June DIY: Make Your Own Dried Cherries!

We had an amazing amount of cherries on our little dwarf tree this year!  The branches were bending down from the weight of all the fruit, and I was dreading all the canning that I would have to do to keep too many from going to waste.  It occurred to me that I could dry the cherries with a standard food dehydrator, making them into a delicious snack we could eat for months!

I started by getting a Ronco food dehydrator, available at Walmart.com.  It is less than $40, and uses less energy than a dehydrator with a fan.  (It also takes longer to dry the fruit, however.)

Then, I picked all the cherries, rinsed them, and set up my table for pitting.

I have a pitter that pits four cherries at a time.  I love it!

Then, I simply set the cherries in the drying tray, leaving a bit of space between them.

I put all the trays into the dehydrator, plug it in, and wait between 4-10 hours.  I leave one tray empty at the bottom to "catch" any that fall through the small spaces.

They look like beautiful, burgundy raisins when they are done!  They taste delicious, are great for less-messy snacking, and I can put them into baked goods and cookies later. 

This was a fun and easy way to store cherries.  They take up considerably less room than canning (and are less messy, too!)

Have you ever dried anything with a food dehydrator?