Snack Attack – Dehydrated Melon

Want to know the easiest, healthiest snack you’ll ever make?

It’s seriously so easy, so simple, I’m flabbergasted I didn’t think of it myself.

One day I was waiting to board my flight and a family with twins was waiting nearby.  I struck up a conversation, and while we were talking couldn’t rein in my curiosity about what those little boys were eating.  I asked, and the answer: dehydrated cantaloupe.

Interesting.  I filed it away and did nothing with it for ages, but now, with this ED for the family, I’m working valiantly to find munchies for Mr. Charm (and myself).  After another day of cutting up cantaloupe and having Mr. Charm refuse to eat it, I caught myself looking at my dehydrator and suddenly remembering the twins at the airport.  They couldn’t get enough!

Could it really be that simple? There was nothing to lose, so I tried it.

Can I get a cheer from the crowd?  He can’t stop eating dried cantaloupe.  He asks for it by name!  (Other snacks he loves, but doesn’t request.  This he DOES!)

So here’s how you make the simplest snack ever:

Cut up your cantaloupe and/or honeydew melon.  I cut it in half, scrape out the seeds and strings, then cut it into 8 strips.  Then I cut off the rind.

Cut each strip in half, and lay out on a silpat or parchment paper in your dehydrator.  I have an Excalibur.  They’re pricey, but excellent.  I bought it to make dehydrated meals to take on the plane with me and I’ve MORE than made back the money I spent on the machine in food savings on the road.  If you don’t have a dehydrator, I suppose you could do this in the oven.  I’d probably set the oven to the lowest possible temperature and check the melon occasionally.

All laid out to dry (I forgot to take the picture when they were still completely fresh. These had been drying for about four hours.)

Toss the sheets in your dehydrator and set at 105-110 degrees.  Turn the timer to 24 hours, and close the door!

Four cantaloupes and one honeydew melon drying in the dehydrator.

In dry conditions, I’ve had the melons dehydrate in as little as 12 hours.  When it’s humid, it can take quite a bit longer!  This batch took a little over 24 hours to dry!  So, wait for a bright, dry, sunny day to dry melons.

When they’re done, they aren’t hard as rocks.  They have a little bend to them, sort of like raisins feel (when they’re not stale.  Please say I’m not the only one that has old, hard raisins in her house!)  So, when they’re very dry but still bendy, take them out of the dehydrator.

All dried up and ready to eat!

Toss them in a ziplock bag, and store them in your refrigerator.  They’ll keep longer that way, and I usually cut up several melons at once.  Even Mr. Charm, with his love of dried melons, can’t eat that many too quickly!

They look browner in the picture than they do in real life. In any case, they’re delicious!

One note: the honeydew dehydrates well, but it stays quite a bit stickier than the cantaloupe does.  I’ve learned that it’s best to cut the honeydew into smaller pieces, about the size you would normally eat (if you were eating it fresh) before you dry it.  Then they don’t stick as much.  Cantaloupe is easy – it doesn’t stick as much so you can get away with minimal prep work!

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DEHYDRATED MELON

-honeydew, cantaloupe, melon of your choice

1. Cut and clean your melon of all seeds and strings.
2. Cut into strips.  Cut off the rind.
3. Cut into as small a piece as you like.  Cantaloupe does well in halves, honeydew does better in bite sized pieces.
4. Lay on parchment paper or a silpat on your dehydrator trays.
5. Insert trays into dehydrator.
6. Set temperature to 105-110 degrees, and timer to 24 hours.
7. Turn it on, and wait!  After about 8-10 hours, check the melon.  When it is pliable but no longer moist, it is finished!
8. Plop into a ziploc bag and store in the fridge.
9. Enjoy eating delicious melon whenever and wherever you want!

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Have any of you dried something you think was unusual?  Have you dried melon in the oven?  How did you do it, and what were the results? 

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