Whether you are a gourmand or an outdoorsy person, drying or dehydrating fruits is a fun, healthy way to make a snack and preserve fruit. Cantaloupe, generally eaten fresh, can be dehydrated and eaten as a snack or in addition to trail foods. It's easy to prepare and dry a cantaloupe without spending a lot of money. Dehydrating cantaloupe removes its moisture and makes it chewier, for a different texture and flavor.
Things You'll Need
- Food thermometer
- Dehydrator or low-heat over
- Airtight containers
- Lemon juice
Remove the rind and seeds of a fresh cantaloupe. Fresh cantaloupe is slightly soft and pliable to the touch. To easily remove the rind, cut the cantaloupe in half and run the knife around the rim of the rind, sliding it under the fruit as you go.
Cut the cantaloupe fruit into small pieces. It should be roughly 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick for best drying results. The length and shape does not matter as long as the fruit is not too thick.
Dip the cantaloupe in lemon juice for additional flavor and preservation.
Dry the cantaloupe in a food dehydrator or a low-heat oven. For fastest drying, a temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. Depending on the cantaloupe's thickness and condition, it will take at least 24 hours to dry. Check the temperature of the dehydrator or oven periodically to ensure consistent drying.
Check the melon's consistency as it dries. Air bubbles may blow out of the fruit as it dries, since melons have a high water percentage. Dried cantaloupe should be dark orange, chewable, but tough. Overly drying the cantaloupe will simply make it harder to eat.
Tips & Warnings
- Save and toast the seeds on low heat in the oven for a unique snack.
- How to Garden Advice: Dehydrating Fruit From the Garden
- "How to Dry Foods"; Deanna DeLong; 2006.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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