Drying fruits is a way to preserve the summer harvest and receive nutrients at any time of the year. This method will ensure long-term storage of fruit reserves, the main thing is to know how to properly dry the fruit.
Preparing fruits for drying
Prepare ripe fruits, unripe ones are more difficult to dry. To begin with, they sort out the raw materials, select the damaged and ugly fruits. To remove chemicals from the surface, wash in water with soda. Remove inedible parts and cut into small thin pieces. To keep the fruits light when drying, they are bleached in water with salt or citric acid. Depending on the drying method, the pieces are boiled. Each variety is dried separately, depending on what it is called.
Ways to dry fruit at home
With a dryer
The Volter 1000 Lux electric dryer is specially designed for drying any vegetables, fruit and berries at low temperatures.
Fruits dry easily. You just need to properly prepare the products, cut into pieces of the desired size and dry. Depending on the dehydrator, each individual fruit is dried for as many hours as indicated in the instructions. The device supports the drying of all kinds of fruits, citrus fruits, grapes. It is not recommended to dry pineapple, melon, watermelon, banana, kiwi, pear and peach, it is better to dry them, so they will retain their softness and taste as much as possible.
In the sun
The fruits are dried in summer in dry weather in bright sunlight. Apples, pears, apricots, plums will do. Dried apples rarely spoil and are picky about storage. Dry the rest of the fruits until slightly soft, so the fruits are stored longer and retain more flavor. In order not to get wet in case of rain, it is better to do it on the balcony or under a hinged roof.
Processing time with this method takes from several days to four weeks.
In the oven
Choose minimum temperatures (up to 80 °). The main disadvantage of this method is the use of a baking sheet. The process is uneven, the pieces are dried only on top and may burn.
You can use a grid with fine meshes instead of a baking sheet. When processed, the fruits are reduced.
Fruits that are high in fiber, such as pears and apples, are suitable. For processing, ripe healthy fruits are needed, otherwise they will not dry out, but go out. You cannot use watery fruits like melons and watermelons, they must be dried at low temperatures that the oven does not support.
The disadvantage is that you can dry fruits only during the heating season.
A baking sheet or other utensil is needed so that the pieces can be peeled off and heated well. Turn food daily.
Use apples or other low-liquid fruit.
Sour apples work better than sweet apples. They are tastier when dry. Ripe hard pears of different varieties are also suitable.
It is better not to dry fruits with a high liquid content; the process of rotting may begin on the battery.
In the airfryer
Fruits are processed at a temperature of 90-120 °. The convection oven does not get rid of moisture, so leave the lid ajar. The food capacity is less than in the oven. But the temperature is much higher. Because of this, the fruits will stick or dry out only on the outside. Vitamin and nutrient content is reduced.
Drying is suitable for apples, pears, apricots and plums, the fruits should not be overripe. Due to the high temperature, they are able to dry quickly and evenly. Not suitable for harvesting persimmon, kiwi, orange. They will not have time to dry inside. Also bananas cannot be used, due to the high starch content, they will dry out only on the outside.
In the microwave
Dry fruits and berries carefully. Fruit is processed in 1-5 minutes. Check the readiness of the fruit regularly. It is best to choose medium power to dry them. With an increased risk of burning the fruit.
Apples and hard pears are heated in the microwave.
It is better not to process oranges, melons, kiwis and other juicy fruits, because they will not have time to dry on the inside, and there is a risk of burning on the outside.
These dried fruits are not suitable for home storage.
On open air
During processing, the weather can fail. The crop is dried in the shade, under a hinged roof on trays, trays or racks. If the weather is wet or raining, food will rot.
Apples, hard pears, grapes, cherries and plums are better suited, because they reduce the risk of decay. The plus is that these foods retain nutrients that are lost during cooking. By choosing one of the presented methods of drying fruits, you will provide yourself with benefits and vitamins all year round.
How to dry plums at home? 5 ways
Prunes are a healthy product, on the basis of which dozens of types of recipes have been created for every taste. Such dried fruits are not cheap, and it is not always possible to understand how the product was processed.
It is best to do the blanks yourself, using various methods of drying. It is necessary to know the conditions and shelf life of dried plums made with your own hands.
I have already told you how you can dry apples and pears, today I will share the methods of drying plums.
If you have a lot of fruits, I suggest drying them, the drying methods are different, so choose the one that suits you best.
How to dry fruits properly
For drying, the raw materials are pre-prepared: they are washed, cut into circles, columns, strips, etc. (due to this, the area of water evaporation increases and the drying process is accelerated). To prevent fruits and vegetables from darkening during drying, they are pre-soaked in a solution of salt or citric acid (5-10 g per 1 liter of water) and blanched. For uniform air access, the raw materials prepared for drying are laid out in an even thin layer.
Here are some signs of properly dried foods:
- dried carrots keep their color and smell fresh
- beans dried in pods are white or green in color, overdried - light brown
- cabbage becomes dark green in color, and overdried cauliflower turns black and has a creamy shade
- apples should be light cream in color, sufficiently elastic, but do not release liquid when bent
- plums turn black with a bluish tinge
- apricots should retain their natural color; a dark color indicates that the fruit is overdried. The pulp of dried plums and apricots is quite elastic, easily separates from the stone, and the quality of dried cherries is determined by the same criterion.
Home-dried fruits and berries are poured into one container for 1-2 days to equalize moisture. Then they are poured into containers for storage (plastic bags, wooden and cardboard boxes, glass jars). It should be borne in mind that under the influence of light, dried foods darken and lose their aroma.
The output of dried products (in grams) from 1 kg of fresh raw materials:
- apricots - 150
- cherry with pits - 250
- pitted cherries - 100
- green peas - 200
- pears - 180
- greens (dill, parsley, celery) - 100
- strawberries - 130
- cabbage - 70-90
- onion - 120-150
- raspberries - 150
- carrots - 120-180
- parsley (root) - 120-140
- beets - 120-170
- pitted plums - 300
- pitted plums - 160-200
- currant - 140
- asparagus beans - 100
- apples - 130
Storage rules for dried fruits
- The optimum storage temperature for dried fruits is up to +10 ° C.
- It is very important that they are in a dark and dry place, otherwise bugs can start in them.
- Use natural fabric bags as storage containers.
- To prevent insects from having access to dry food, pre-soak the bags in a strong saline solution and dry them.
- Use sealed food grade plastic containers or glass jars.
- If insects do settle in dry fruits, then sort them out, discarding the spoiled ones, and then place them in an oven preheated to +60 ° C for half an hour or freeze them at -15 ° C.
When using an oven or electric dryer, do not leave it unattended as it can be dangerous. Properly dried fruit can be stored for over a year. You can grind the finished product, creating your own combinations of various seasonings.