How to Dehydrate Watermelon a.k.a. Watermelon Candy


 Dehydrate Watermelon

I’m trying something new today!  I’ve been playing with dehydrating foods for long term storage over the past few months.  I started with some simple fruits like strawberries, apples, bananas, etc. and have worked my way up to various veggies, hash browns and even chicken chili (for short term storage in fridge).  However, I really wanted to try something different.  Then I ran across someone making Watermelon Sugar aka Watermelon Candy and said hey – that could be for me!   If you have a dehydrator you should definitely try this!  If you don’t, you should consider getting one because this stuff is to die for!

To get started with your Watermelon Candy, you’ll need these items:

It all starts with the Watermelon!  I’d been picking my melon’s wrong for years (always choosing the one with the white spot).  A friend told me I should be picking the one with the “yellow” spot and it made a difference – a riper, sweeter watermelon.

dehydrate watermelon

See the yellow spot?

I could only fit half of this watermelon onto my 4 trays in my dehydrator.  I made sure to only cut what I needed and filled one tray at a time.  The half I wasn’t able to use will be put into the fridge and eaten over the next day or two since we can’t keep our hands off watermelon in this house!

Halved

The half I used was cut into quarters, and then into 1/4″ slices.  I then cut off the rind and cut the slices into strips (removing any seeds) and neatly placed them on the dehydrator trays, making sure they were not touching each other. While I was slicing up the watermelon I turned my dehydrator on to 125 degrees and set the completed trays on one at a time.

 

 

 

Quartered

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/4″ slices

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strips

Laid out on dehydrator tray – not touching each other!

You might notice I have liners that fit into my dehydrator trays.  This is to prevent sticking and dripping and also to keep the food from sliding through the dehydrator tray slits.  Each brand/model of dehydrator can be different sizes, so you can purchase liners that match your brand/model, or… you can use parchment paper instead.  Do not use wax paper, as the wax on the paper will melt off in the dehydrator and possibly ruin your dehydrator, and definitely the watermelon!

4 hours in dehydrator

 

8 hours in dehydrator – still very soft & pliable

14 hours in dehydrator – not quite ready yet, but close!

The amount of time your watermelon will take varies depending on your dehydrator, your location, humidity, etc.  Mine took a total of 16 hours, some can take up to 24 so don’t panic!  You’ll want to switch the position of your trays depending on your dehydrator.  The one I used is a lot hotter on the bottom so I switch them around every few hours or so, and then of course I take little nibbles as the dehydrating is going on!  Decide for yourself if you like the watermelon a little chewy or if you’d prefer it hard and crunchy.  Another option is to dehydrate until hard/crisp and you can put it into a grinder and make it into a powder if you’d like to put it into your smoothies or flavor other food dishes with it.

 Dehydrate Watermelon

I think we’ll be eating these sweet treats “as-is” for now, and the next time I dehydrate watermelon I will definitely put some in the grinder to try in a smoothie as well – because its DELICIOUS!

Special thanks to Colleen Bohrer, who inspired me to try this out –  Watermelon Sugar (& Jerky) Recipe.  Colleen also referred me to a great book The Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook , which has some wonderful recipes and helped me understand what can and CAN NOT be dehydrated (milk, eggs, cheese, fats, etc.). If you’re thinking about doing a lot of dehydrating I would definitely recommend this book to help get you started and learn the do’s and don’ts.

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