|Fruit||Preparation of Fresh Fruit||Appearance of
|Drying Time||Fresh and Dried Amounts|
|Apples||Peel (optional), core, slice||Leathery||6-8 hrs||1 lb (3) = 3/4 c|
|Apricots||Peel (optional), pit, slice, anti-oxidant dip||Leathery||12-18 hrs||1 lb (12) = 2/3 c|
|Bananas||Peel, slice, anti-oxidant dip, honey dip(optional)||Leathery||6-8 hrs||3 med = 1 c;2 c = 1 c|
|Blueberries||Wash, drain, split skin||Chewy||12-14 hrs||1 lb = 1 c|
|Cherries||Wash, halve, remove pit||Chewy||18-24 hrs||1 lb = 3/4 c|
|Citrus Zest||Wash in hot water, trim pith, chop||Crisp, then grate||6-8 hrs|
|Cranberries||Wash, split skin||Chewy||18-24 hrs|
|Currants, Black||Wash, split skin||Chewy||18-24 hrs|
|Figs||Wash, halve||Chewy||36-48 hrs||3 lb = 1 lb|
|Grapes||Wash, split skin||Chewy (raisins)||24-48 hrs||1 lb = 2/3 c|
|Papayas||Remove seeds, peel, slice||Leathery||10-12 hrs|
|Peaches (Nectarines)||Peel (optional), pit, slice, anti-oxidant dip||Leathery||10-12 hrs||1 lb (4) = 1/2 c|
|Pears||Peel, core, slice, anti-oxidant dip||Leathery||12-18 hrs||1 lb (3) = 1/2 c|
|Persimmons||Peel, slice||Chewy||18-24 hrs|
|Pineapple||Peel, core, slice, honey dip (optional)||Chewy||24-36 hrs|
|Plums||Halve, remove pit, slice||Chewy (prunes)||18-24 hrs||1 lb (13) = 3/4 c|
|Rhubarb||Slice, honey dip (optional)||Hard||8-12 hrs|
|Strawberries||Hull, slice, honey dip (optional)||Hard||12-18 hrs|
(Times are for fruits dried in a dehydrator at 115° F.)
|5/8 c||water||to taste||lemon juice (optional)|
|5 c||fresh fruit, coarsely chopped||to taste||cinnamon (optional)|
|5 T – 3/4 c||granulated sugar|
|Remove pits if necessary. Simmer the unpeeled fruit in the water until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Puree the softened fruit, then add the sugar and flavorings.|
|Spread the puree on a prepared tray, to 1/4-inch thick. Dry at 120° F for 6 to 8 hours, until leathery.|
|Roll the fruit leather in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container. The fruit roll will keep for 6 months in the cupboard, and much longer in the refrigerator.|
|Variation: Combine different fruits (apple and rhubarb, rhubarb and strawberry, strawberry and banana, etc.) in the puree. Or, omit the cooking and use a jar of applesauce. Applesauce leather can be eaten as is or reconstituted with water.|
|Yields one 11 x 17-inch piece of fruit leather.|
|Vegetable||Preparation of Fresh Vegetable||Appearance of
|Drying Time||Fresh and Dried Amounts|
|Artichoke hearts||Slice, blanch 5 min||Brittle|
|Asparagus||Wash, chop, blanch 5 min||Brittle||8-10 hrs|
|Beets||Trim, peel, slice, blanch until tender||Hard||8-10 hrs||1 lb = 3/4 c|
|Broccoli||Wash, trim, chop, blanch 3 1/2 min||Crisp||12-18 hrs|
|Cabbage||Core, shred, blanch 2-3 min||Brittle||12-15 hrs||1 1/2 lb (small head) = 1 c|
|Carrots||Scrub, slice, blanch 3-4 min||Leathery||12-18 hrs||1 lb (6 med) = 1 c|
|Cauliflower||Chop, blanch 3 min||Crisp||12-15 hrs|
|Celery||Slice||Crisp||12-18 hrs||1 bunch = 1 c|
|Corn||Blanch until not milky (1-3 min), cut kernels from cob||Hard, dry||8-12 hrs||6 ears = 1 c|
|Cucumbers||Wash, slice||Crisp||9-11 hrs|
|Eggplant||Peel, slice 1/4-in, blanch 4 min||Leathery||18-24 hrs||1 med = 1 c|
|Garlic||Peel, mince||Crisp, then powder||6-8 hrs||1 clove = 1/8 t|
|Green beans||Wash, trim, halve, blanch 4 min||Leathery||8-14 hrs||1 lb = 1 c|
|Kohlrabi||Peel, slice, blanch 3-4 min||Crisp||18-24 hrs||1 lb = 3/4 c|
|Leeks||Wash, slice well into green part||Like parchment, not brittle||12-24 hrs||1 med = 1 c|
|Mushrooms||Wash, slice||Leathery||8-12 hrs||1 lb = 1 3/4 c|
|Okra||Wash, trim, slice 1/4-in||Brittle||8-12 hrs|
|Olives||Pit, halve||Hard||10 hrs|
|Onions, yellow||Peel, chop||Brittle||12-24 hrs||1 lb = 1 2/3 c|
|Onions, green (Scallions)||Separate white part from green, chop||Crisp||8-12 hrs|
|Parsley (Herbs)||Wash, separate, trim stems, chop||Crisp||6-8 hrs||1 bunch = 1/2 c;
2 T = 1 t
|Parsnips||Peel, slice or chop, blanch 4 min||Crisp||8-12 hrs||1 lb = 3/4 c|
|Peas||Shell, blanch 3 min||Hard||12-18 hrs||1 lb = 2/3 c|
|Peppers, bell||Halve, clean, slice||Leathery||8-12 hrs||2 (1 lb) = 1 1/4 c|
|Peppers, chile||Wash, seed, slice||Crisp||12-18 hrs|
|Potatoes||Slice, blanch 6-8 min or soak <10 min anti-oxidant dip||Brittle||12-18 hrs||1 lb = 3/4 c|
|Bake 30-45 min, peel, slice||Hard, brittle||12-18 hrs||1 lb = 3/4 c|
|Pumpkin||Trim, remove seeds, peel, slice, blanch3 min, puree (optional)||Leathery; Puree–brittle, then powder||12-18 hrs||1 med = 1/2 c|
|Radishes||Trim, slice||Crisp||8-10 hrs|
|Rutabagas||Trim, wash, slice, blanch 4 min||Crisp||8-12 hrs|
|Spinach||Wash, blanch 3 min, chop||Crisp||12-18 hrs|
|Wash, slice||Crisp||6-8 hrs||1 lb = 1 3/4 c|
|Squash, winter||Clean, peel, chop, cook 30-45 min, puree||Dry, brittle, then powder||6-8 hrs||1 med = 1/2 c|
|Tomatoes||Wash, slice||Brittle||14-18 hrs||1 lb = 1 1/4 c|
|Turnips||Peel, slice, blanch 4 min||Hard, crisp||12-18 hrs||1 lb = 3/4 c|
|Zucchini||Wash, slice||Crisp||12-18 hrs||1 med = 1/2 c|
(Times are for vegetables dried in a dehydrator at 120° F.)
|Dehydrated Refried Beans|
|hot water||to taste||salt|
|2 c||dry pinto, black, or red beans||3||garlic cloves, minced|
|1 med||onion, minced||4 T||olive oil|
|Cover the beans with boiling water. Let stand overnight or for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse the beans. Add fresh water and bring to a boil. Add onion and one garlic clove. Cover and simmer for ~2 hours, until the beans are soft. Season with salt.|
|In a large skillet saute the 2 remaining garlic cloves in the oil. Using a slotted spoon place the beans in the skillet. Add a small amount of cooking liquid and mash the beans. Simmer to a thick consistency.|
|Spread the beans on a prepared tray and dry at 120° F for 6 to 8 hours.|
|To Prepare: For 2 cups of refried beans, bring 1 c water and 1 c dehydrated beans to a boil. Cover pot, remove from heat, and let stand until water is absorbed (~5 minutes).|
|Yields ~3 cups of dehydrated beans.|
In a pot with a tight-fitting lid, bring some water to boil. Loosely place the vegetables in a steam basket or colander and set inside the pot. The vegetables should be well above the water level, but close enough to allow the steam to circulate freely through the pieces. Cover the pot and keep the heat high enough for the water to boil rapidly. Steam the vegetables for the specified time, then plunge them into cold water. Drain the vegetables well.
Note: At high altitudes add one minute to the steaming time for each two thousand feet of elevation.
Salt Dip: Dissolve two tablespoons each of salt and vinegar or three to six tablespoons of salt only in one gallon of water.
Ascorbic Acid Dip: Dissolve one and a half tablespoons of ascorbic acid or five thousand milligrams of vitamin C tablets in one quart of water.
Citric Acid Dip: Dissolve one and a half teaspoons of citric acid or dilute one quarter of a cup of lemon juice in one quart of water.
Dissolve one cup of honey in two cups of boiling water. Cool the dip before adding the fruit.
Drying temperatures should be kept between 100° F and 150° F, but never exceed 170° F. Spread food on a prepared tray in as thin a layer as possible. Arrange produce and meats in a single layer with the pieces not touching each other. Sauces and purees should be spread to a depth of no greater than 1/4″. If the food will release oil during drying, line the drying trays with paper towels first. Change the towels as they become saturated with oil. Do not dry food on galvanized wire mesh because acidic foods will react with the zinc coating on the wire.
If needed, stir the food and rotate the trays occasionally for even drying. To prevent spoilage, continue drying without interruption. When testing food for dryness, allow it to cool completely first. Dry odorous vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage, separately.
To dry food well with the sun, it is important to have several days that are at least 85° F with moderate to low humidity. Spread the food on racks or screens, positioned off the ground to allow air to circulate freely around it. Cover the trays with a single layer of cheesecloth or nylon netting so it is not touching the food. This covering protects the food from insects. Place the trays in direct sunlight. Bring the trays indoors at night. Fruits and vegetables need three to four days for drying, while sauce and puree leathers require only twenty to twenty-four hours. While drying, food may become contaminated by insects. Before storing the dried food, freeze it for at least forty-eight hours. Freezing will kill any insects or their eggs that might be present in the dried food.
Small amounts of food can be dried quickly outdoors with a solar food dehydrator. This dryer is faster than sun-drying, but cannot be used on overcast days. A solar food dehydrator can be built easily from a storm window, plywood and mesh.
Preheat the oven at its lowest temperature, ~140° F. Spread the food on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the center of the oven. Prop the oven door open about four inches to aid in air circulation. To dry large loads, position a household fan outside the oven, aimed at one edge of the opened door. Rotate the baking sheets to promote uniform drying. Most foods will dry in six to eight hours, including sauce and puree leathers.
To dehydrate watery foods on a mesh tray, line the trays with plastic wrap. If the food pieces are too small to fit on the trays, cover the trays with cheesecloth to prevent food from falling through. If the dehydrator doesn’t have a fan, rotate the trays for uniform drying.