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HOW TO DEHYDRATE FRUIT

LAST UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 17, 2020  126 COMMENTS

Learning how to dehydrate fruit is very easy with these simple steps. Dried fruits make for perfect healthy snacks or use them in your favorite recipes like our homemade granola bars!

Learning how to dehydrate fruit is very easy with these simple steps. Dried fruits make for perfect healthy snacks or use them in your favorite recipes like our homemade granola bars! :: DontWastetheCrumbs.com

When I have an abundance of produce and a round or two of fruit has already been flash frozen and stowed away, I realize that unless I do something, my extra fruits are going to begin to rot before I can use them in pies and smoothies.

Enter Duke the Dehydrator. (Like the name? We gave it to him last October when we made caramel apple chips for Halloween instead of candy. They’d be excellent as a non-holiday snack too!)

Up until this point in time, my experience in dehydrating put me in the “intermediate” category. I could proudly claim dried apples, bananas, mango, strawberries, carrots, and almonds as successful attempts and winners with the family.

18 pounds of grapes and 15 glass pint jars later, I can now add grapes, blueberries, and peaches to the list of successes as well.

Also, since curious minds probably want to know, I have this exact dehydrator. Affordable and it gets the job done. It was a birthday gift and one of the best birthday gifts ever!

Learn how to dehydrate different types of fruit with this helpful step by step guide!

HOW TO DEHYDRATE FRUIT

Each type of fruit does have its own peculiarity as to how it dries best. But most dehydrate well at 135 degrees, and the more delicate fruits do better at 115 degrees.

Learning how to dehydrate fruit is relatively the same for most fruits, but drying times do vary. Here is the common method for dehydrating most fruits.

  • Wash the fruit thoroughly. Drying is optional, but working with dry fruit is easier.
  • If the fruit has seeds, halve or slice the fruit and remove the seeds. Remove stems.
  • Lay the clean fruit on the dehydrator trays in a single layer. It’s okay if some of the fruit touches.
  • Periodically check on the fruit to see the speed at which it’s drying (every 6-8 hours).
  • Smaller fruit will dry faster than larger fruit. They will also shrink in size as they dry, so you can combine trays and add in more fruit if you’d like.
  • If you have a hard time testing whether or not the fruit is “done,” turn off the dehydrator and let the fruit sit for 30 minutes to cool before tasting.
  • Most fruits are done when you squeeze them gently and there is very little “squish” left. Taste as you go since this may be a learned test of doneness.
  • If you want chunks instead of slices, dehydrate thicker slices of fruit and chop up with a sharp knife after the dehydrating process.
Have an abundance of produce? Try dehydrating fruit to make it last longer and create a healthy snack!

WHAT ARE THE BEST FRUITS TO DEHYDRATE?

DEHYDRATE GRAPES

This is how you make raisins! We started with seedless green and seedless red grapes. Both varieties are excellent for dehydrating. For grapes:

  1. If the grapes have seeds, halve the grapes and remove the seeds. You’ll definitely want to remove the seeds before dehydrating grapes. It is not necessary to slice whole, unseeded grapes.
  2. Set the temperature to 135 degrees, the “fruit” setting on most dehydrators.
  3. Allow dehydrating for 24-48 hours.
  4. Grapes are raisins when you squeeze them gently and there is very little “squish” left.

Yield: 2 pounds of grapes yields approximately two 16 oz glass jars of raisins, depending on the grapes used.

Dried fruits are a great snack to include in kids' school lunches! Try your hand at making them with this tutorial.

TIPS ON DEHYDRATING GRAPES

  • Water and juices will be released from the grapes as they dry, causing them to have a spot on the outside where the sweet, sticky juices are trying to escape. These juices made it a bit more important to shuffle every 8 hours if possible to prevent long-term sticking. This was more prevalent in the red grapes than the green grapes.
  • Although they were the same size starting out, dried green raisins are noticeably larger than dried red raisins.
  • You can jump-start the dehydrating process by raising the temperature to 145 degrees for the first 12 hours. After that, reduce it to 135 degrees to prevent burning or over-drying.
  • I plan on keeping my raisins in jars and stored in the pantry for several months (so I don’t have to spend my grocery budget on dried cranberries). Because of this, I chose to keep the grapes in the dehydrator for close to 48 hours.

Recipe ideas for raisins: Use raisins in recipes like my high protein trail mix, kitchen sink homemade granola bars, chewy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (swap out the chips for raisins), or just top a warm bowl of oatmeal.

Learn the best fruits for dehydrating with this tutorial.

DEHYDRATE BANANAS

Banana chips are almost as much fun as homemade raisins. If you’re looking for crunch, these are definitely the way to go. For bananas:

  1. Peel the banana.
  2. Cut into 1/4″ rounds for thin slices, or 3/8″ for thick slices. Lay the slices on the dehydrator trays in a single layer.
  3. Set the temperature to 135 degrees.
  4. Allow dehydrating for 8-12 hours.
  5. Bananas are done when you bend them and they are not pliable. Ideally, they should come very close to breaking when bent.

Yield: one banana yields approximately half a cup of dried banana chips.

Learn easy ways to dehydrate fruit right at home and save money!

TIPS FOR DEHYDRATING BANANAS

  • Bananas may change colors through the dehydrating process. If this is a concern, gently slice the bananas into a 1 part apple cider vinegar to 4 part water solution. A very quick soak – one minute or so – is enough to cancel out the discoloration.
  • Bananas can be flavored before drying by sprinkling spices into the water bath, or gently on top of the sliced fruit once laid in the dehydrator. Remember that the flavor will condense through the drying process, so a little bit goes a long way.
Learn the techniques for dehydrating fruit times and temperatures!

DEHYDRATE BLUEBERRIES

Dehydrating blueberries provides a way to incorporate the fruit into fun snacks like granola bars or trail mix.

  1. Set the temperature to 115 degrees. The low temperature ensures the fruit doesn’t burn or char.
  2. Allow dehydrating for 8-18 hours.
  3. Blueberries are done when you squeeze them and there is very little “squish” left.

Yield: a clamshell of blueberries (18 oz) yields approximately one 8 oz glass jar of dried blueberries.

TIPS FOR DEHYDRATING BLUEBERRIES

  • If your blueberries are small to begin with, they will inevitably fall through larger holes in the trays.
  • You can use the solid trays that come with dehydrators (often used for fruit rolls) to prevent escaping berries.


DEHYDRATE STRAWBERRIES

Strawberries are another fun fruit to dehydrate – they’re SO easy to snack on! For strawberries:

  1. Set the temperature to 115 degrees. The low temperature ensures the fruit doesn’t burn or char.
  2. Allow dehydrating for 8-18 hours.
  3. Strawberries are done when you squeeze them and there is very little “squish” left.

Yield: 1 pound of strawberries yields approximately one 16 oz glass jar of dried strawberries.

Dehydrated fruit is great for topping yogurts or quick snacks on the go. Learn how to make dehydrated fruit with this step by step guide.

DEHYDRATE PEACHES

Slices of dehydrated peaches are so much fun to gnaw on, even as an adult! Thick slices would be excellent for teething babies as they won’t break off easily.

  1. It is not necessary to remove the skin, you may if you’d like.
  2. Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Laying each peach with skin side up, cut into 1/4″ pieces for thin strips, or 3/8″ for thick strips.
  3. Set the temperature to 135 degrees.
  4. Allow dehydrating for 8-12 hours.
  5. Peaches are done when you squeeze them and there is very little “squish” left.

Yield: one large peach yields approximately half of one 8 oz glass jar of dried peach slices.

Learn how long to dehydrate certain types of fruit with my tutorial!

DEHYDRATE PERSIMMON

Fuyu persimmon is a bright orange fruit, naturally sweet, and has the texture of a firm peach, or a soft apple. Avoid the Asian persimmon, as those are bitter and should be roasted first.

How to dehydrate persimmon

  1. It is not necessary to remove the skin.
  2. Cut the persimmon in half and lay each half on its side. Cut into approximately 1/4″ slices for thin strips, or 3/8″ for thicker strips.
  3. Set the temperature to 135 degrees.
  4. Allow dehydrating for 8-12 hours.
  5. Persimmons are done when you squeeze them and there is very little “squish” left.

Yield: one large persimmon yields approximately half of one 8 oz glass jar of dried persimmon slices.

Dehydrated fruit is a great snack to give during holidays instead of candy.

DEHYDRATE PINEAPPLE

Pineapples are naturally sweet and when dehydrated, the sweet becomes richer and deeper, making an absolutely delicious snack!

How to Dehydrate Pineapple

  1. Cut the tops and bottom off a fresh pineapple. Stand the pineapple on its end and carefully cut the outer skin off, leaving just the yellow flesh.
  2. Cut the pineapple into quarters from top to bottom. Remove 1/2″ of core from each quarter.
  3. Laying each quarter on its side, slice the pineapple into approximately 1/4″ slices for thin strips, or 3/8″ for thicker strips.
  4. Set the temperature to 135 degrees.
  5. Allow dehydrating for 12-18 hours.
  6. Pineapples are done when you squeeze them and there is very little “squish” left.

Yield: one large pineapple yields approximately two 8 oz glass jars of dried pineapple slices.

Do you love trail mix? Dehydrated fruit is great in homemade trail mix! Try mixing your favorite fruit with your favorite recipe for trail mix.

DEHYDRATE MANGO

Mangos tied with peaches for which fruit was the most fun to chew on – my son chose mangoes and my daughter chose peaches!

How to Dehydrate Mangoes

  1. Hold the mango so that the oblong shape is vertical (points at the top and bottom).
  2. Cut off one side of the mango approximately 1/2″ from the center. Repeat with the other side.
  3. Cut each half into thirds, for one long strip and two boat-shaped end pieces.
  4. Lay the fruit skin side down and using a sharp, non-serrated knife, carefully filet the flesh from the skin.
  5. Cut off any smaller remaining pieces of flesh from the skin and reserve for smoothies or snacks.
  6. Slice the flesh of the skin into approximately 1/4″ slices for thin strips, or 3/8″ for thicker strips. Set the temperature to 135 degrees.
  7. Allow dehydrating for 8-12 hours.
  8. Mangoes are done when you squeeze them and there is very little “squish” left.

Yield: One large mango yields approximately half of one 8 oz glass jar of dried mango slices.

One of the fruits that is so easy to dehydrate is grapes. You can add raisins to cookies, granola, and more!

WHAT DO I STORE DEHYDRATED FRUIT IN?

Some people like to use plastic bags, but I usually store my dried fruit in mason jars like these. The wide mouth jars make it easier to get the fruit in and out. Or I re-use larger jars (like pasta sauce jars) and take the labels off with this trick.

WHAT CAN I DO WITH DEHYDRATED FRUIT?

Besides just enjoying dried fruit as a healthy snack, I like to add it to homemade trail mix, DIY Lunchables, and homemade granola!

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN DEHYDRATED FRUIT IS DONE?

Most fruits are done when you squeeze them and there is very little “squish” left. Taste as you go since this may be a learned test of doneness.

HOW DO YOU DEHYDRATE FRUIT WITHOUT A DEHYDRATOR?

You can use an oven, which will usually be set to your lowest range of temps. Also, try making my homemade fruit roll-ups (AKA fruit leather) in the oven!

MORE DEHYDRATED FOODS

Vegetables for a Healthy Snack

Ready, set, chew: Here's a step-by-step guide to dry-it-yourself fruits and vegetables.

Becky Duffett

Updated June 15, 2020

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

dried fruits and vegetables

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(Photos: James Ellerker)

Dehydrated vegetables and fruit aren't just for backpacking hikers and making oatmeal-raisin cookies. Take a spin through the healthy snacks section of any grocery store, and, clearly, veggie chips and fruit leathers are on shelves and here to stay. And they're not just for snacking! Serve zucchini chips with grilled sausage for a crunchy veggie side dish even picky eaters will love. Use dried peppers to turn up the heat on your winter soup. Snip up dried tomatoes into bite-size pieces to top off your homemade pizza.

Learning how to dehydrate fruits and vegetables couldn't be simpler (we're talking single ingredients). So if you're obsessed with store-bought sweet potato chips or addicted to apple strips, it might be time to invest in a dehydrator. It's an affordable, easy and delicious way to preserve seasonal produce for long-term storage and stash snacks for a rainy day. And it's especially helpful if you have a CSA box or backyard garden that's bumping right now.

How to Prep Fruits & Vegetables for Drying

Step 1: Pick peak-season produce.

Some people think dehydrating is a way to use up anything that's bruised, battered or has seen better days. But in fact, drying concentrates flavor, so start with prime produce you're excited to bite into.

Step 2: Rinse, scrub and peel.

Buy organic, if your budget allows, and give fruits and veggies a quick rinse or scrub. Whether to peel or not is up to you, but keep in mind, skins will only get tougher in texture.

Step 3: Thinly slice with a sharp knife or mandoline.

Go for consistently sized pieces, about ⅛ to ¼ inch thick, which will dry at the same rate. Slices will shrink as they dry, so go a touch thicker than you want for the end result.

Step 4: Dip fruit in citrus water.

This step is optional, and only for fruit that can brown, like bananas and apples. Fill a bowl with equal parts lemon juice and water, and soak the slices in it for 10 minutes. Remove the fruit from the water and pat dry on paper towels.

Step 5: Blanch veggies in boiling water.

Also optional, this step is only necessary for starchy vegetables, like sweet potatoes or sugar snap peas. Boil them for a few minutes, then shock in an ice bath to stop the cooking and preserve bright colors.

dried fruits and vegetables

How to Dry Fruits & Vegetables Using a Dehydrator

Using a dehydrator is push-button easy: just plug it in, turn the dial and vroom. The best models circulate hot air evenly throughout, so you don't have to worry about dehydrator trays. All of the following recipes were testing using an Excalibur 9-Tray 48-Hour Timer Digital Dehydrator. Excalibur generally recommends dehydrating fruit at 135°F, and vegetables at 125°F. Drying times vary widely, and they're usually provided as ranges, because it totally depends on the type of produce, how ripe and juicy it is, how thinly you sliced it, and what the humidity is like that day. Check the manufacturer's instructions, Google the weather, and give it your best estimate.

How to Dehydrate Fruits & Vegetables in the Oven

Drying in the oven is also an option, although ovens run slightly hotter, can be inconsistent, and you might see a spike on your electric bill. Preheat the oven to the lowest setting, usually 200°F. Line your baking sheets with nonstick mats or parchment paper. Place a cooling rack on top of the parchment paper; this will help the air circulate all around your fruits and vegetables. Drying times will be significantly shorter, and you might want to rotate the pans.

How to Store Dried Produce

Dehydrated foods are done when totally dry to the touch and anywhere from leathery and pliable to crisp and brittle. (The National Center for Home Food Preservation is a good reference for more in-depth guidance on packaging and storing dried foods.) Cool completely and transfer to airtight containers, such as plastic snap-tops, mason jars or freezer bags. Store in a cool, dark place. After a few days, shake one of the containers. If you notice any moisture, transfer the contents back to the dehydrator for another stint. Dried and stored properly, fruits and vegetables can last for several months.

10 Best Fruits & Vegetables to Dehydrate

dried bananas

1. Bananas

Make cute dried banana coins for a healthy snack kids love. Peel bananas, slice into ⅛ to ¼ inch thick disks and soak in citrus water for 10 minutes to avoid browning. Dehydrate according to the manufacturer's instructions, at 135°F for 6-10 hours, or in the oven at 200°F for 5-7 hours.

dried apples

2. Apples

Dried apples are an old-school treat and dehydrating apples couldn't be easier. Peel and core apples, if you like, slice fruit into rounds ¼ to ⅜ inch thick, and soak in citrus water for 10 minutes, to avoid browning. Dehydrate according to the manufacturer's instructions, at 135°F for 7-15 hours, or in the oven at 200°F for 6-8 hours.

dried strawberries

3. Strawberries

Sweet dried strawberries go great with granola. Hull strawberries, and slice ¼ to ⅜ inch thick, or cut in half if they're really little. Dehydrate according to the manufacturer's instructions, at 135°F for 7-15 hours, or in the oven at 200°F for 5-7 hours.

dried mango

4. Mangoes

Mango strips taste like sunshine. Peel mango, cut the flesh away from the flat core, and slice ¼ inch thick. Dehydrate according to the manufacturer's instructions, at 135°F for 7-15 hours, or in the oven at 200°F for 6-8 hours.

dried pineapple

5. Pineapple

Dried pineapple wins the pretty prize. Cut off the top and bottom, trim away the tough exterior, and slice ¼ to ½ inch thick, removing the core. Dehydrate according to the manufacturer's instructions, at 135°F for 10-18 hours, or in the oven at 200°F for 8-10 hours.

dried tomatoes

6. Tomatoes

Don't call it a comeback–dried tomatoes are still sexy for pasta night. Top tomatoes, remove the cores, if necessary, and slice ¼ inch thick, or cut cherry tomatoes in half. Dehydrate according to the manufacturer's instructions, at 155°F for 5-9 hours, or in the oven at 200°F for 4-6 hours.

Dried sweet potatoes

7. Sweet Potatoes

They'll never be as crispy as deep-fried chips, but dried sweet potatoes are still crave-worthy. Peel sweet potatoes, slice ¼ inch thick, blanch in boiling water for several minutes, and shock in an ice bath. Dehydrate according to the manufacturer's instructions, at 125°F for 7-11 hours, or in the oven at 200°F for 6-8 hours.

Dried zucchini

8. Zucchini

Dehydrating can save a bumper crop of summer squash. Trim the tops and bottoms, and slice ⅛ or ¼ inch thick. Dehydrate according to the manufacturer's instructions, at 125°F for 7-11 hours, or in the oven at 200°F for 5-7 hours.

Dried sweet potatoes

9. Bell Peppers

In a confetti of colors, dried peppers are fun for soup mixes. Remove the ribs and seeds, and slice ¼ inch thick or chop. Dehydrate according to the manufacturer's instructions, at 125°F for 4-8 hours, or in the oven at 200°F for 4-6 hours.

dried sugar snap peas

10. Sugar Snap Peas

Better for you than french fries, dried peas make a sweet snack. Trim and remove the strings, if necessary, blanch in boiling water for a couple of minutes, and shock in an ice bath. Dehydrate according to the manufacturer's instructions, at 125°F for 5-13 hours, or in the oven at 200°F for 4-6 hours.

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The Best Herb Garden Kits for Every Type of Gardener

Nurture your green(ish) thumb with these DIY indoor herb growing kits. They're all available online!

Rochelle Bilow

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

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Starting a mini garden inside your house may not sound like a ton of fun, but indoor home herb kits have come a long way since the day of the chia pet. These days, there are a variety of home indoor herb kits for every budget, style and space.

With so many options available, it can be hard to sift through the thousands of online search results. That's why we've rounded up these seven stand-out herb garden kits in every category. You're sure to find a kit that's perfect for you!

Best Herb Garden Kits

The Best Herb Garden Kit for Giving: Modern Sprout Glow and Grow Kits

Classy, creative and oh-so giftable, these clever sets are a candle and grow kit in one. First, create a cozy home ambiance by burning the soy-blend candle. Once it's spent (it'll last you over 75 hours), give the ceramic candle vessel new life as an herb-growing kit. The set comes with everything you need, including the seeds, plant food and a soil-free growing environment. They're so genius, you may want to order one for yourself, too.

Glow And Grow Kits

$35

SHOP IT

Modern Sprout

The Best Herb Kit for Those With Small Living Spaces: Williams-Sonoma Herb Garden Seed Kit

Good things come in small packages. This mini herb kit contains everything you need to grow six different herbs: basil, chives, cilantro, dill, mint and parsley. If counter space is at a premium in your kitchen, this is a smart choice: The natural peat pots are just over 2 inches tall. Although you won't be able to grow a mountain of herbs in each vessel, the kit contains enough seeds for multiple plantings. We especially like the no-mess pellets that expand to rich, nutrient-dense soil when watered.

Herb Garden Seed Kit

$29.95

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Williams Sonoma

The Best "Go Big Or Go Home" Herb Kit for Serious Gardeners: Miracle-Gro Twelve Indoor Growing System

So you wanna grow a jungle of herbs? Right this way: This behemoth from Miracle-Gro will set the most ardent gardener's heart aflame. It's over a foot tall and can be stored gracefully on your floor or a large plant stand. Although you'll need to provide the seeds or herb "starts" yourself, the growing system handles everything else—it's even Bluetooth compatible and tells you when to water and harvest your herbs.

Miracle-Gro Twelve Indoor Growing System

$199.99

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Target

The Best Hydroponic Herb Kit: AeroGarden Harvest Indoor Hydroponic Garden

One of the highest-rated Amazon herb kits for good reason: This comes with everything you need to get started, and produces large, tender and healthy herbs quickly. You'll be able to grow Genovese and Thai basil, dill, curly parsley, mint and thyme.

LED lights "feed" the plants that grow up to 12" in water—no soil required. Although it produces a generous amount of herbs, the growing system itself is just over five pounds. Reviewers did commonly note that the LED system is extra bright, so if you're sensitive to light, you may want to keep this in a room where it won't agitate your eyes.

AeroGarden Harvest-Black Indoor Hydroponic Garden

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Amazon

The Best Indoor/Outdoor Optional Herb Kit: Gardener's Supply Company Strawberry and Herb Grow Bag

This herb kit is as beautifully rustic as they come! This reusable bag would look right at home in the French countryside and can be filled with soil and planted with over six different herbs or plants (you'll need to provide the seeds). The porous material of the bag slowly seeps out, ensuring that the herbs are never over-watered. Store it outdoors in warmer weather, and keep it inside on a tray to catch drainage all winter long.

Gardener’s Best® Strawberry and Herb Grow Bag

$24.95

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Target

The Best Herb Kit for Design Nerds: Mindful Design LED Indoor Herb Garden

Clean, modern lines are where it's at. This LED-fed system grows herbs inside a white PVC structure. You provide the plants, and this does the rest, including customizable auto-on/off features. It measures 16.5" L x 4.8" W x 11.4" H, making it a good fit for larger windowsill, desks, or a spot of honor on your kitchen counter. No matter where you place it, it'll blend in with your home decor and provide salad inspiration all year long.

Mindful Design LED Indoor Herb Garden

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Amazon

The Best Herb Kit for Tight Budgets: Urban Leaf Windows Garden Kit

This DIY indoor herb kit is as minimalist as they come. Its clever design grows herbs inside glass bottles and comes with everything you need to grow culinary kitchen herbs (basil, dill and parsley) except the bottles. Luckily, those are easy to find (if you're anything like us, you've even got a wine bottle or two kicking around in your recycling bin). At under $20 a kit, these are a perfect option for those looking to test the waters before investing in a larger system.

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Urban Leaf - Windowsill Herb Garden Starter Kit

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What Is Daikon and How Can I Use It?

This Japanese radish deserves the spotlight.

Rachel Roszmann

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If you're into Japanese cuisine, you've probably come across a daikon or two without knowing it. Common in traditional Japanese food and other Asian cuisines, this white, crunchy root vegetable can brighten up meals, adding texture and sweet flavor to dishes and condiments. Cubed, grated or sliced, it adds bite and character, but you may not recognize it in its full form.

What Is Daikon?

Daikon (sometimes called Oriental radish winter radish) is a root vegetable similar in shape to a large carrot with a flavor that's similar to a mild red radish. It's grown in many Asian countries, and in Japan, it's the most commonly eaten vegetable.

Daikon vs. Radish

Daikon and radishes are from the same family, but there are a few differences. The red radishes we slice and toss into salads are much smaller and sharper in flavor than the radishes used in Japanese cuisine. Red radishes are peppery whereas the white radish is mild and slightly sweet.

There is also mu, which is the Korean radish. The Korean radish is a type of daikon radish. It's very similar to the long white Japanese radish, but it's shaped more like a potato. There is also the watermelon radish, which is a variety of Chinese radish. It has the same texture and crunch as Japanese and red radishes but is green on the outside, pink on the inside and has a mellower flavor.

Health Benefits

Daikon has a decent amount of nutrients. Contrary to popular belief, it's not high in fiber but daikon is high in potassium–per 1 cup, it contains 263 milligrams of potassium (about 75% of the amount in a banana) and 25.5 milligrams of vitamin C (about half the amount of an orange). It also contains smaller amounts of folate, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

Cooking with Daikon

There are many ways to serve white radishes—cooked or raw. Raw daikon works really well in salads and slaws, as a side dish for summer picnics or thinly sliced and pickled for sandwiches that need a pick-me-up (a classic Vietnamese banh mi sandwich is typically topped with pickled carrots and daikon, for example). It's also great in stir-fries cooked with meat—cooking radishes yields soft, starchy chunks similar to potatoes. EatingWell has several recipes to try with daikon and if you're feeling adventurous, you can swap out regular radishes for the Japanese root.

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What Is White Asparagus?

This unexpectedly pale spear isn't as strange as you think.

Rachel Roszmann

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

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White Asparagus

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One of the first signs of spring is the abundance of bright green asparagus spears at the grocery store—it’s something cooks in the United States look forward to, but in Germany, they look for those spears in a much lighter shade: white. But what is white asparagus?

A German Delicacy

In Germany, white asparagus (weißer spargel) is celebrated (literally) with festivals from April to June. If you’ve never had white asparagus, it is exactly like green asparagus but without chlorophyll (the green in plants that helps generate oxygen in the photosynthesis process). It has to do with the deliberate harvesting process. Germans like it because it’s sweeter and more tender than the green variety.

Harvesting Asparagus: White vs. Green

White and green asparagus are grown the same way but there’s one huge difference in the process. White asparagus stalks are picked before they peek through the soil–they never see the sun. The green asparagus stalks are picked after they break through the soil and are exposed to the sun to develop chlorophyll, which is what makes them green.

To Peel or Not to Peel

The outer layer of white asparagus can be tough and fibrous, which means it’s best to peel white asparagus. To remedy this, it’s best to use a vegetable peeler to remove the woody layer before cooking the same way you would with green asparagus. Peeling the outer layer of white asparagus makes the stalk very tender after it’s been steamed, roasted or sauteed.

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