Follow these ten dehydrating steps and tips when using a food dehydrator
to make dried fruits, dried vegetables or other dried food.
- Before dehydrating, it is best to slice or cut all of the food to about the same size. This will help dry all the items within the same
- The sliced food should not be too thick or too thin. Slices between 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick are best.
- The food dehydrator will draw the moisture out of the food, thus, the larger the cut area, the faster and better food dehydrates.
- Vegetables with longer, thin stalks like green beans or asparagus should be cut in half
long ways. Fruit should be sliced across the
core. To maximize dehydration, place the food cut side up on the dehydrator’s drying trays.
- Small fruits like strawberries can be cut in half.
- Waxy skinned fruits like cherries, grapes, plums or blueberries should have their skins checked (an x cut across the fruit’s skin) to help release moisture.
- Before dehydrating, it is best
not to peel food. The peel of fruits and vegetables contain large amounts of nutritional value. In fact, the peel of fruits like blueberries, grapes, guava, and kumquat contain more antioxidants than the fruit’s flesh. Further, fruit and vegetable skin has beneficial fiber.
- After cutting the food, place the slices in a single
layer on the dehydrator’s drying trays.
- Vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes and other food that you would not eat raw can be dehydrated. However, these foods require blanching or steaming as a pre–treatment. Blanching is briefly precooking vegetables in boiling water or steam and it is used to shorten food drying time and kill organisms that could cause spoilage. Steam blanching is best and may take from 30 – 90 seconds.
- Fruits that turn brown when exposed to air, (apples, peaches, bananas or pears) can
be pre-treated by dipping the fruit into a solution of ascorbic acid or citrus fruit juice, to add vitamin C to the dried fruit and, to prevent dried fruit from browning. The fruit can be dipped in the solution for a few minutes and should be well drained before dehydrating.
Related Food Dehydrator Articles
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Published 8/13/2011 12:00:00 AM