Melons Are a Favorite Summertime Treat. If You’ll Take the Time to Dehydrate Melon Slices You Can Have That Wonderful Flavor All Year Long.
My melon harvest was frightful, but luckily they were on sale at the local grocery store last week so I picked up several to freeze for smoothies and to dehydrate. This batch is particularly tasty!
The process is fairly straight forward so don’t miss out when they are on sale at your store.
First, thoroughly wash the outside of the melon with soap and warm water. You never know where it’s been!
Cut the melon in half and remove the seeds.
Slice the half into fourths and remove the rind.
Continue cuting each fourth into four sections, with the outside of the slice being 1/4 to 1/2 an inch thick and the inside coming to a point.
Lay them out on dehydrator trays so no pieces are touching. Set the dehydrator to 125 degrees F for 8 to 10 hours. They will be pliable when dry and the centers will be dry.
Condition the slices and make sure they are ready for storage. Place them upright in a canning jar with a tight lid for one day. If there is a trace of moisture on the glass, remove the slices and dehydrate for another hour or two. The dry melon slices can be stored in a canning jar with a tight lid for at least 6 months.
The dry melon slices can be stored in a canning jar with a tight lid for at least 6 months, although they don’t last that long at our house. For extended storage time, remove oxygen from the jar and store in a cool, dark cupboard for one year.
Since we can never grow enough melons to keep the kids happy, dehydrating is the answer. You’ll find that a few long slices of dry honeydew or cantaloupe are perfect for an afternoon snack.
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How to Store Dehydrated Melon Slices
The thing with dehydrated food is that it’s the perfect place for bacteria to grow, insects to invade, and humidity to come back again. Despite dehydrated melon slices being healthy and nutritious, you’re going to need to store them properly if you want to avoid any of these nasty surprises.
You should follow these steps if you want to store your dehydrated melon slices properly:
- Cool dry your watermelon slices completely after dehydration. The reason you will want to do this is that heat produces moisture. The resulting moisture can then be absorbed into the slices and encourage bacterial growth.
- After cooling, pack the watermelon slices in an appropriate moisture-proof container. Some good examples are plastic containers, freezer bags, vacuum containers, or tight-lid jars.
- Keep the container in a dry, dark, and cool area. Preferably a fridge, but a cellar works just as well.
Roast the Dehydrated Melon Seeds
You might be tempted to throw the seeds away, but don’t. Instead, roast the seeds and use them as a side dish for other foods.
Cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon seeds can be roasted similarly to how you would roast pumpkin seeds. Nutty melon seeds are an inexpensive, fun snack and a great way to prevent food waste. This isn’t a totally new idea, either. Roasted watermelon seeds are common in several Asian and Middle Eastern countries.
Anyway, let’s get to the process itself. Rinse, drain, and pat the seeds dry. Then, toss the seeds in a skillet along with olive oil, salt, or other seasonings of your preference, and toast them until they become crispy or golden.
If you want to use the oven for this procedure, you’re going to need a layer of baking sheet on which you’ll toss the seeds along with the seasonings. Roast at 325°F for 20-40 minutes. Optionally, you can also brine the seeds beforehand if you prefer.