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how to dehydrate plums in food dehydrator


Dehydrating Plums in a Food Dehydrator: Preserving the Flavor and Nutrients


Plums are not only delicious and juicy but also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They make a perfect snack, addition to salads, or ingredient for desserts. However, plums have a limited shelf life as they tend to spoil quickly. Dehydrating plums in a food dehydrator is an excellent way to extend their lifespan while maintaining their flavor and nutrients. In this article, we will guide you through the process of dehydrating plums, ensuring that you can enjoy this delightful fruit year-round.

I. Getting Started with Dehydrating Plums

A. Selecting the Right Plums

When choosing plums for dehydration, opt for ripe fruits that are firm yet slightly soft to the touch. Look for plums that have rich color, as they generally offer a deeper flavor. If you prefer sweeter dried plums, select varieties like the Santa Rosa or Black Beauty. For a tangier taste, go for prune plums or Italian plums.

B. Preparing the Plums

Give your plums a thorough wash to eliminate any dirt, bacteria, or pesticides. After washing, start by removing the pits. You can do this by cutting the plums in half with a sharp knife, twisting them gently, and pulling the two halves apart. For smaller plums, a simple squeeze should pop out the stone. If you desire, you can slice the plums into smaller pieces to speed up the dehydration process and create bite-sized treats.

II. Pre-Treatment Options

A. Blanching

Blanching is an optional step that helps preserve the natural color and flavor of the plums while killing surface bacteria. To blanch the plums, immerse them in boiling water for about 1-2 minutes. Then, transfer the plums to an ice bath to cool rapidly. Allow the plums to air-dry or pat them gently with paper towels before arranging them on the dehydrator trays.

B. Citric Acid Solution

Another pre-treatment option involves a citric acid solution. Mix one teaspoon of citric acid with one cup of water and stir until dissolved. Soak the halved or sliced plums in the solution for around 10 minutes. This method not only preserves color and flavor but also helps prevent browning during the dehydration process.

III. Dehydrating Process

A. Preparing the Food Dehydrator

Check the manufacturer's instructions for your specific food dehydrator model to ensure you set it up correctly. Most dehydrators require the trays to be stacked on top of each other, leaving some space between each tray for proper air circulation. Make sure the dehydrator is clean and free from any residue before placing the plums inside.

B. Loading the Plums

Carefully place the prepared plums onto the dehydrator trays, ensuring they are evenly spaced and not touching each other. This allows the warm air to circulate freely, promoting effective dehydration.

C. Dehydrating Temperature and Time

Set your dehydrator to a temperature between 130°F (54°C) and 160°F (71°C) for optimal results. The drying time typically ranges from 8 to 24 hours, depending on the thickness of the plum slices and your desired level of moisture. Remember to periodically check on the plums and rotate the trays if necessary to ensure uniform drying.

IV. Storage and Enjoyment

A. Testing for Dryness

To check if the plums are properly dehydrated, allow a few slices to cool for a few minutes. When they are ready, they should be slightly flexible with no visible moisture on the surface. If needed, you can return the slices to the dehydrator for further drying.

B. Conditioning

After cooling, conditioning the dried plums is recommended to equalize the moisture and distribute it evenly. Place the dried plums in airtight containers, filling them only about two-thirds full. Shake the containers gently every day for a week to redistribute any remaining moisture. If condensation occurs during conditioning, return the plums to the dehydrator for additional drying.

C. Storage Tips

For long-term storage, choose airtight containers made of glass or food-grade plastic that can block out moisture and prevent pests. Label the containers with the date and content to keep track of their freshness. Store the dried plums in a cool, dark place such as a pantry or cupboard, as exposure to light and heat can degrade their quality over time.

D. Enjoying Dehydrated Plums

Dried plums can be enjoyed in various ways. You can eat them as a healthy snack, add them to trail mixes, or incorporate them into baked goods like muffins and cookies. Rehydrate the dried plums by soaking them in water, fruit juice, or tea, and use them in jams, compotes, and sauces for delightful culinary creations.


Dehydrating plums in a food dehydrator is a convenient and effective way to preserve this juicy fruit while enhancing its natural sweetness. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can enjoy the delicious and nutritious benefits of plums long after their harvest season is over. So go ahead, grab some plums, and experience the joy of creating your own dehydrated fruit treats. Happy dehydrating!


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