When a disaster situation will occur, you better have ready a stockpile of food essential for your survival.
Besides water and basic food your body also needs fibers and vitamins in order for it to be fully functional and healthy.
Dried fruits are an excellent source of vitamins and fibers.
Drying your own fruit is a great way to avoid extra sugar, GMO’s, pesticides and preservatives.
Depending on preferences, you can add your own sweetener or spices in moderation.
Drying fruit is simple. This can be done by using the oven or a dehydrator(avoid cheap ones).
First step: prep your fruit
- Choose ripe fruits or berries
- Wash them in cold water
- Remove the ones that have spots or are damaged
- Remove any stems, stones, leaves, branches from the fruit
- Cut and slice fruits evenly so that they will dry within the same time frame
Second Step: Remove the skins(Optional)
Some fruits dry better if the skin has been removed, like nectarines, peaches and apples.
Making a shallow “x” with a paring knife at the bottom of each fruit.
Put them into boiling water for 30 seconds, then transfer them in a basin filled with ice water.
The skins should slip right off.
Third Step: Soak the fruit
Soak the fruit for about 10 minutes in lemon juice and water to keep the fruit looking good and minimize discoloration, then drain and blot dry the fruit with a lint-free towel.
And the last step is to dry the fruit
Preheat the oven to 130-160 degrees F. Use a lower temperature for thin sliced fruits such as apples or peaches.
Strawberries and other whole berries cook better in higher heat.
Place parchment paper onto sheet pans. Arrange fruit in a single layer, and do not allow pieces to touch. Top fruit with a pizza screen or silicone pan liner to keep them from curling up as they dry.
Place fruit into the oven and rotate the pans every 2 hours.
Cooking is complete when the dried fruit should feel like leather but still be pliable.
Good to Know: Cooking Times
Apples → 6 hours
Bananas → 6 hours
Plums → 6 hours
Pears → 6 hours
Peaches → 6 hours
Grapes → 8-10 hours
Citrus Peel → 8-10 hours
Cherries → 12 hours
Strawberries → 12 hours
Apricots → 12 hours
Curing the fruit
When the fruits are cooked, remove them from the oven and place in glass or plastic containers to “cure.”
Leave the container open for 4-5 days so that any moisture left from the drying process can evaporate.
Shake the container every day or so to move the fruit around.
Seal the containers after 5 days and add them to your stockpile.
The dried fruits are good to eat for about 1 year.