Have you ever dried papaya before?
Dehydrating your fruits is a delicious way to preserve food, keep it from spoiling and enjoy its flavor. But how do you accomplish the task of drying fruit in your home kitchen? Well, if you have an air fryer at home, you can easily make dried papaya.
Can you dehydrate papaya with my air fryer?
Yes. You can dehydrate papaya in an air fryer. In order to do so, make sure you choose a papaya that’s ripe. It’s up to you whether you want to keep the skin or not. Start by cutting your papaya into small, 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange them evenly on the tray. Dehydrate your papaya at 120 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 hours while checking in on it frequently. Finally, store your dehydrated papayas in either vacuum-sealed bags or airtight containers.
The results here are deliciously sweet and chewy papaya treats that everyone in the family will love.
How to dehydrate papaya in the air fryer
Step 1: Choose a well-ripe papaya
Ripe papayas are great because they have just the right texture and moisture inside of them that makes them optimal for dehydrating. Your job is to pick out the papaya that has had its skin change from green to yellow. You can also attempt the thumb test. If you press your thumb down on the skin of the papaya,, you will notice that it is soft and may indent a little bit due to the pressure. This is a good indication of ripeness.
Step 2: Peel the skin of your papaya (optional)
To peel the skin of the papaya, run your knife along the length of the papaya. Try your best to remove just the skin and avoid any of the interior orange flesh. You can also use a vegetable peeler if you’re having trouble with just a knife.
Also, you don’t have to peel the papaya skin. You can leave it on and still dehydrate it just fine. Dehydrated papaya with skin can make a tasty treat all together. Fortunately, you still have plenty more options and can remove the skin after it has been dehydrated.
Step 3: Scoop out the seeds of your papaya
The seeds are going to do you no good when dehydrating. Cut the entire papaya straight down the middle lengthwise and open up the interior. You’re going to see a ton of black seeds. Grab a regular spoon and dig them all out.
Step 4: Cut your papaya into 1/2-inch thick pieces
We recommend that you cut your papaya into half-inch thick pieces. It really doesn’t matter how big or wide the pieces are, just as long as they are half an inch thick on one of their sides. Remember, the thicker you make your slices, the longer it will take to fully dehydrate. But the thinner you make your spices, the shorter time it will take to dehydrate.
Step 5: Arrange your papaya evenly on the air fryer tray
Spread your papaya slices out evenly and don’t let them touch each other. Make sure you give each of them space between each other. Your air fryer works by circulating hot air, and it’s going to need you to expose all the different sides of the papaya slices to it. If any two papayas make contact with each other, then the area of contact basically blocks away the heat. It might cause inconsistencies in the drying texture.
Step 6: Use multiple racks and stack your papaya slices if necessary
This step is entirely optional. But I put it in here only because you might have a smaller air fryer and you want to dehydrate all of your papaya. Well, you’re in luck. If you have a rack, you can place them on several different racks with an equal number and stack them on top of each other. At this point, if you’re going to use a set of racks, then halfway thru the dehydration phase, I recommend switching the top level rack with the bottom level rack. This will help even out the cooking since the heating element is usually focused at the top of the air fryer.
Step 7: Set the air fryer’s dehydration temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 hours
Like I said, it’s going to take a really long time to dehydrate papaya. These things are made almost entirely of water.
Step 8: Check your papaya’s dehydration progress frequently
We’ve heard from many people in our community that you should frequently check in on the progress of your papaya while it is being dehydrated in your air fryer. While we do agree with this, some people also recommend that you flip your papaya slices over midway during the process of dehydrating them. Flipping it over will help give the hot air access to the bottom half of the slice, which is obviously a bit less accessible than the top. It will promote a more even dehydration process and create a more even texture all around the papaya slices.
Step 9: When done, let your dried papaya cool down to room temperature
I recommend letting your dried papaya sit for about 30 minutes to an hour. It’s important that you give it some time to rest before you do anything further with it. This will allow the insides of the papaya slices to settle in. It will also help lock in whatever moisture is left inside your papaya. It doesn’t have to be ultra dry. Also, the minute you’re done with dehydrating your papaya, it is going to be really hot. You don’t want to burn yourself.
Step 10: Preserve your dried papaya in an airtight container
If you’re not going to eat it all right away, then I suggest you place it inside an airtight jar. You can also place it inside a vacuum-sealed bag as well. Just make sure you keep it away from Air because air will eventually cause it to spoil.
Dehydrated papaya nutrition facts
A medium-sized papaya that is approximately 275 grams contains just about 119 calories, 1.3 grams of protein, 30 grams of carbs, less than 1 gram of fat, 4.7 grams of dietary fiber, and 21.6 grams of sugar.
On a nutritional vitamin level, papaya usually has 31 mg of calcium (3% DV), 33 mg of magnesium (8% DV), 286 grams of potassium (6% DV), 0.13 mg of zinc (1% DV), 95 mg of vitamin C (100% DV), and 58 micrograms of folic (15% DV).
Eating papaya regularly is actually good for your skin. It also helps maintain and even improve your vision. It’s good for digestion and can help prevent many complex diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. Dehydrated papaya will usually have the same amount of nutrients inside of it as fresh papaya.
How to decide when a papaya is best for dehydrating
The best time to dehydrate papaya is when it is ripe. Ripe papaya is creamy and delicious. If the papaya is ripe, the color will gradually change from green to yellow. When papaya is fully ripened and feels soft, it is ready to eat or dehydrate. It is best to dehydrate a ripened papaya because it will begin to turn to mush if you wait any longer. If you try to dehydrate unripe papaya, the texture is too hard to cut through. Also, the taste of unripe papaya is sour compared to ripe papaya’s sweet and enjoyable taste.
Can you keep dehydrated papaya in the fridge or freezer?
You can store dried papaya in the fridge or the freezer. When holding the papaya in either of those, it is crucial to ensure the dried papaya is in a sealed, airtight container. Make sure that the container is sealed tightly and immediately closed after eating. The reason for that is that if moisture does enter the container, your papaya will grow mold. That is such a waste of the luscious, delectable fruit. One unique idea is to store your dried papaya in small batches. There is less chance of moisture getting in every time you open the container, which happens when you keep the dried papaya in a larger container.
How long will dehydrated papaya last?
Dried papaya will last approximately a year in the fridge, which is the same amount of time it will last at room temperature. There are no added benefits to storing dried papaya in the refrigerator. For a longer shelf life, store the dried papaya in the freezer. Dried fruit can be kept in the freezer for an indefinite amount of time. Eventually, the fruit will develop freezer burn, altering the taste.
How to preserve dried papaya?
When it is time to preserve the dried papaya, store it in an airtight container. Glass and plastic jars work as well as thick freezer bags. Once contained, keep the container in a cool and dim area at room temperature—approximately sixty to seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit. If moisture does get into the dried papaya, it needs to be thrown out or eaten right away because mold may have begun to grow. You do not want to eat moldy fruit. That will make you very sick. Throw out the dried papaya immediately if you see any mold growing on it, even a little bit. Signs of consuming moldy fruit are diarrhea, vomiting, and food poisoning symptoms.
Conditioning your dried papaya
The steps for conditioning papaya are:
- Take the dried papaya out of the dehydrator.
- Wait until after the dried fruit has cooled. Then, place it in a sealed plastic or glass jar.
- Leave the sealed container for seven to ten days.
- The drier ones will absorb the leftover moisture from some pieces.
- While you are waiting, you will need to shake the jars daily and check the content of the moisture.
- If you happen to see condensation in the container, return the papaya to the dehydrator.
- After conditioning, it is best to package and store the papaya.
Can you dehydrate unripe papaya?
Unripe fruit will be challenging to dehydrate. The skin of the papaya will be thick and hard to cut through. The papaya fruit needs to be cut into pieces to fit into the dehydrator. So, if it is unripe, you will not be able to cut through it. Unripe papaya is usually a green color. If you manage to cut thru it, the green, unripe fruit will also have a very sour taste. No one wants sour, tangy papaya. If you just wait a little longer until the papaya is ripe, you will have a creamy, smooth, sweet fruit to enjoy.
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