Making Dried Fruit
Whether you have children in mind that need to eat healthier, or you are looking for a way to put more fruit into your own diet, making your own dried fruit can be a great way to get you out of a dietary rut and to make sure that you are getting the vitamins and natural sugars that are so healthy for you. The price of dried fruit can be a little high, however, and it will only be a matter of time before you realize that it is probably just as easy and cheap to dry the fruit yourself. Take a look below for a few things to keep in mind before you start buying your apples and bananas, however!
If you can get a food dehydrator, this is the most simple, straightforward and reliable way to dry your fruit. This device allows you control the temperature, the speed of drying and practically everything involved with the process of drying out whatever fruit you choose to put into it. It can also dry fruit without taking up valuable stove time, which is a plus for the busy individual. In a food dehydrator, fruits like apples and pears will dry at a stable 135 degrees Fahrenheit and come out looking great.
If you’d prefer to try it the old fashioned way, it is actually quite simple. First, decide on what fruits you are interested in drying. Apples and bananas are quite popular, and they are quite easy if you are looking for a simple first-time experience. The first thing you need to do to the fruit is cut it. While theoretically fruit of any shape or configuration can be dried, the drying process happens a great deal more swiftly and evenly if you cut the fruit into thin slices first.
Then, you will want to prepare the fruit. Many fruits will go brown or even blacken when they have been exposed too long to air, and to prevent this, you can briefly soak them in a variety of solutions that will help preserve their color. Fruit juice with a high level of citric acid, asorbic acid, or even a honey and water can help your fruit looking great. This should also be done to any fruits that you put in a food dehydrator.
There are several ways to dry your fruit after you have prepared it. For instance, you can use a plastic needle to thread your fruit onto clean cotton thread and set up a rack in the sun. This method can take a few days, depending on juicy the fruit is. Remember to put down a cloth to catch any drips. You can also use a conventional oven. To use this method, put down some wax paper over a cookie sheet and lay the fruit slices on it, without letting them touch each other. Set the oven to about 175 degrees and let it simply cook for a while. This will take several hours but don’t turn the oven up to speed the process!
Essentially, your fruit will be done whenever you feel it’s good to eat, so do some experimenting and give it a shot! This is a great and fun way to eat your fruits.