I love reaching into my trail mix bag and picking out the dried banana chips, but for some reason I always end up with a bag full of raisins in the end. I guess that’s because normally I don’t have the pleasure of tasting the variety of dried bananas, peaches, and other yummy fruits on a daily basis, leaving the lonely raisin to sit in the bag alone. But if you love dried fruit, you don’t have to wait until it’s time for a hike to enjoy your favorite flavors, in fact, there’s a new surge in dried fruit making it even easier to get your fix.

History of Dried Fruit

 Food has been dried since the beginning of time, well, the beginning of humans at least. In ancient times, food was dried through the process of laying it out in the sun and allowing nature to take it’s course. Over the years, this process has taken on many forms to include sun drying, wrapping the fruit in dried palm leaves and burying it in the sand, freeze dried, and most recently conventionally dried using dehydrators such as the STX International Dehydra.

Health Benefits of Dried Fruit

Everyone knows that fruit is good for you, I mean it’s part of the core food pyramid. So how does dried fruit stand up to the health conscious critics?  While most agree that if you choose your dried fruit correctly, then you are essentially eating fresh fruit without the water content.  With that in mind, it’s also important to understand that your proportion of dried fruit is what really matters. A single serving of a dried apricot for example is a fraction of the size of a whole apricot, meaning that one bite of a dried fruit is equal to the same number of sugars and calories as eating a whole apricot. As many of us take this for granted, watching the “quantity” of your dried fruit intake is key to balancing a healthy diet and overeating your favorite treat.

Authority Nutrition offers some insight into the benefits and health uses of dried fruit including the downside of these highly condensed calorie and sugary treats.

Top Dehydrator Brands

If you are looking for an easy way to enjoy your favorite fruit without worrying about it going bad on your counter, then opting in to drying your fruit may be the answer.

Black tea with dried fruits

Black tea with dried fruits

Incorporating your favorite flavors into granola bars, salads and teas are just a few suggestions that come to mind when utilizing the wholesome goodness dried fruit has to offer. With modern technology, you don’t have to slice up your banana and try to keep the ants off of it out in the sun for hours on end, instead, you have the convenience of preparing your fruit, tossing it into a dehydrator and hitting a button. With so many different brands and types of dehydrators on the market, we can’t cover them all, but here are some of the top recommended brands:

  • Excalibur 3948CDB
  • Nesco Snackmaster Pro FD-75A
  • Excalibur 3926TB
  • Presto 06300 Dehydro Electric
  • Aroma Nutriware NFD-815D

Personally, I’ve not tried to dry my own fruit, not because I am unwilling, but mostly because I don’t attribute eating dried fruit as a standing staple in my diet. A practice that I admit should change and after reviewing the content, how easy it is to dry your own fruit and health benefits of the different types of dried fruit, I’ll be looking into a dehydrator. So if you love fruit, why not try a dried version and see how it measures up!