This year I made some beautiful, (and delicious) holiday ornaments for my kitchen chandelier and Christmas tree from dried fruit.
The Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator with built-in timer made the project easier than ever!
Dehydrated fruits and vegetables are delicious and healthful snacks but they also make beautiful craft project materials.
I presented my Foodie Gardener dried fruit ornaments on the Home & Family show recently.
MATERIALS FOR DEHYDRATED FRUIT ORNAMENTS
- Fresh fruit with no visible bruising or soft spots
- Metal ornament hangers in different sizes and shapes
- Vitamin C crystals (powder)
- Sharp knife for citrus and soft skin fruits and mandolin for slicing smooth skin fruits like apples and pears
- Dehydration machine or you can dry fruit on a cookie sheet on very low heat until fruit feels dry to touch
INSTRUCTIONS FOR DEHYDRATED FRUIT ORNAMENTS
Cut your fruit a consistent thickness, (1/8″ or 1/4″ inch), so that the pieces dry the same length of time.
A sharp knife is mandatory for cutting citrus fruits because the soft peel will jam into the blades of a mandolin.
I tried it and it didn’t work!
Mandolins work perfectly with smooth skinned fruits like apples and pears.
To prevent browning on apples and pears, soak the cut slices in 1 quart of water mixed with 2 tablespoons of powdered vitamin C, (ascorbic or citric acid).
Citric acid slows oxidation which turns fruits brown after cutting.
Place your fruit slices on your dehydrator tray and set the temperature to 135-degrees for 6 hours.
Keep in mind that the more fruit you have in the dehydrator, the more time it may take to dry.
When 6 hours have passed, squeeze the fruit gently, feeling for any signs of humidity.
If the fruit feels very pliable or hydrated, set the dehydrator for another hour.
My Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator has a fan in the back of the unit that pushes temperature regulated air evenly to all the trays.
The built-in timer is extremely handy as well.
When your fruit feels dry, it’s time to start creating your dehydrated fruit ornaments!
I use a handy lamp shade frame to hang my ornaments while I make them so I can see my design clearly.
Pierce the top of your fruit with the ornamental fruit hanger and clamp shut so it doesn’t slip off the fruit.
You can hang another lightweight fruit from the bottom of the first fruit if it has a sturdy outer rind.
Use a lampshade frame to hang your ornaments while you are making them so you can see the design clearly.
GALLERY OF DEHYDRATED FRUIT ORNAMENTS
The design possibilities are only limited by your imagination!
Take a closeup look at my dried fruit ornaments.
EXCALIBUR 9-TRAY DEHYDRATOR GIVEAWAY!
I presented my ornaments on the Home & Family show where I am giving away ten, Excalibur Dehydrators on behalf of the show!
If you are reading this blog post between Dec. 18 and Dec. 21, 2015 before 12 midnight, go to the Home & Family Show Facebook page and enter to win the drawing.
Please share a link to this blog post with your friends, or pin a Foodie Gardener photo on Pinterest!