You know the drill. Your child comes home from school and in one smooth motion drops their backpack on the couch and runs to the kitchen for a snack.
While kids (okay, and adults, too) love chips, they’re not the most nutritious snack, to say the least. A single serving of chips contains about 160 calories and contains more salt in one tiny bag than your child needs in an entire day.
So what’s a parent to do?
Break out the dehydrator and provide a healthy alternative, of course! Dried fruit is a fun treat that your kids are sure to love — and it tastes great, to boot.
Here’s everything you need to know about preparing dried fruit as a post-school treat.
Finding the Best Fruits to Dry
When it comes to dehydrating fruits, your options are only limited to what’s available in your local produce section. With that said, some fruits taste better when dried than others.
Apples, for instance, are the best chip alternative for those looking for a crunch. While it won’t be as juicy as biting into a standard apple, the health benefits are still present.
A serving of dehydrated apples contains an estimated 3.7 grams of dietary fiber and include a healthy dose of vitamins B-5, B-6, A, and C.
For the child who loves a sweet treat, dried apricot is a wonderful choice. They’re chewy and sweet like a raisin, but without the added sugar. They also aid with digestive health and give skin a natural glow.
For something in between, consider bananas.
Banana chips are commonplace in supermarkets across the globe, but most store-bought banana chips contain loads of sugar that add to the calorie count and can make a child hyper.
Drying bananas yourself, however, lets you control how much sugar a serving contains. In addition, dried fruits like bananas contain a higher concentration of potassium.
Making Dried Fruit
Believe it or not, choosing the right fruit is the toughest part of the entire snack-making process! As long as you have a dehydrator, you can create tasty snacks with minimal effort.
Before you can dehydrate your fruit, you’ll want to prepare it.
Start by washing each piece and drying it carefully. Next, peel the skin (if applicable). It may be tempting to leave the skin on, but it can wither and burn.
Aside from that, the skin doesn’t carry much flavor or nutritional value when dehydrated.
Now, take a knife and safely chop up each piece of fruit. The smaller, the better. The aim is to make bite-sized snacks.
Finally, with your chopped fruit on the dehydrating rack, it’s time to season your treats to your liking. Cinnamon is a great choice for apples, for instance. You may also want to spray or soak the fruit in citrus juice to bring out the full flavor.
Now pop it in the dehydrator and wait. Who said snack time had to be tough?
Dried Fruit Makes for a Yummy, Healthy Snack
Dehydrated fruit is every bit as healthy and scrumptious as your standard piece of fruit. With tons of vitamins and minerals in each serving, dried fruit is a snack you can feel good about giving your kids.
Have any questions about using your dehydrator? Feel free to reach out and get in touch!