I’m not exaggerating when I say dried pineapple tastes like candy, and I’m not talking about the sickening-sweet, sugar-added stuff you find in stores. With the exception of cranberries, dried fruit needs no extra sugar, as dehydrating the fruit condenses the sugars already. My kids can clear off a dehydrator tray of pineapple in no time, and I actually have to ration it out. We take a bag of it on road trips, and there are fights over who is hogging all the pineapple.
Pineapples went on sale for 99 cents each at Aldi last week, so I grabbed four. I’ve dehydrated all of them and put them on a shelf up high. If you are new to dehydrating, pineapple is a good choice for drying, as it isn’t fussy. All you do is cut off the outside of the pineapple.
Cut around the core, and into large pieces.
Then you cut in about 1/4 in thickness into slices. If you accidentally cut a really thick piece, just cut in to smaller pieces so it will dry quicker. No biggie. Or, you can dice the for dehydrated pineapple bits to use in breads and trial mixes.
Simply place on the dehydrator tray, and dry pineapple at your dryer’s recommended setting (mine is 135) for about 35 hours, or until done. I’m trying to squirrel some away for emergency purposes, but it’s just too tempting for us to eat, so I suppose I need to keep drying more and stock up during sales.
Word of warning, make sure your pineapple is ripe before drying it, or you will end up with sour dried pineapple. I love the sour stuff myself, but my kids like it sweeter. You know a pineapple is ripe if you can pluck a center leaf out easily, or if you can smell the pineapple essence through the skin. I figured out that if the bottom of the pineapple starts getting moldy, that’s when it’s the sweetest, so that is the gauge I use.
Dried pineapple is great to take on road trips, day trips, and is nice and compact when packing food for a vacation. It’s nature’s guilt-free candy, and great as a “treat” for your kids or sports team.