The dehydrated fruits They can become healthy treats or snacks for children and adults, since we can not only taste them alone, but also accompanied with cereals, granola, smoothies, energy bars, desserts and salads. In addition, they also serve to grade the acidity of pasta and meat sauces, as well as to replace refined sugar in other recipes.
On the other hand, dehydrated fruits are excellent food reserves to consume in camps, excursions, sports activities, the cinema or contingency situations. As well as for snacks, snacks, between meals or when you feel like it.
In addition, dehydrating fruits through our stories can become a very rewarding task, since it is not a complicated task and allows us to know the origin and content of our food. For this reason, at RecetaGratis we share with you several easy methods for you to know how to dehydrate fruits at home and uncomplicated.
Fruit dehydration methods
Maybe the food drying It is one of the best conservation methods that exist, since it respects their essence a lot: their nutrients, smell, taste and texture. All this without adding chemical additives (at least in non-industrial methods).
Drying or dehydrating simply involves removing moisture from food to prevent enzyme activity and the development of microorganisms. Consequently, food acquires microbiological and chemical stability.
If the dehydration process is carried out correctly and the lowest possible temperature (40-55 ° C) is used, the food will maintain all its nutritional value and organoleptic characteristics (color, texture, taste and smell). For this reason, most dried fruits are high in fiber and potassium, in addition to other minerals and vitamins.
Although dehydration is an ancient method of food preservation, It has currently been refined a lot, thanks to technological advances that allow a healthier and more efficient process. Here we mention the most popular methods for food drying:
- Oven drying or dehydration
- Microwave drying
- Dehydration in the sun
- Electric dryers
- Electric dehydrators
- Solar dryers
- Dehydrators in solar oven
Discover other preservation methods and learn How to preserve bread.
Advice: Dehydration concentrates and enhances the flavor of the fruit, as well as other foods.
Tips before dehydrating fruits
Regardless of the dehydration method you use, there are certain techniques and tricks that will help you achieve the desired result when trying to dehydrate fruit at home. Pay attention and apply them in any circumstance:
Select the best fruits
They must be fresh fruits and have a suitable point of ripeness. Choose them without bruises or damaged parts.
Cut thin pieces of the same thickness. Thus, they will dehydrate evenly. Remove the seeds and more fibrous parts. You can cut food with a mandolin as it provides clean and accurate cuts. In contrast, very small fruits are better dehydrated whole. If you cut them with a knife, it should be into pieces of 0.5 to 3 cm.
Prepare the fruits before drying them
Although this step is optional, if you do it, you eliminate any enzyme or microorganism that accelerates the oxidation of the food. To avoid rusting and improve their final presentation, place them in a bowl with 1 liter of water and 100 ml of lemon for 10-15 minutes.
Each tray or racks you fill must contain the same fruit (if it's strawberry, just strawberries). Once dried, you should let them cool for 60 minutes.
Use only one type of fruit
Use a rack or tray to place the fruits. Arrange the fruit slices side by side, forming a single layer. Do not stack them so the hot air can flow.
Select the best pieces
Choose the quality pieces: they must be of a suitable color and not present any strange appearance.
Once you have chosen the best pieces, monitor them for an additional time. This advice is optional but highly recommended, as guarantees that the fruit is of quality and lasts longer. To do so, follow these steps:
- Fill a glass jar with the pieces of fruit to 2/3 of its capacity.
- Shake the bottle once a day for 7 days. The residual moisture will be evenly distributed between the dry pieces.
- Check if condensation appears in the jar, as this will indicate that the drying is incomplete. If this is the case, dry the pieces again with the dehydration method of your choice.
Preserving dehydrated fruits
Preserve dried fruit in an airtight glass jar. Once full, place the bottle in a dry, clean place, without humidity or sudden temperature change. Thus, you avoid rehydration of the dehydrated food. You can add oil to some foods such as dried tomatoes, as it has the quality to enhance flavor and texture.
Label the jar so you have a check on the date you started keeping it, the fruits will last between 6 months and 1 year. The less water it retains and the less external agents intervene, the longer they will last.
Hydrates fruits when using them
This depends on the case, for example, if a dry food is used in long cooks, you do not need to hydrate it, as it hydrates during cooking. On the contrary, if you use the dehydrated piece in a short cook or add it to a salad, you must leave it to soak so that it recovers the water lost during dehydration.
This step is optional, you can enjoy the dried fruits without hydrating them.
How to dehydrate fruits in the oven
Drying fruit in the oven is an easy, hygienic and accessible option for everyone. The only problem with this method is that not all home ovens handle low temperatures (an essential requirement for drying food). Either way, if you follow the following tricks, you can discover how to dehydrate fruits at home and achieve effective results:
- Turn on the oven at a temperature of 40-47 ° C. It is useful to know beforehand how your oven behaves, since no domestic oven is the same as another. Turn off the oven when it approaches 47 ºC. Temperatures ranging from 55-70 ºC destroy nutrients.
- Use a thermometer. It is the best way to control the temperature in a home oven. You only need to set the thermostat to the minimum and, once it reaches 45 ºC, put the tray of fruit that you want to dehydrate.
- Leave the oven door ajar. The opening should be between 5 to 10 cm, so you allow moisture to escape and control the temperature.
- If the oven has a fan, use it. Thus, the constant air stream will dry thin slices and small fruits faster.
- Place a fan in front of the oven. You will favor the exit of hot air (this step is optional).
- Flip the pieces of fruit every 20 to 30 minutes to ensure even drying. Use a kitchen tongs.
- If the fruit looks dry, it's ready. The total dehydration time of the pieces depends on several factors: the amount of water the fruit contains, the size of the slice, the temperature of the oven and the humidity level of the air. However, for reference, an average of 2-4 hours can be calculated or until they are dry.
Once you have them ready you can enjoy some delicious dehydrated fruit chips.
How to dehydrate fruits in the microwave
If you need to dehydrate a lot of fruit, you will love this method, as it saves you a lot of time. Yes, the microwave gives you an almost immediate result but you must watch the drying, if the fruit cannot burn. With that said, just follow these steps:
- Select quality fruit. Fresh, at the ideal ripening point and without obvious abuse.
- Wash and dry it very good (you can use kitchen paper, the absorbent type).
- Cut it into thin slices. Choose only one type of fruit for each batch of drying.
- Place the fruit slices on top of a microwave-safe plate. (or on top of the same glass microwave turntable). Distribute them without piling them up.
- Program the microwave approximately 30 or 45 minutes (time depends on fruit, humidity and size). Select defrost function, to avoid burning.
- Store dehydrated fruit in a glass jar or send it into a vacuum.
Advice: By hydrating the dried fruit, it recovers its organoleptic qualities.
How to dehydrate fruits in the sun
The main advantage of dehydrating fruits in the sun is that you will not need more tools than the environment to do it. The disadvantage is that desiccation loses quality, due to poor hygiene and climate control. Either way, dehydrating fruits in the sun is still an effective method, so if you want to try it out, follow these steps:
- Wash the fruit thoroughly and dry it very well (use kitchen paper, preferably absorbent).
- Expose the fruit slices to the sun and the wind in a slit to let the wind circulate.
- Cover the slices with a fine mosquito net or gauze to avoid insects. It is essential that the fruit receive sun and direct air.
- Turn the pieces every 12 hours.
- The ambient temperamental should be around 29 ° C.
- If the fruit looks dry, it's ready. It can take 2-5 days to become completely dehydrated.
Advice: You can create a grid with a mosquito net.
How to dehydrate fruits with dehydrator
A dehydrator is a device created exclusively to dry food, in a totally controlled manner. Although acquiring a dehydrator implies having one more appliance at home, it also provides a large list of benefits that come from its specialized design:
- Avoid climate variability.
- Ensures hygiene.
- It allows you to choose different textures (crispy, chip, crackers or soft textures).
- It consumes little electricity.
- It has other culinary uses.
- Avoid chemical additives.
- Dry fruits, vegetables, fish and meat.
Although this appliance offers you advantages, the essential steps for drying food remain the same as always and apply to all dehydrators in general. There are different types of dehydrators on the market: electric, solar or solar oven.
If you liked the article How to dehydrate fruits, we suggest you enter our Cheats and techniques category.