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drying

Drying Fruits And Vegetables
Made Easy

 

Drying Fruits And Vegetables Basics

Drying is one of the oldest methods of food preservation. Drying preserves foods by removing enough moisture from the food to prevent decay and spoilage. Water content of properly dried food varies from 1 to 25 percent depending on the food and preference.

Successful drying depends upon three factors:

  1. Enough heat to draw out moisture, without cooking the food,
  2. Dry air to absorb the released moisture.
  3. Adequate air circulation to carry off the moisture. 

Be careful to select vegetables to be dried at peak flavor and quality, especially not overripe. Package dried foods in tightly sealed containers and stored in a cool, dry place.  I find that zipper style freezer bags are great for storage, just get as much air out as possible.   Properly taken care of your handy work can easily last eight to ten years.

When drying foods, the key is to remove the moisture as quickly as possible and at a temperature that does not seriously affect the flavor, texture and color or nutritional value of the food. If the temperature is too low in the beginning, microorganisms may survive and even grow before the food is adequately dried. If the temperature is too high and the humidity too low, the food may harden on the surface. In this case it is more difficult for moisture to escape and the food does not dry properly.

Although drying is a relatively simple method of food preservation, the procedure is not exact. A “trial and error” approach often is needed to decide which techniques work best for you.

Start with the fruits and vegetables you like best, those that your family will surely use. Also think about how you will use your dried fruits, in other words have a plan before you preserve then work your plan.  This will ensure that you not only preserve what you will use but that you will use what you preserve. 

Vegetables for drying should be fresh, tender, and just mature. Avoid immature vegetables because their color and flavor tend to be weak or poor. Also avoid excessively mature vegetables, which are inclined to be tough, woody, or fibrous. For the best quality and nutrition, you should dry vegetables as soon as possible after harvest.  Sometimes overripe fruit can be used successfully for fruit leathers.  Remember that the objective is to have a product that you will be thrilled to use when you use it.  You will invest a lot of money and time in preserving your foods, so let’s be sure to do a stellar job!

 

Table Of Contence

. . . . Drying Fruits and Vegetables Basics
. . . . Nutritional Value of Dried Foods
. . . . Selecting Vegetables
. . . . Preparing Foods for Drying
. . . . Fruits
. . . . Vegetables
. . . . Drying Methods
. . . . Conditioning
. . . . Pasteurizing
. . . . Drying Methods
. . . . Dehydrator Drying.
. . . . Oven Drying
. . . . Testing For Dryness
. . . . Vegetables
. . . . Pretreating Vegetables
. . . . Water Blanching
. . . . Steam Blanching
. . . . Post-Drying Treatment
. . . . Conditioning
. . . . Packaging and Storing
. . . . Using Dried Vegetabls
. . . . Fruit Leathers
. . . . Uncooked Fruit Leathers
. . . . Cooked Fruit Leathers (Double-Boiler Method)
. . . . Cooked Fruit Leathers (Microwave Method)
. . . . Fruit Leather from Canned Fruit
. . . . Drying and Storing Fruit Leathers
. . . . What To Do With All These Fruits and Vegetables
. . . . Basis Dried Vegetable Mix
. . . . Chard - Nature’s Nutrition Miracle
. . . . Recipes
. . . . Vegetable Stew
. . . . Chicken and Rice With Dried Vegetables
. . . . Homemade Dried Tomato Soup
. . . . How To Dry Herbs
. . . . Miscellaneous Drying Tips

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