Dehydrated food is just as it sounds: food that has had the water taken out of it. This is usually due to a dehydrator machine but the practice dates back thousands of years. Dehydrating food makes it last it longer, it takes up less space, and it can also taste delicious. A fan favorite is dried fruit such as mango, banana, and apricot. Some people would consider dehydrated pineapple the most scrumptious of all dried fruits.
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The Wonders of Dehydrated Food
Lots of folks turn to dehydrated food for long trips because it makes for a handy snack that is both delicious and nutritious. Throw some dried fruit together with some nuts and that’s a nice homemade trail mix for a plane ride or hiking adventure. Dehydrated fruit is particularly great because it’s a healthier way to get a sweet fix without consuming loads of added sugars and candy.
Of course, the process of dehydrating food requires some machinery. Dehydrators range in price and a decent one will cost around $60. Depending on the make and model, it might take some monkeying around to get a feel for how the device operates. Some test batches might be necessary to gauge some variables such as how thick to slice the fruit, which settings work best, etc.
If purchasing a food dehydrator isn’t feasible, the process also works in an oven. Usually, 145 degrees Fahrenheit is a good starting point for drying out fruits but it will take some playing around to find the perfect temperature. An oven takes much longer than a dehydrator; it can take about six to eight hours.
These food items can last for months in plastic baggies or Tupperware as well as metal and glass containers. Keep in mind that dried fruit should have its own container. In other words, don’t mix dehydrated veggies, fish, meat, and fruit all together.
Why Dehydrated Pineapples?
Fruit is one of the most popular items to pop into a dehydrator. The possibilities are endless and the result is flavorful dried fruit with a delightfully sweet taste. Dehydrated pineapple is a total crowd-pleaser and hits the spot when running into a sluggish part of a long day.
The tropical flavor is an instant pick-me-up and this fruit tends to be sweet without inciting a sugar high. Be sure not to use pineapples that are too ripe or else they’ll be super acidic. Also, try to load up on pineapple when it’s on sale since dehydrated fruit can last for months.
Preparing the Pineapple
Prepping the pineapple for the dehydrator is one of the most important things because it sets the stage for how the fruit will turn out. First of all, the pineapple needs to be cleaned and patted dry. Be sure to use cold water to rinse the fruit and use a paper towel or dish towel to pat it dry.
Then it’s time to slice the pineapple. Use a butcher knife to cut off the leafy top and the base of the pineapple. Place the fruit on its base and carefully slice from the top down to the bottom to remove the bumpy skin. Next, start at the top and cut the pineapple into quarters so there are four long pieces of fruit. There will be one edge on each piece that is hard and rough; this is the core. Use the knife to slice this portion off of the fruit pieces. Finally, take each piece and cut them into half-inch slices. Depending on personal preference, they may be thinner or thicker.
At this point, the pineapple is ready to go into the dehydrator (or oven). Most dehydrators do a good job with pineapple at 135 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 to 16 hours. Or, you could do 145 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven for eight hours. Either way, flip the slices halfway through.
Dried Pineapple Recipes
The possibilities are endless and with a little imagination, dried pineapple can go in so many different recipes! Try adding it to pizza, in cookies, as part of a trail mix, or in chicken salad. Sprinkle some sugar on top after it comes out of the dehydrator to add more sweetness or add some cayenne to give it a kick. There are plenty of ways to have dehydrated pineapple suit any taste.
Check out our other delicious recipes here!