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Watermelon (raw, dehydrated)

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dehydrated-watermelon-featureDehydrating watermelon is like creating a pure, whole food, single ingredient…. CANDY!  It sort of reminds me of bubble gum, well as far as flavor goes.  Unfortunately you won’t be able to blow bubbles with it.

The texture can go anywhere from crispy to chewy, it just depends on how long you leave it in the dehydrator.   Drying the watermelon definitely concentrates the sweetness, also there is a lot of water in watermelon, 92% in fact, so be prepared for major shrinkage.

Did you know that watermelon is both a fruit and a vegetable.  It is a fruit because it contains seeds.  It is thought of as vegetable because it is a member of the same family as the cucumbers, pumpkin and squash.  I am not sure how I feel about this.  I think in my minds-eye, it will always be a fruit.

As a child my great-grandmother would tell me that if I swallowed the watermelon seeds, watermelons would grow out of my bellybutton.  I use to stare in awe down at my bellybutton…  the source of life.  I was convinced that babies were born out of there too, not because of what others told me, but because of an overactive brain.

Because I loved watermelon sooo much, I would eat large quantities, enough to make my tummy expand.  Of course as a child, I didn’t understand the word “bloat”… so when my belly would puff out, my eyes would grow large as I stared down at my expanding belly…. was I growing a watermelon or a….baby?!!!  Times were scary back then. haha

Did you know that watermelon is exceptionally rich in lycopene (hence its red color) and other carotenoids such as lutein and beta carotene.  Lycopene has been found to have over 40 potential health benefits, and beta carotene too .  I can safely say that as a child, I was rich in lycopene and beta carotene. :)

As I was dehydrating the watermelon last week,  I had a total of 27 trays going at once.  The humidity that it put in the air was startling and amazing, it was almost like a watermelon infused spa treatment.   Well, that about sums it up for now.  If you haven’t dehydrated watermelon before, I encourage you to give it a try.  But don’t feel that you have to do 27 trays at one time.   Blessings!

dehydrated-watermelon-bitesIngredients:

  • Watermelon

Preparation:

  1. Remove the rind and cut the watermelon in desired shapes and sizes.
  2. Place the watermelon on the mesh sheets that come with the dehydrator.
  3. Dry at 145 degrees (F)  for 1 hour, then reduce to 115 degrees (F) for 6-8 hours or until dry.
    • The dry time will vary depending on the machine you are using,  the climate you live in, humidity and how full the dehydrator is. It will also depend on thick or thin you cut the pieces.
  4. Store in an airtight container for 3-12 months.

Culinary Explanations:

  • Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F).  Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
  • When working with fresh ingredients it is important to taste test as you build a recipe.  Learn why (here).
  • Don’t own a dehydrator? Learn how to use your oven (here). I do however truly believe that it is a worthwhile investment. Click (here) to learn what I use.
watermelon cut into large chunks and ready to be dehydrated

To create candy-like bits of watermelon, jus cut into cube shapes.

watermelon cut into long strips

To create watermelon sticks (jerky) slice the watermelon into long thick strips. Remember, it will reduce by at least 50 % during the drying process.

 

31 thoughts on “Watermelon (raw, dehydrated)

  1. Laurie says:

    Morning Amie Sue,

    You pointed out the water content and shrinkage of watermelon when dehydrating, so I was wondering some round about sizes you have cut yours at and have had success?… Those strips in the photos have a nice appeal.

    I’ve never had dehydrated watermelon before. My curiosity is super peaked now after seeing this on your site. I need to get my dehydrator revved up and make some fruits in it!

    Have a great Sunday!
    Laurie

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Laurie,

      With watermelon, I have learned to cut it larger than you might expect. I don’t recommend anything smaller than 1″ cubes. The strips that I did were roughly 6″ long, about 1/2″ wide and oooh maybe a little over 1/4″ thick. Some were thicker than other. :)

      If you like watermelon, I am confident that you will love it this way. If you give it a try, keep me posted. Have a glorious day! amie sue

  2. Marilyn says:

    You didn’t mention figs. My fig tree usually has an over abundance of fruit that will not keep more than 3-5 days, so I wash them and I just cut them in half (if tough, I peel) and dehydrate until crispy dry. Make wonderful chewy treats or can hydrate and use as jam.)This year I didn’t have room in my dehydrator , so I puréed them in my blender and stuck them in the freezer. I pulled out a package thinking it was something else (must learn to label lol) so I decided to make fruit leather. Used an oiled cookie sheet in my oven at lowest setting with door cracked. Good tart chewy leather.

    • amie-sue says:

      I love figs. I rarely see them where I live so I haven’t dabbled much with fresh figs. I have a few raw recipes and have made fruit leathers from before. I appreciate you sharing Marilyn! Have a great evening, amie sue

  3. Jessica says:

    Hi there,
    I love the color your watermelon gets… I have seen some that have been brown… do you have any tricks or tips to the wonderful pink color yours has?

    Thanks

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Jessica,

      I don’t have any tricks up my sleeve. I didn’t treat my watermelon… just plain ole plain ole watermelon. :) My suggestion is to use ripe watermelon that is nice and red/pink. I have noticed that as the dried melon ages, it fades in color. Have a wonderful evening, amie sue

  4. t portlock says:

    can I use the oven? I am just learning to dry food. so far I have used apples and pears

    • amie-sue says:

      I haven’t tried it T…. because it is so high in water content I would worry about it not drying properly. If you try it, be sure to keep the temp as low as possible and keep a real close eye on it. Good luck! amie sue

      • Love Z. says:

        I tried this in my oven just now. It has taken 2 days but the watermelon is finally getting crisp. For the first 8 hours I had the oven on normally at 150. For the 2nd 8 hours I tried the convection oven; that worked a lot better. I turned the oven off overnight. This morning I put it in for another 6 hours (so far) on convection. I am guessing it will take 2 more hours to complete.

        We don’t have a dehydrator yet. Maybe we should invest in one! The watermelon strips are delicious…

        • amie-sue says:

          Oh wow Love… that is a long drying process. Personally, I would invest in a dehydrator. You will find it very helpful with other raw recipes as well. I don’t know about you, but dried watermelon reminds me of the taste of bubble gum. hehe Thanks for keeping me posted. Many blessings, amie sue

          • Faith says:

            Also if you want to try the taste before you invest in a dehydrator, grilling works. (it dehydrates the outside and leaves the inside juicy) My favorite is grilled pineapple, it tastes like buttered popcorn.

  5. Tina DeGroate says:

    Love the jars with the rustic lids. What brand are they?

  6. kotesha says:

    Say, You were to put the watermelon in the oven for 200 degrees, and Kept checking on it? Wouldn’t you think it’d work?

    • amie-sue says:

      I haven’t tested it Kotesha… if you do, keep a really close eye on it. It might take longer than expected due to the high water content. Wish I could give an answer based off of experience here. Good luck! amie sue

  7. Elizabeth says:

    I have watermelon in the dehydrator now. Cannot wait to see how it turns out. Your presentation is marvelous! Anyone trying to dehydrate in an oven must get a dehydrator, you will be obsessed.

  8. raspberrypie says:

    Hi,

    Those look great! I want to try this as well. I’ve got a dehydrator that has a fan blowing from the bottom of the machine, so I’m a bit worried about how much this would leak? Does the watermelon drip a lot of juice? Thankyou!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Raspberrypie,

      You should be ok… I would have put non-stick sheets down if it created dripping juice, because wants that sticky mess to clean up. Granted I can’t garentee anything.. some watermelons are juicier than others. You can always start the drying process out by putting them on non-stick sheets till they start to reduce in size, then transfer them straight to the mesh sheet. :) amie sue

  9. Gayle says:

    Hi Amie-Sue,

    I was so intrigued by the dehydrated watermelon I was compelled to try the recipe and purchased a 46-pound watermelon from a local farmer. It was seeded…. Dedicated to the cause, I worked like a mad woman for three days on dehydrating this beast of a melon. Yes, three days. My Excalibur is the 10 tray stainless steel. Lessons learned:
    1. Do not purchased a seeded watermelon. It makes for weakened slices after removing the seeds.
    2. Do not place all the the watermelon meat from a huge 46-pound watermelon onto all ten trays in one batch. Watermelon is so wet, it needs enough space to the air and heat to circulate to dehydrate properly.
    3. T

    • amie-sue says:

      46 pound watermelon!!!!!!! Holy smoke-a-roo! lol Go big or go home? :) Well, you learned a lot through that experience…. oh my. Yes, watermelon is so high in water that it can really create tons of humidity in there. Sorry you struggled a bit but thank you for sharing. Wow, 46 pound… hehe Shew

  10. Erin says:

    Where did you get those jars? They are beautiful

  11. trina says:

    Hi there. Just wondering your thoughts about dehydrating watermelon with a nuwave. I haven’t try any dehydrating yet but am planning on it and I would love this.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Trina… I don’t have any experience with this machine. But if you try it, keep me posted. :) Blessings, amie sue

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  13. Cynthia Trainer says:

    Just put watermelon in dehydrator. What texture should I be looking for when it’s done?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Cynthia… chewy basically. It will depend on how thick or thin you made the pieces. How is it going? amie sue

  14. sherry says:

    Do I need to store the dehydrated watermelon in the refrigerator or can I keep on the kitchen counter? I’m getting ready to make the plunge!! Thank you for all that you contribute. It’s priceless!! Blessings

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Sherry,

      It all depends on how dry you get it. The more moisture left in it the shorter the shelf life when left on the counter. I know that doesn’t really give you a straight answer but there are many variables when dehydrating things at home, how things are stored, and what the ambient temp is like. I hope that makes sense. Let me know how it goes. Many blessings, amie sue

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