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Friday, August 19, 2011

Dehydrating Cantaloupe - Sweet!

Another trip to the Wyandotte Farmer's Market yielded corn, onions, garlic, peaches, chocolate chip cookies, blueberries, and one very large cantaloupe.  My daughter was with me, and she insisted on getting the largest one at the market.  I like cantaloupe, and so do my children, but after the first slices, it will sit in the fridge for a few days, until it makes the sad trip to the compost pile.  After doing a bit of research, and having received my new dehydrator the same day as the shopping trip, I decided to make cantaloupe chips!

New Dehydrator and Maddie's Cantaloupe

Dehydrating cantaloupe is so easy, that I am ashamed I have not done it before.  All you need to do is cut it into 1/4 inch pieces, as long or square or curved as you like.  I just cut it in four, scooped out the seeds, cut off the rind, then proceeded to cut 1/4 inch long slices, and then cut those into squarish pieces.  The kids and I ate a quarter of this fresh, and the rest filled up all seven trays of the dehydrator.
Cantaloupe in the Dehydrator

This dehydrator has a temperature setting on the top, and I set it at 125.F because I started after dinner, and cantaloupe takes about 8 - 10 hours at 135.F, putting me at a 4am morning.  I do not do mornings.  At 125.F  I was able to let it go a few hours longer.  I checked it at around 8:30 am, and most were dried by 10:00 am.  
Dried Cantaloupe

The cantaloupe is done when it is leathery, but with no trace of moistness in the centers.  The edges can be a bit crisp.  Actually, my kids liked the crisper ones better, and the neighbor girls are munching on them now, as they play dolls.  

The one thing I must say about cantaloupe chips is that they are intense.  The sweetness is concentrated, and they taste very cantaloupe-y.  The flavor is more pronounced.  I love fresh cantaloupe better, but the kids really like the chips, so I think this is a win-win situation for my family.  The kids get a snack that they like, and I get to eat fresh cantaloupe more often because I know it will no longer go to waste.

1 comment:

  1. I love cantaloupe chips! Simply delicious!