Fruits

Fruits are ideal for dehydrating. They can be used in so many ways. A word of caution!  Dehydrated fruits are sooo delicious, it’s easy to overeat!
Most home-dehydrated fruits will not have the same texture as commercially prepared dried fruits. Most commercially prepared fruits have been sulfured and/or freeze dried, sometimes extra sugar added.  These things all affect the texture.

·         As is, they make great snacks.
·         They are portable and keep a long time.
·         They are an excellent way of getting vitamins and nutrients.
·         Dried fruits can be used in all sorts of deserts, ranging from pies, to sweet breads, to compotes.
·         And of course, they keep for a very long time!

What fruits are suitable for dehydrating?
  • Fresh fruits
  • Frozen fruits
  • Canned fruits. Make sure they are canned in their own juice, pear juice, or pineapple juice. Do not use fruit canned with high fructose corn syrup.  

Here are some ways you can prepare dehydrated fruits:
  • Slice and dry just as they are
  • Dice and dry
  • Puree and make fruit leathers
Fruit Leathers: 

Traditionally, people make fruit leathers by pureeing the fruit and spreading it out on the trays. When it dries, cut or break the leather into serving sized portions. However, it’s hard to know how much is enough and how much is too much.

  • With sliced or diced fruits, you can measure out portions and separate them when dehydrating. Then weigh or measure those portions and make a notation of how much is in a serving.
  • If you are doing fruit leathers, measure out ¼ to ½ cup portions of the puree onto your fruit leather trays.  One of my Facebook people coined the phrase ‘plops’!  you can hand out one or two plops to your children for snacks and be assured that they are not overeating.

Basics of Preparing Fruit for Dehydration:
  • Fresh fruit:
    • Of course, wash the fruit.
    • Peeling is an option. I prefer peeled apples to unpeeled apples. Take those peelings and cores, toss them in the crock pot, and make apple butter!
    • Slice the fruit for an even thickness and spread them out on the racks to dry
    • You may want to mist apples and bananas with a spritz of lemon juice to prevent browning, but that is a personal preference.  See the page on bananas for detailed instructions on this.
    • Or you may puree the fruit for fruit leathers or plops.
    • See the pages on specific fruits for more details.
  • Frozen fruit:
    • Very little to do here. Keep the fruit frozen or partially thawed, just enough to break up clumps if you have large clumps of fruit.
    • When I buy frozen bags of mixed fruits, I often partially thaw them and slice the bigger chunks of fruit to make them easier to dry.
    • Spread them out evenly on the racks and dry.
    • Or you may puree the fruit for fruit leathers or plops.
  • Canned fruit:
    • Place the canned fruit in your salad spinner and spin to remove as much liquid as possible.
    • Reserve that liquid for drinking or cooking in a desert.
    • Large fruit pieces such has half peaches, need to be sliced before dehydrating.
    • Or you may puree the fruit for fruit leathers or plops.

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