Make Dried Fruit With A Food Dehydrator

Food Dehydrator Tips On Fruit Preparation, Drying Times And Dryness Tests

By Food-Dehydrator.com

Dried fruit is a favorite food to make with a food dehydrator. Dried fruit has no preservatives, is healthy and nutritious, and has a naturally sweet taste. Food dehydration removes water from food. Different fruits can have between 80% to 95% water content, thus, as moisture is released from the fruit, the food’s natural sugars become more concentrated resulting in their sweet taste. Dried fruits are excellent to use as standalone snacks, or as ingredients, additions or toppings in cookies, pies, cobblers, cakes, breads, ice creams, pancakes, waffles, french toast or cereals.

Ripe fruits are the best to dehydrate. Choose fruits that are free of bruises and blemishes and thoroughly wash the fruit that is to be dehydrated. If desired, fruit skins can be peeled before drying. On the one hand, peels can take longer to dry and be tough after they are dried. However, many peels contain high nutritional value. If the dried food is intended as a snack, it is better not to peel, however, many recipes call for peeled fruits. To peel, or not to peel, can be a personal preference.

Before drying, always try to slice or cut the food to the same size. This will result in more even drying. Generally, cutting fruits to ¼ inch thickness is perfect. This allows moisture to escape. The larger the cut area, the faster and better food dehydrates. Fruit should be sliced across the core. Always try to make thin, flat cuts. Small fruits like strawberries can be cut in half, while even smaller berries should either be cut in half or checked slightly to break the skin ( x cuts across the skin or holes poked in the skin).

Some fruits, like apples, peaches, apricots and bananas can oxidize and turn brown during the drying process or after dehydrating during storage. Prior to drying, dipping these fruits in a solution of citrus juice like lemon juice, orange juice or pineapple juice, or ascorbic acid, can help prevent this. After dipping, make sure to dry and drain the fruit on paper towels before placing it in the food dehydrator’s drying trays.

Below is a table listing how to prepare popular dried fruits, a range of drying times and what the food should look like when it is dehydrated. Note, there is no set drying times for food. When dehydrating foods, the dehydrator, ambient temperature and humidity, drying temperatures, thickness of produce, or ascorbic acid or vitamin C pretreatment versus no pretreatment will impact the time required to dry. Trial and error will determine what works best for your particular food dehydrator, favorite foods and preferences.

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Fruit Preparation Drying Time Dryness Test
Apples Wash. Peel if desired. Core. Cut into slices or rings or chop into pieces. 6-24 hours Leathery, no moisture
Apricots Wash. Do not peel. Halve and pit. Turn inside out or cut into silces. 24-36 hours Leathery, and pliable
BananasPeel. Cut into slices 6-10 hours Leathery and slighty sticky
Grapes Wash. Cut in half. Remove seeds. Place cut side up. Seedless green grapes are easier to dry than red or black. 12-24 hours Raisin like texture and feel
Peaches Wash. Peel if desired. Cut in half. Remove pit. Cut into slices 6-15 hours Leathery may be sticky in the center
Pears Wash. Peel if desired. Core and cut into slices 6-10 hours Leathery feel
Plums Wash. Do not peel. Cut in half and remove pit. Turn inside out or cut in slices. 6-10 hours Leathery and pliable
Strawberries Wash. Cut in half. Place cut side up 6-12 hours Hard and brittle.

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Published 8/20/2011 12:00:00 AM

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