watermelon fruit strips

by Kristina Sloggett

in dehydrator,Gluten Free,Vegan,Vegan MoFo

 

Watermelons always make me think of Grandpa Z. We shared a mutual love of watermelon, and I have many memories of enjoying it with him. I have photos of Grandpa Z sitting on the kitchen floor, holding our dachshund Hansel, with a huge watermelon in front of him.

We called his mom “Watermelon Grandma”. We had watermelon eating contests – to see who could “clean” their piece the fastest. We looked for the largest watermelons always, and often used the dachshund as a reference measure.

I love my dehydrator.

I have been wanting to dehydrate watermelon for years. I tried it in the oven once – didn’t work. So even though summer is on it’s way out (brr – SO cold here!!), I did find a watermelon, and I did make my first “fruit leather”.

This tastes amazing – natural watermelon flavor intensified. Chewy and pliable like it should be, it is easy to bite and mmm, too easy to eat the entire tray (uh oh – I’m sensing a theme).

So easy – I sliced a watermelon into uniform strips, about 6 inches long, almost 2 inches wide, 1/2 inch thick:

I also cut some of those strips into bite size squares. Those were my taste testers along the way. One thing this dehydrator will (hopefully?) eventually teach me? Patience. I have none! I keep peeking inside.

These took about 8 hours at 125 degrees.

I love this as much as I knew I would, and Thank You Baby Jesus I have the room in my kitchen for it.

Grandpa Z might not appreciate Talladega Nights or Ricky Bobby (though I suspect he would…), he would love these.

Do you share the love of watermelon? What should I dehydrate next (wrings hands)?

 

{ 98 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura October 26, 2011 at 8:01 am

Oh so so jealous!! Those would be the perfect snacks for school!!!! Enjoy them!!! I have to stop typing to wipe the drool off of my mouth they look so good!!!!

Reply

2 spabettie October 26, 2011 at 9:35 am

thanks, Laura – I am enjoying… I was really excited as I was watching them… they turned out exactly as I hoped – it texture and taste!

Reply

3 Caitlin@The Vegan Chickpea October 26, 2011 at 8:19 am

wow- i would have never thought that watermelon would dehydrate so beautifully! they must taste amazing….

Reply

4 spabettie October 26, 2011 at 9:33 am

I know, I was really happy with the result. and it DOES taste amazing!

Reply

5 Lacey October 26, 2011 at 8:19 am

This is a great idea for a way to not waste a giant watermelon when only one or two people are in your household. I neeeeeeeeeeeeed a dehydrator.

Reply

6 spabettie October 26, 2011 at 9:33 am

exactly, Lacey! I like the way you think. I just got my dehydrator and am LOVING it!!

Reply

7 Felicia (Natural + Balanced) October 26, 2011 at 8:39 am

I didn’t think you could dehydrate watermelon!! Awesome. I definitely need to try it next summer!

Reply

8 spabettie October 26, 2011 at 9:31 am

it was really a gamble, you know? I had an idea of what I wanted it to look and taste like… and it did!! crazy, right? and I figured the dehydrator would be a big sticky mess inside, with all the WATER in the melon… it wasn’t… at all! I can’t wait for next summer and lots of watermelon!!

Reply

9 Alayna @ Thyme Bombe October 26, 2011 at 8:40 am

Fantastic idea, I’ve never seen dried watermelon anywhere!

Reply

10 spabettie October 26, 2011 at 9:29 am

thanks, Alayna – it’s really good, I want to make more immediately!

Reply

11 Heather (Where's the Beach) October 26, 2011 at 8:45 am

Ok, for maybe the second time every I knew where the quote was from ;-) I really am not a melon fan at all. I’ve tried, just don’t like it. Though, I used to like the watermelon Jolly Ranchers LOL

Reply

12 spabettie October 26, 2011 at 9:28 am

YAY, you got one! when Jason and I were first dating we’d end our emails with VERY obscure movie quotes for the other to guess… I’m pretty sure I started it, it’s just kinda my thing. glad you got one! especially since you don’t like the watermelon ;)

Reply

13 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com October 26, 2011 at 8:53 am

I am so envious of your dehydrator now :D Never thought anything would have left, after dehydrating watermelons since it’s water content is quite high. Mmm.. what about dehydrating pumpkins for a change? ;)

Reply

14 spabettie October 26, 2011 at 9:26 am

I know! I had an ideal outcome in my mind, how they would look and be flavored… if you cut them thick enough, but not TOO thick that they take days to finish, they are GOOD! hmmm… pumpkin… you’ve got me thinking!

Reply

15 katie October 26, 2011 at 8:56 am

omg how awesome! My husband loves watermelon ; ) I do too!

I say these would be good halloween give outs ! ha!

Reply

16 spabettie October 26, 2011 at 9:25 am

he would love these then… the flavors are concentrated and so intense! it’s like candy, really. :D and yes, in theory they would be great for Halloween… but I’m not sharing! ;)

Reply

17 Laura @bitemevegan October 26, 2011 at 9:01 am

Wow, it never occured to me to try dehydrating watermelon–great idea, and beautiful presentation!

Reply

18 spabettie October 26, 2011 at 9:23 am

thank you, Laura! it turned out exactly how I’ve been imagining it would… I want to go out today and see if there’s any more watermelons left in the store…

Reply

19 Christina October 26, 2011 at 9:06 am

I am jealous of everyone who has a dehydrator lol. I’ve been dying to get one!!! I have one on my wedding registry but I have a feeling nobody is going to know what it is and won’t buy it. I’ll have to splurge some day soon.

And hello!!! Watermelon strips! I die.

Reply

20 spabettie October 26, 2011 at 9:22 am

Christina I just got mine, and LOVE it. I have wanted one for years. :D these watermelon strips are what I have been thinking of for SO long… they are SO good. Mmm… so sad it’s the end of watermelon season! I will definitely have something to look forward to next year!

I hope someone DOES know what it is, and gets it for you!! there should be a priority listing on those things, you know? what you REALLY want to eh, I guess I’ll use this… ;)

Reply

21 Christina October 26, 2011 at 11:03 am

I’ll remember to update my registry with words like REALLY and eh under the notes section hahaha!

Reply

22 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:27 am

YES! :D

Reply

23 Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama October 26, 2011 at 9:09 am

Yes I love watermelon! I so wish I could taste those strips–they look so good!

Reply

24 spabettie October 26, 2011 at 9:19 am

I wish you could too – concentrated watermelon flavor, just as I imagined they would be!! :D

Reply

25 Lisa Fine October 26, 2011 at 9:33 am

So. Cool. I love watermelon, and can imagine how delicious it would taste in strips like that.

You should try making different kinds of fruit rolls, maybe with some unusual flavors, like using basil or chili or things like that. :)

Reply

26 spabettie October 26, 2011 at 10:42 am

LISA!! you are SO going to love what I have in my dehydrator right now then!! ;) basil basil basil... ;)

Reply

27 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen October 26, 2011 at 9:41 am

I would’ve never thought you could even dehydrate watermelon! It just seems like it’s so “watery” (<–duh) that I assumed it would dehydrate to nothing. Those fruit strips look so good. I'm weird about fruity flavored things when it's not the actual fruit in it's pure form. Orange, apple flavored things…yuck. Actual oranges & apples though…yum. Watermelon is one of the few flavors I can do outside of the real fruit. Although, this is kinda of the real fruit. I'm rambling…

Reply

28 spabettie October 26, 2011 at 10:41 am

love when I inspire the rambling… ;) I know what you mean, I think? that the “flavored” things taste nothing like the real thing. that’s my beef, anyway. I think I cut the watermelon thick enough that there was something substantial there at the end – I was SO excited they turned out how I imagined all this time!! :D

Reply

29 lindsay October 26, 2011 at 10:10 am

the fact that you qupte talladega nights just made my day. Now if only i didn’t let me my sis in law borrow my dehydrator. rats!

Reply

30 spabettie October 26, 2011 at 10:37 am

haaa – glad you liked it. another hilarious movie we quote from a lot around here… Chip, I’m gonna come at you like a spider monkey! or… I like to picture Jesus in a tuxedo T-Shirt because it says I want to be formal, but I’m here to party. I love Cal. ;) I need to watch that movie again now.

Reply

31 Sarah October 26, 2011 at 10:31 am

These look amazing! The color is really vibrant!

Reply

32 Dawn October 26, 2011 at 10:33 am

I’ve been wanting a dehydrator, but haven’t jumped in yet. This might be just the push I need. YUM!

Reply

33 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:30 am

I wanted one for so long… and THIS was one of the things I have always wanted to do with it!! :D

Reply

34 Curt October 26, 2011 at 10:49 am

I’ll bet those are delicious. i love watermelon.

Reply

35 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:29 am

Curt they are SO delicious! :D

Reply

36 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) October 26, 2011 at 10:50 am

Jay and I go CRAZY over watermelon during the summer! I can’t get enough of the stuff! This looks so good. Dang I need a dehydrator!

Reply

37 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:29 am

I know, I do too – LOVE watermelon! (and love that it reminds me of Grandpa Z – one of my all time favorite people). the dehydrated watermelon is TOO good. :D

Reply

38 Nichole October 26, 2011 at 10:51 am

that’s it. I don’t care if they are more expensive over here. i want a dehydrator. and watermelon. You are so creative. Tell Basil I’m jealous.

Reply

39 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:28 am

aw! people should be jealous OF Basil. and his life of supreme pup luxury… :D

Reply

40 Sarah October 26, 2011 at 11:04 am

OMG. In the words of Paula Deen “make yo’ tongue fly outta yo’ mouth and smack yo’ brains out.” Dang, those look amazing. I wish I had a dehydrator so I could make those right now. E would be all over these.

Reply

41 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:27 am

haa haa – good one, Sarah. Good ol’ Paula. :D I’ll have to make you & E some of these sometime… most likely next summer… ;)

Reply

42 Mama Pea October 26, 2011 at 11:10 am

I would NEVER have thought you could dehydrate watermelon…I’m mean, it’s like 99.9% water! I’m so glad you tried it and it worked!

Reply

43 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:26 am

I know… I really didn’t know what to expect. I had this grand idea in my head of these perfect strips of chewy goodness… and that’s what I got! :D If only all my ideas worked so well ;)

hope all is good, Sarah – I miss our emails too! :D

Reply

44 Christin@purplebirdblog October 26, 2011 at 11:21 am

Oh hell yes! I can just imagine the delectable texture!

Reply

45 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:24 am

mmm HMMM! :D

Reply

46 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga October 26, 2011 at 11:53 am

omg why didnt I think of this during watermelon season.

genius!!!!!!

my big, dusty, hot box, i.e. my dehydrator, just re-earned it’s keep in my kitch if I can make these. and now i know why you were so in love w/ your dehyd via email :) I’d be too. PERFECT pics, too.

Reply

47 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:24 am

yeah, I know SOME things can be done in the oven… but I actually tried to make these once, and it was a mess! I think the dehydrator is a good accessory for me to have :D

Reply

48 Lisa October 26, 2011 at 12:02 pm

What a great idea! I love watermelon flavored things, especially when the flavor comes from real watermelon!
I’m always trying to think of new things to dehydrate….some other unexpecting fruit should be next!

Reply

49 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:22 am

I have a few other ideas… :D

Reply

50 Cookin' Canuck October 26, 2011 at 1:01 pm

That does it – I HAVE to get a dehydrator to make treats like these for my kids. What a great idea!

Reply

51 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:18 am

I imagine all kids would LOVE these! and it’s fun for you too – this thing is like a new toy! :D

Reply

52 natalie (the sweets life) October 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm

this blows my mind…by next watermelon season i need to find a dehydrator so i can try this!!

Reply

53 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:17 am

I know, I really didn’t know what to expect – I had an idea in my mind, and they turned out exactly like that – so good!

Reply

54 Kath (My Funny Little Life) October 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm

This is actually PRETTY COOL! :D And now I want a dehydrator, of course. *sigh*

Reply

55 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:14 am

I know – I was really happy with the result. so SO tasty!

Reply

56 spabettiemom October 26, 2011 at 3:37 pm

OOHHH….AAAHHHH…I think I NEED a dehydrator too!!! Watermelon; my absolute favorite….And wouldn’t it be cool just sit on the floor with Grandpa Z, Watermelon Grandma, Hansel and a few others I can think of like “Uncle Dudley”?..We would all laugh so hard we would wet our pants!!!!::)

Reply

57 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:12 am

yes… I would so love to see all of those beautiful people again! so full of life, all of them!

Reply

58 veganlisa October 26, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Watermelon leathers were on my to-make list all summer and I never got around to it. Your recipe and photos proved how easy it is. I won’t let another year go by without giving it a try.

Thanks.

Reply

59 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:12 am

yes, you really will love these! they take a while, but the wait is well worth it!

Reply

60 Dorry October 26, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Genius! That’s not something I would have thought to dehydrate but I’m sort of drooling at the thought of how tasty that much be. I’m a big fan of dried mango, peaches, cranberries!

Reply

61 Dorry October 26, 2011 at 6:26 pm

p.s. I’ve made Billy banana chips in the dehydrator before and they were tasty! I’m not even a banana chip fan.

Reply

62 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:11 am

that’s one of the things Jason requested… making them today for a “welcome home” treat. :)

Reply

63 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:11 am

yes, dried mango is one of my favorites…

Reply

64 Pure2raw twins October 26, 2011 at 6:41 pm

wow those are gorgeous!! love watermelon!!! hate it when their season is over :(

Reply

65 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:10 am

I know – bad timing with my new dehydrator… something to look forward to next summer! :D

Reply

66 Rivki Locker October 26, 2011 at 7:09 pm

These look amazing. What dehydrator do you have? I have been coveting one for some time and with the holidays coming I want to be really specific with the hints I drop. :)

Reply

67 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:09 am

hi Rivki! I have the Excalibur (can’t remember model # right now – I’m not at home). I love it – I researched all of them and have talked to friends who have them… this seemed like the best for many reasons – one of the big ones being the large flat surfaces, not like the round ones with a hole in the middle). :D

Reply

68 Lou October 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm

I need a dehydrator.

Reply

69 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:07 am

:D I have wanted one for years… this thing is SO fun!

Reply

70 Jeni Treehugger October 26, 2011 at 9:14 pm

These are super awesome!! The taste of summer.
<:-)

Reply

71 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:06 am

taste of summer – indeed!

Reply

72 hihorosie October 26, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Yummeee! I haven’t done actual watermelon strips before, will have to try. We make fruit leather or dry actual fruit like apples and mango. I know, not as exciting but still tasty good!

Reply

73 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:05 am

DO try the watermelon!! so very good. I can’t get enough of this – it’s like a new toy!

Reply

74 Ann @ Running With Chopstix October 27, 2011 at 6:21 am

Omg. This is amaazing! I need to invest in a dehydrator! How did you select yours?

Reply

75 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 11:04 am

I researched and talked to friends who have them – I chose mine (the Excalibur) for the quality, great reviews and that it is a big flat surface (not round with a hole in the middle).

Reply

76 Kris @Krazy_Kris October 27, 2011 at 7:35 am

what a GREAT idea! I would have never thought that those would work – so much moisture – I would think they would disappear….
and yes – thank you baby jesus for room to store the little beast!
hehehe

Reply

77 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 10:56 am

I know, I was excited when the result was exactly as I hoped – in texture and flavor – they are SO delicious!

Reply

78 Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning October 27, 2011 at 9:03 am

Watermelon is hands down the best thing I’ve ever put in my food dehydrator. It is like pure candy when it comes out! I don’t think I’ve ever made a batch of dehydrated watermelon last more than a few hours. :)
BTW I freaking love your recipes. I am making the spinach cakes tonight. :)

Reply

79 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 10:35 am

thank you, Lauren!! I hope you LOVE the spinach cakes as much as we do!! those watermelon strips are LONG GONE. and yes, that was my first immediate description… like candy!

Reply

80 Caroline October 27, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I always thought dehydrators were 1) big 2) expensive and 3) only for people who eat a lot of beef jerky. Thanks to you, I’m realizing none of those things are true, and I’m going to ask for a dehydrator for Christmas. Have you tried making dog treats with it? My dogs love sweet potato chews and dehydrated chicken strips. Those things are expensive if you buy them pre-made but would cost practically nothing to make using a dehydrator.

Reply

81 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm

ooh, sweet potato chews! I bet Basil would be all over those! I have not tried any treats for him yet, but I will! well, dehydrators ARE kinda big… I am lucky to have enough room right now (my old kitchen? no way!). and the expense is relative, of course. again, there was a time in my life where it would be a TOO expensive luxury… then, like you said, if you really use it a lot and make things that you would normally pay a lot for, then it pays for itself pretty quickly. I love mine, I hope you get one for Christmas! :D

Reply

82 veggie wedgie October 27, 2011 at 8:14 pm

These look so yummy :)

Reply

83 spabettie October 27, 2011 at 10:30 pm

thank you!! :) they ARE!

Reply

84 Vanessa October 31, 2011 at 11:32 am

Genius.

Reply

85 spabettie November 1, 2011 at 8:59 am

thank you, Vanessa, and thanks for sharing! I still think of looking for a recipe of mine you could photograph (if you’re still looking…) any type of food you’re looking for? :D

Reply

86 Susan November 13, 2011 at 3:24 am

Yum! It’s summer here now, so I am just eating watermelon by the wedge. I can’t stop snacking on it! I don’t have a dehydrator, alas! I am intrigued by how this will taste.

Reply

87 spabettie November 14, 2011 at 7:28 am

Susan, it is almost like candy! the flavors are very concentrated and it’s a strong watermelon flavor! we LOVED it – because it’s still a natural flavor, you know? this was the one thing I had been thinking of for YEARS – saying as soon as I (finally!) got a dehydrator I would do this! luckily it turned out even better than I had imagined… :D

Reply

88 Pauline November 15, 2011 at 1:03 am

this looks SO good, you are a genius!!! lol I can’t wait to try!

Reply

89 spabettie November 15, 2011 at 4:19 pm

thanks, Pauline! enjoy!

Reply

90 Carolina December 2, 2011 at 1:34 pm

can I tell you I LOVE YOU?? is that too much? too soon? ;) you are a genius with a juicer and a dehydrator!

Reply

91 kara j January 3, 2012 at 9:16 am

these look so good, NOW I need a hydrator too!!!

Reply

92 Theresa May 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm

My boyfriend and I have done honeydew and cantalope too. I really like citrus fruit; so pink and white grapefruit, mandarin oranges these all taste great and since they come sliced and canned too you dont have to wait for fresh. Peaches are fantastic and again if they aren’t in season you can wait for the canned fruit to go on sale. This is what I munch on when I’m watching tv no mess and I always carry some in my purse for a quick snack.

Reply

93 spabettie May 21, 2012 at 7:19 pm

I love citrus in the dehydrator! I have not tried other melon, cantaloupe would be a lot like watermelon, I bet, in that the flavor is really condensed and sweet!

Reply

94 Jana August 10, 2012 at 6:01 am

I wish watermelan was available here, I would like to make these!

Reply

95 Allison August 11, 2012 at 1:27 am

what a good idea! can these be made in an oven, will they come out like a dehydrator?

Reply

96 spabettie August 13, 2012 at 9:57 am

hi Allison, while I have not tried the oven, I know a friend has (yes, for this recipe), and have heard of many people using the oven as a dehydrator. my friend sets her oven to the lowest setting, and keeps the door open just slightly (not all the way open). I think the time is about the same – I would plan for several hours and keep checking them.

please let me know if you try!

Reply

97 Francine October 7, 2012 at 10:58 pm

these look so good, now I’m wondering if I can still find a watermelon… even an already sliced one?? LOL

Reply

98 spabettie October 8, 2012 at 9:55 am

hi Francine!! I saw packaged watermelon the other day… like the precut strips? it would make these VERY easy!! :)

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: