I’m sure many of you have seen the infomercials about the Nuwave Oven. Every time I saw the advertisements I always thought that it was a cool little invention but honestly, never thought I would own one. Then one day, my husband brought one home. Bought off of a co-worker who only used it once. I was excited to have it, but after owning it, I realized why it was only used once. The Nuwave is cool and all, but it really takes some deprogramming to actually put it to everyday use. It’s a complete different way of cooking and if you are not dedicated, you can easily fall back into the routine of slaving over the stove.
Don’t get me wrong, it does live up to the hype for the most part, but it isn’t a set and forget type of deal, which is what I gravitate towards. However, it is ideal for roasting veggies and making chicken wings! So since I have the Nuwave, I want to utilize it more and actually gain the benefits of what they worked so hard on those infomercials to sell.
My husband has papaya trees and I am not a fan of papayas at all. The only time I eat papaya is when it's from canned tropical fruit salad, in some trail mix, or in a smoothie. Other than that, no thank you. Not to be too crude, but to me it smells and tastes like vomit. I don’t know how anyone could be a fan. We happened to have a ripe papaya that my husband hadn’t eaten yet, funking up the house with its pungent aroma mind you, and I wanted a snack. We had no snacks. I see the papaya and think to myself, “if only that papaya tasted like the papaya that comes in the trail mix...” Thus my idea to dehydrate some papaya with my Nuwave Oven was born!
Would you believe there is no instruction for dehydrating papayas on the internet?? There are guidelines for food types but nothing specifically for papayas. So I had to wing it.
The guidelines for dehydrating fruits in the Nuwave Oven are as follows:
Bananas: Dehydrate on power level 3 about 4 hours.
Pineapple: Dehydrate on power level 2 about 8 hours.
Apples: Dehydrate on power level 3 about 4 hours.
Apricots: Dehydrate on power level 3 about 5 hours.
Strawberries: Cut in half. Dehydrate on power level 3 about 3 hours.
Nothing about papayas. So I worked from the setting for dehydrating apricots.
What I learned from this is that I did not do comprehensive research haha. You should cut you fruit ¼ inch thick. I cut the papaya into small chunks. Small enough that I lined the rack with parchment paper so none of the fruit would fall through the cracks and also for easier clean up. If you have a Nuwave, you know what I am talking about! But, apparently you are supposed to allow airflow around the fruit so cutting them big enough to sit on the rack themselves is ideal. Also, you should crack the dome to allow moisture to escape. Also something I neglected to do in the first 3 hours of the drying process.
All in all, when the buzzer sounded, the papaya chunks had shrunk down considerably so I thought I did good, almost too good. They looked a little pathetic to be honest. I will say though that it still tasted like papaya so I didn't eat it. I stored them in the parchment they cooked on wrapped in saran wrap; another no-no. You are supposed to store in airtight container. Also if you put your dehydrated food into a container and you see condensation, you should put it back to dry a little more. This is the conditioning process. Something else I did not do! That is just getting too involved! I was not trying to preserve long term so the way it came out was good enough for me.
But several days later, I tried one and it tasted less like papaya and more like what you find in trail mix! I tore them suckers up! They were very chewy so I don’t know if that was good or bad. Since we have an abundance of papaya I will try it again, making thicker cuts, leaving off the parchment, and keeping the dome cracked so moisture can escape.