Dehydrating fruit has been going on for centuries. Before people had dehydrators, they preserved their fruit by drying it out on the sun. Who doesn't like sun dried tomatoes in olive oil for example? Some cultures even wrapped their food in leaves and buried it under the hot sand. If you preserved enough, it could keep you going through a whole winter.
Why Should I Dehydrate Fruit For Walking?
Fruit is a healthy snack that can replenish your energy level after or before a long day of hiking. The problem is they are also highly perishable. You can put a fresh banana in your bag in the morning and take it out brown and smelly in the evening. Whereas if you dehydrate it can last for months. It may not quite have the nutritional value of a fresh banana, but it still makes for a healthy and tasty snack.
What You'll Need
A dehydrator (some people prefer using a oven)
In season fruit
A Madeline slicer to cut the fruit
The Steps to Dehydrate Fruit
Find out the peak season for the fruit you want to dehydrate. It is the best time to dehydrate them.
Have a dehydrator prepared. The ideal temperature you need is between 125 to 135 Fahrenheit. Don't try to dehydrate them in higher temperatures than that because it will cause the fruit to harden on the outside and soften on the inside. If you don't own a dehydrator, you can dehydrate fruits in the oven.
Cut the fruit up into thin slices. The thinner they are the less time they will take to dry out. Ideally you want them to be the same thickness so they take the same time to dry.
Put the slices of fruit under a cold running tap to rid them of any excess lumps.
Spray apples, strawberries and bananas with lemon. This stops them from browning and growing mould.
Space all the fruit out on a drying rack. Make sure they don't overlap because this can increase the drying time.
Put the fruit into the dehydrator. How long you put them for depends on the fruit. You may want to buy a book or look further on the Internet for a more accurate guide, but for a general; apples take 7- 15 hours, bananas take 6 – 10 hours and strawberries take 7 to 15 hours.
Take the fruit out when they are done to your preference.
Check how many fruits your dehydrator can handle at one time. If you put too many in it will massively increase the drying time.
For best results use a modern dehydrator. Dehydrators are quite a recent invention and some of the older ones vary in quality.
While dehydrating the fruit on a lower temperature will take longer, it will help to preserve their nutrition value.
Use mature fruit, but avoid bruised fruit.
Wash and rinse fruit properly before drying them.