My kids love mangoes! It doesn't matter how you serve them: fresh, blended in a smoothie, in salsa, in fruit salad, dehydrated, or canned. You put any kind of mango in front of them and they will eat it (ok, maybe not rotten mangoes but they don't count). One of my favorite ways to feed them mangoes is to dehydrate them - a lot less of a mess. However, most commercially produced dried mangoes are full of sulfites which may be linked to a whole slew of medical problems. I get around this problem by dehydrating my own, and it turns out it's really easy to do!
How to Dehydrate Mango Step by Step:
- Wash the mangoes and either peel or slice them.
- Slice them into long strips about 1/4" thick.
- Dehydrate at 135 degrees for about 14 hours.
Start with fresh ripe mangoes. This is a bit tricky if you're going to dehydrate a lot of mangoes at once. If you're not lucky enough to have a mango tree you'll have to stand there picking the mangoes that have the same amount of ripeness at the store or fruit stand. If you plan to go right home and stick them in the dehydrator you'll want to pick the ripest ones. If you're going to wait a few days then you'll need to be sure and pick mangoes that are not quite ripe but will be after they sit out for a few days.
Wash all your mangoes.
Mangoes are very slippery when peeled. A sharp knife can be used but I decided to invest in this mango slicer for safety. This is not the cheapest one on Amazon but it's an OXO and after reading all the reviews I went with the one I thought would really work.
As you can see it works great! That's my son in the picture using the mango slicer. Even though he is a teenager, I'm not sure I would have let him slice all the mangoes with a knife. We had 40 mangoes and while I would probably let him start learning to peel mangoes by peeling one (which still has a certain element of danger). I think 40 would have been asking for trouble. Heck, I'd be surprised if I could have done 40 using a knife without cutting myself!
Here you can see the cutter as it's making a deeper cut. In order for the slicer to work you need to place the mango with the stem side down, so the smaller end is sticking up. Think of the mango as sitting on it's fat juicy bottom. Then place the cutter so it lines up with the longer part of the top of the mango and it will cut around the seed.
I let these mangoes sit out of a few days after I bought them. They were already ripe the day I bought them but I wanted extra sweetness. These mangoes were probably just a tad too ripe as I had a few fall apart. However, you can see here how the skin just peels off of a ripe mango. This is a big reason you want to have ripe fruit. It would be a lot of extra work to cut the skins off with a knife. Since these were ripe the skin was no problem.
Slice the halves into long strips.
Place the mango slices on your dehydrator tray. I have a 9 tray Excalibur Dehydrator and 40 mangoes filled it up.
You can see they are not super thin slices. The thinner the slices the faster the fruit will dehydrate.
I set the dehydrator on the fruit setting for about 14 hours.
Here is what they look like when they are finished.
I like to store my dried fruit in canning jars. I vacuum packed these mangoes with a FoodSaver using the FoodSaver attachment for wide mouth jars. I put the mangoes in the freezer for two weeks to pasteurize them, then store them in a cool dry place.