Dehydration...The Good Kind
Somewhere in my Facebook travels I came across someone singing the praises of "watermelon jerky". And, of all the dehydrated fruit I have tried in my life, I can honestly say it NEVER occured to me to add watermelon to the list. But, the post I read swore it tasted like cotton candy...magical words to my sweet tooth!!
So, there was only one thing to do. I packed Mr. K up in the family truckster and we headed to Bass Pro Shops for a food dehydrator. I had done a small amount of comparison shopping on Amazon.com, but time was of the essence here...cotton candy...I mean watermelon jerky was at stake!! So we purchased an Open Country 7 Tray Food Dehydrator for about $45. We chose this model for a few reasons: 1) It was the cheapest one on the shelf & cheaper than the one sitting in my online cart on Amazon. 2) My friend Elizabeth said it was the very one she had and that she recommended it. 3) The heating element is on top...and according to various YouTube videos this is a plus in the world of food dehydration.
So...I sliced up the watermelon about a quarter inch thick and placed it on the 7 trays close but not touching. This model has no temperature settings - just on/off...so once I was loaded up I turned it on. The machine was SUPER easy to figure out which is great 'cause I am NOT one to read directions. And, within a short time, my whole house smelled of watermelon which was pretty cool, but at the same time made me crazy with anticipation for watermelon cotton candy!!
I would say from start to finish the watermlon was in the dehydrator for about 12 hours (I just left it running over night), and about midway through I flipped each piece over and rotated the trays so they would dry evenly.
I was kinda nervous that this new treat that I had put so much time and effort into would not live up to my expectations, but IT DID!! OMG!!! It is my new favorite thing!! And, you must try it. I am told that this watermelon jerky will last for a month in a baggy or longer if I vac seal it, but I can tell you there is no way it will last more than a few days. I am literally having to ration myself!
I am currently drying pineapple and cantaloupe, and friends have recommeded applesauce and pie fillings (to make fruit roll ups). So...I am very excited about this new gadget.