Saturday, June 29, 2013

DIY Dried Fruit in the Oven!

I love dried fruit! It makes a great snack on the go or a tasty edition to a salad or trail mix. I hesitate to purchase dried fruit from the grocery store because of all the added sugar and preservatives. At the same time, I do not have the money to go out and purchase a food dehydrator. I came across this great post on Pinterest that explains how to make your own dried fruit at home using your oven. No added sugar or expensive kitchen gadgets here! 

 Step 1: Preheat your oven to 130-160 degrees F. Use lower heat settings for thinner fruit sliced fruits such as apples or peaches. Whole strawberries, etc will require a high heat setting.

Step 2: Prepare your fruit by first washing and drying. Remove and pits, leaves, stems, etc. You may want to peel some fruits such as peaches, nectarines, and apples. These fruits dry better without their skins. To prevent yellowing and browning of your fruit during preparation, soak your fruit in a combination of lemon juice and water for 10 minutes. Then drain and blot dry with a towel. 

Step 3: Place parchment paper on cookie sheets and place your fruit in a single layer on the prepared cookie sheets. Place an oven safe screen or silicone pan liner to prevent the fruit from curling up. Your pans will been to be rotated every two hours. 

When your dried fruit is ready, it will feel leathery yet still pliable. Let the fruit cure in glass jars without lids for about 4-5 days after drying. Shake the jar around every day or so. This will allow all the fruit to avoid sticking. After the 5th day, seal the jar. These dried fruits will stay good for roughly 10 months. 

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