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Summer is undoubtedly the best time to eat watermelon. Do you ever get a case of watermelon weariness, though? When you’ve gotten your fill, and there’s still a half watermelon in your fridge waiting to be eaten?
During times like these, we all wish we had a recipe that uses up leftover watermelon. If the question “can you dehydrate watermelon?” has crossed your mind before, then you should know that the answer is a big YES!
You can make the most incredible watermelon taffy or candy by dehydrating watermelon. Whether you term it watermelon candy, watermelon jerky, or dehydrated watermelon, it’s all a great way to experience summer’s flavor.
We’ve found a recipe that uses only one ingredient for a nutritious snack that manages to be sweet without adding anything extra. It’s a tasty treat for children of all ages!
Can You Dehydrate Watermelon?
Now that we’ve made it clear that dehydrating watermelon is possible, your next question might be, “how?” Let’s have a look at the watermelon dehydration process and the essentials that you’ll need to carry this out:
- Cutting board
- Serrated edge knife or bread knife
- Parchment paper/ fruit leather trays
- Airtight container
How to Dehydrate Watermelon
The watermelon dehydration process begins with a tasty watermelon. You’ll wind up with a thick leather that doesn’t taste great if it’s flavorless or bland.
Choose a watermelon that is weighty for its size and has a deep, rich color. If you see a spotty region of yellow/brownish color, do not be alarmed. This means that the fruit ripened on the ground rather than being prematurely harvested.
If possible, start with a watermelon that’s at room temperature. To get rid of any dirt on the watermelon’s exterior, wash it in cold water.
Cut a seedless watermelon’s base off with a very sharp knife. Then, flip the watermelon around and slice the other side. The next step is to trim the rind. To do this, run your knife around the outside of the watermelon.
Spin the watermelon until all the rinds have been extracted. The watermelon should then be cut in half. Divide the watermelon into 1/4-inch thin slices once more.
Watermelon should not be cut into narrow strips since it will shrink significantly. When you take the watermelon out of the dehydrator, it will shatter if it has been cut too thin. The thicker the slices, the better.
To ensure that the slices dry uniformly, try to maintain them as equal in thickness as possible. Arrange the watermelon slices on dehydrator trays and dehydrate for 12 hours at 135 degrees F.
Arrange the slices on the tray so that they aren’t touching, which will allow them to dry properly. Make sure the trays aren’t too full. Remove the dried watermelon slices as soon as possible and set them aside to cool fully.
Tips for Dehydrating Watermelon
Here are some useful tips for dehydrating watermelon:
- The most important part of this process is ensuring you have good knife skills. Make sure each slice is roughly 1/4-inch long.
- If you aren’t using a dehydrator, use the lowest temperature on your oven. Just keep in mind that this will probably be warmer than a dehydrator, requiring less time. Since the sugars caramelize more in a hot oven, the final result will be a little browner.
- The dehydrated watermelon can last up to a week if stored in an airtight container. Because the sugars will make the slices stay together, it is best to separate the layers using parchment paper or something similar.
- If you fail to take them out right away and they end up sticking to your tray, put them back in the oven for a few minutes to loosen them up.
- If you want to add another flavor, do so cautiously. The dehydrator will eliminate most of the water, making any additional flavor extra strong.
- Seedless watermelon is preferable to regular watermelon since the seeds are unpleasant to eat.
How to Store Dehydrated Watermelon
When preserving watermelon taffy for more than a few days, parchment paper is ideal. The dehydrated watermelon is susceptible to excessive humidity, regardless of how dry you maintain it.
The sugars will most likely absorb the humidity and become sticky. If you don’t have parchment paper, you can also store the watermelon in a zip-top bag or airtight container.
Can You Dehydrate Watermelon in an Oven?
The answer to this question is “maybe.” Watermelon dehydrates better in a food dehydrator because of its high moisture content. The most effective method is to use uniform heat with a fan blowing.
However, you could place your watermelon on a cookie sheet before placing it into the oven. Afterward, with the door slightly ajar, set your oven to the lowest temperature possible to allow the water to drain.
It will take several hours to completely dry. If you plan on drying food regularly, a food dehydrator is a good investment.
What Does Dehydrated Watermelon Taste Like?
Watermelon that has been dehydrated is delicious. It is dried fruit with a sweet and tangy watermelon flavor. Dehydrated watermelon is similar to the delightful taste of watermelon compacted into a nutritious chewy snack.
The best way to describe the taste of dehydrated watermelon is that it tastes similar to watermelon with more sweetness and flavor. It tastes like watermelon jolly rancher candy and has a pleasant richness to it.
The texture is similar to that of watermelon taffy. When you bite into a dehydrated watermelon slice, it’s chewy and flexible. It’s more like a healthy candy that you’ll enjoy sharing with your family. Dehydrated watermelon is a delicious treat made entirely of natural ingredients.
Dehydrated watermelon is great for people searching for something new to dehydrate. It’s a one-of-a-kind natural watermelon delicacy that’s fun to prepare and enjoy.
Why Try Dehydrated Watermelon?
There are times when you buy a watermelon that is too large and hard to finish. This homemade dehydrated watermelon recipe is a terrific way to utilize any remaining watermelon before it spoils.
If you’re attempting to limit your intake of added sugars, consider this nutritious snack, which contains no added sugar while still tasting sweet and pleasant. Watermelon is a low-cost fruit that also happens to be one of the favorite clean-eating foods for many people.
Benefits of Eating Dehydrated Watermelon
Eating watermelon in any form is not only delicious, but also comes with some advantages. According to healthline.com, there are several benefits of eating watermelon:
- Nourishes hair and skin
Watermelon has vitamins A and C that are beneficial for skin and hair health. Vitamin C aids in the production of collagen, a protein that maintains your skin and keeps your hair strong and supple.
Vitamin A is also necessary for healthy skin, as it helps to form and repair skin cells. Your skin can become dry and flaky if you don’t get sufficient vitamin A. Lycopene and beta-carotene are antioxidants found in vitamin A that may help protect your skin from UV damage.
- Lowers oxidative stress and inflammation
Watermelon is high in the anti-inflammatory antioxidants vitamin C and lycopene, which can help reduce oxidative damage and inflammation. In a certain study, people were offered lycopene-rich tomato juice with additional vitamin C.
Generally, the participants’ inflammatory indicators went down as their antioxidant levels moved up. Lycopene, being an antioxidant, may also be beneficial to brain health. It could, for example, slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Aids in avoiding macular degeneration
Lycopene is found in numerous regions of the eye and aids in preventing inflammation and oxidative damage. It could also help prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD) as people get older, since this is a frequent eye condition that can result in blindness in older people.
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of lycopene can help prevent AMD from forming and worsening.
- Helps prevent cancer
Plant chemicals such as lycopene found in watermelon have been researched for their anti-cancer properties. Although lycopene consumption is linked to a lower risk of some cancers, research findings are still under discussion.
Recently, the strongest association appears to be between the digestive system and lycopene. It minimizes the risk of cancer by decreasing insulin-like growth factor (IGF), a cell division protein. Very high IGF levels have been connected to cancer.
If you were wondering, “can you dehydrate watermelon,” we hope this article has answered your question. Dehydrating a watermelon is an easy and enjoyable process, which is more than worth it when you eat the sweet dehydrated watermelon slices.
Watermelon pairs perfectly with a wide variety of flavors. Before putting your sliced watermelon in the dehydrator, feel free to add some flavors first. However, use caution because after dehydrating, all flavors will be more intensified.