Three Easy Steps to Make Dried Fruit in Your Dehydrator
Fruity dehydration is easily the oldest method of preserving fruits. Prior to the advancement of modern technology, people used salt to preserve foods or they simply dried them in the sun. Today we have the aid of a food dehydrator to assist us in the drying of foods.
Fruit dehydration is rather a safe method, as it basically removed the moisture content from the fruit, so that mold and bacteria are not able to thrive on it.
Noted below are a few easy steps to making dried fruit in your dehydrator.
All fruit should be washed, pitted and sliced prior to drying. Fruits should be sliced uniformly to ensure uniformity in the drying process. Once this is done, then fruit needs to be pre-treated to prevent darkening while being prepared for dehydration. Pre-treatments can be done either by blanching the fruits, or by dipping them in a solution of two tablespoon of ascorbic acid and one quart of water for five minutes. Pre-heat the dehydrator to 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
After preparing and pre-treating your fruit, then it is time to put them in the dehydrator. Place fruit on trays in a single layer. A variety of fruits may be treated simultaneously, although it is highly recommended that strong-smelling fruits be served separately. Ensure that the pieces of fruit do not overlap or even top at all, as this may cause some parts of the fruit to not dry completely.
Once the fruits have been placed within the dehydrator, the temperature may fall somewhat. Bring the temperature back up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. At the beginning of the process there is little danger of scorching the fruit, however, when the fruit is nearly dry this risk increases.
Inspect the fruit at half hour intervals. Rotation of the trays may be necessary to achieve uniform drying; the fruit may even need to be turned. Your manual should provide you with expected drying time, but expect the entire process to take anywhere between 8-12 hours. As you reach the end of the process, check fruits for dryness. This can be done by simply removing a slice, allowing it to cool and then feeling it with your fingers. Additionally, fruit could be cut in half and the outer edges checked for beads of moisture. If moisture is present, the fruit is not adequately treated.
Fruits which have been dried in a dehydrator need to be put through an additional process, prior to them being stored. They should be loosely packed in jars, and shaken daily for approximately seven days to ensure that the remaining moisture is even distributed between the treated pieces.
Adding a dehydrator to your arsenal of appliances in your kitchen can help you incorporate more 'good' nutrients within your diet.