dried watermelon:
Lightly brush dehydrator trays with a teensy tiny bit of oil (to prevent watermelon from sticking when dried) Slice watermelon into 1/4"ish slices, remove the rind, then cut into strips or chunks. I normally cut them into 1" x 3" strips. Place them on the dehydrator trays. Turn dehydrator to degrees 135 and dry for about 16-20 hours. Every couple of hours, rotate your trays, moving the bottom to the top and all the ones in between). Lower temp to 105 and dry for another 1-2 hours or until watermelon is thoroughly dry but still pliable.
You can store this in a ziplock bag in your pantry for a few weeks. It will keep for months if frozen. Just remove and set on the countertop for a couple hours before eating ;)
I REALLY hope you guys get a chance to try this out. It's SO tasty and such a healthy snack for your family. Thanks for reading my internet friends :)