Stockpiling different foods entails preserving them through different methods, such as dehydrating. This process is done on meats, fruits, and veggies, and usually require a dehydrator or just the sun.
The quality and pricing of fruits are affected by seasonality, so it just makes sense to preserve them for future use. Here’s how you can dehydrate your fruits with a food dehydrator!
Why Dehydrate with a Dehydrator
One of the most economic and safest methods of preserving your food is sun drying, especially with fruits. Fruits have a high level of acid and sugar content that let them dry quickly and safely under the sun. However, if you’re planning to dehydrate other types of food, then a food dehydrator may be better.
Sun-drying entails covering the food to protect them from pests and insects. It will also take days to finish the process, and certain constraints like rain may cause you to make adjustments.
But with a dehydrator, you can preserve your fruits no matter the weather condition and time of day. Your food will also dry out in just a few hours and you can have control over the temperature. Aside from fruits, you can also dry meats, veggies, spices, etc.
How to Dehydrate Fruits
Before learning how to dehydrate different fruits, take note of these two ways ou can pretreat them:
- Steam your fruit with a steamer basket for 3-4 minutes. The end result will be light and less chewy snack. This process also entails rinsing with cold water and blotting it dry before arranging the food dehydrator tray.
- Another pretreatment method is soaking them in lemon, lime, or pineapple juice and water with a 1:4 ratio. The flavor of the citrus won’t be evident though.
Pretreat your banana with a citrus soak so your dried bananas wouldn’t look brown after getting in the food dehydrating. Slice thinly if you want banana chips and continue dehydrating them even if they look leathery already.
Dehydrating bananas usually take 10 hours, while banana chips take 15-20.
Strawberry is one of the few fruits that don’t need pretreatment before dehydrating. The method is as simple as slicing and drying! Expect these berries to completely dehydrate after 6-8 hours, although you can go overboard if you want to add a crunchy texture.
You can also make a fruit roll out of strawberries by simply tossing them in a blender then pouring the liquid to a dehydrator sheet. Once you’ve done this, just set your food dehydrator to 135F and wait for 4-12 hours. Some people leave the leaves on their strawberries when doing this!
Unlike strawberries, cranberries need to be pretreated. The best way to do this is by freezing them then dropping them in boiling water for 30 seconds, and finally dipping them in cold water.
Cranberries take 20-24 hours to dehydrate. They also need to be watched closely because getting them overly dried may result in a hard and tasteless thing. Even a slight excess time in the dehydrator may leave them having a gross waxy texture that almost has no taste.
Dehydrate apples by using any pretreatment method mentioned. You can also try sprinkling a bit of cinnamon to make a big difference in the flavor. Then, finish them off in the food dehydrator. Most instructions say it may take up to 12 hours for them to dry, but 6 is enough.
If you slice your apples thinly and evenly, you can get amazing apple chips after about 24-30 hours with a full food dehydrator.
You can tell that the apple is done dehydrating once you squeeze it and no moisture comes out anymore
Can You Dehydrate the Same Fruits at the Same Time?
Yes. Fruits don’t have much of a permeating odor so you can put varieties of them together in a dehydrator. All fruits dehydrate at 135 degrees F. Start the first hour at 145F to get things moving along faster without killing any enzymes.
Here are other fruits you can dehydrate for stockpiling:
- Paw paw