Jul 6, 2023
Want to preserve the taste of summer so you can experience it all year round? Then how about freeze-drying watermelon? It’s simple to do and tastes fantastic. Here’s how to do it to get the best results possible.
You’d also want to choose the best ripest watermelon for this because you’ll get double the flavor.
Others also say that you can use watermelons close to their peak ripeness. Freeze-drying helps with the flavor, giving you a sweet and flavorful snack. If you ever got a tasteless watermelon, freeze-drying may rescue that poor fruit and make it edible.
Don’t go for overripe ones if you can. Sometimes overripe watermelons have that slightly unpleasant sour taste to them. Imagine getting a double dose of that in your freeze-dried watermelons. Yep, cringy is the best way to describe it.
You need to do three things to make your freeze-drying easy and worth it.
The skin of the watermelon is so thick and solid that it’s hard to freeze dry. Take the time to take out the skin, leaving behind the flesh. Some slice as close to the white of the skin as possible. But with this, the pieces may also have some hard, flavorless parts. Others go on the safe side and cut an inch above the white part of the skin.
Cut the watermelon to a thickness that’s not higher than the lip of your freeze-dryer. You can cut the fruit into bite-sized squares or long pieces if you prefer. What’s good about the small pieces is that you can see all the seeds you need to take out.
Whatever slice or shape you prefer, the most important thing is that you get even sizes. In addition, you get better freeze-drying results because they will freeze dry evenly.
This is the most tedious part but a must-do when freeze-drying watermelon. Seeds don’t freeze dry well and can cause problems with your freeze drying. Take out as many of the seeds as you can so you can store your watermelon for years. If there are any seeds left, they won’t store for long.
Watermelon has a lot of water content and can take a long time to process. But pre-freezing can help your machine by shortening the freeze-drying time. Harvest Right freeze dryers let you choose whether your watermelons are pre-frozen.
If you’re going to pre-freeze your watermelon, use the freeze-dryer trays with silicone pads or parchment paper.
Once you got your watermelon prepared, it’s time to freeze-dry it. You’ll need:
The silicone pads or parchment paper will help remove the watermelon from the tray. The slices stick to the tray because of their water and sugar content.
Some set their machine to 13 hours of freezing time (for non-pre-frozen) and 14 hours of dry time. However, this will depend on weather conditions or the room temperature where the freeze dryer’s located.
The slices should be dry and crumbly to the touch. If some feel soft and moist, you may need to extend the freeze-dry time for a couple of hours. Others go the extra mile by breaking the slices and putting back the trays in for another 2 hours of dry time.
Freeze-drying intensifies food flavor, and it magically does so with watermelon. It’s crunchy, super sweet, and has twice as much flavor as it did before freeze-drying.
The taste has a surprising twist, like eating watermelon starburst. Or you could think of watermelon Jolly Ranchers without artificial flavorings and sweeteners.
Rehydrated, it would taste the same as your watermelon taste before freeze-drying. The only thing that will change is the texture. It won’t have that satisfying crumbly, subtly crunchy texture that fresh ones have.
You can eat them as a snack anytime you feel like tasting a bit of summer. Others add them to their smoothies or juice drinks for a refreshing beverage. They can also go well with cereals, oatmeal, or yogurt for a tastier, healthier breakfast.
If you’re going to grind the watermelons into powder, make sure to take out the seeds. You can pound the slices to break them apart and get out the seeds you missed. Then pulse the fruit in your blender for a smoother powder.
What are you planning to do with your freeze-dried watermelon? Let us know in the comment section.
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