Dried fruits and vegetables may be hard to come by in grocery stores or may be too expensive to buy. You can easily get these dried goods with the use of a fruit dehydrator. A food dehydrator or food dryer is a device used for drying fruits, vegetables and also herbs. This device also helps in preserving food and reducing the volume of storage while still retaining the nutrients that are found in the fruits or vegetables. You can use dried fruits and vegetables to add flavor to your meals or desserts. You can dry fruits by using different methods. You can place it under the sun, use a solar dehydrator, put it inside the oven to dry or use commercial dehydrators that you can buy at Walmart.
These are the instructions on food dehydration:
- Choose and prepare. Choose the fruit that you are planning to dry and prepare it. It is essential that you clean the fruit very well so that it will be free of dirt that may have touched the skin. After washing the fruit, decide whether you want to dry the fruit as a whole or cut it into smaller portions. If you are going to cut the fruit into smaller portions, core the fruit first and slice the fruit in equal parts. This assures that the fruits will dry more or less in the same time. You can also choose to peel the fruit to make the drying time faster.
- Rinse with lemon. Use lemon to rinse the fruit that you are going to dry. Fruits and vegetables have a tendency to turn brown when they are being dried. Rinsing the fruit with lemon juice ensures that the fruit will not turn brown when it is dried.
- Season the fruit. This is optional. You may want to season your fruit if you want different flavors. Some people use salt, sugar or other spices to season the fruits.
- Use the dehydrator. Place your fruits in the fruit dehydrator. Make sure that the fruits are not overlapping each other on the dehydrator trays. Place them inches apart to ensure this. By doing this, you are ensuring that all the parts of the fruits are dried evenly. If you are drying different types of fruits and vegetables, you may want to place each kind on a separate dehydrator tray to avoid flavors from mixing with each other.
- Turn on the dehydrator. First, check the manual that came with your dehydrator. There is usually a guide that tells you how long to dry the fruits and vegetables. Most fruits and vegetables take at least 8 hours to be completely dry.
- Check the fruits. When the time is up, check the fruits to see if they have dried completely. To do this, you can get one piece of fruit and touch it to see if it is dry enough. You can also slice the fruit to make sure that it has dried through.
- Storing fruits. Once your fruits are dry, allow them to cool for a few minutes before storing them. Place the fruits in a tightly sealed container to make sure that no moisture enters. Store the container in a cool dry place.
These are the steps in using a fruit dehydrator. You can use the dried fruits, vegetables and herbs for different recipes that you are going to cook. Or, you can simply enjoy them as a snack by themselves.