Dehydrating fall fruits

This vintage utensil is no match for a sharp knife and quick hands

 

I found some great bargains on seasonal produce in Leavenworth last week, which means I have an abundance of fruit that needs to be preserved ASAP. I love our dehydrator and am experimenting a bit with different ways to dehydrate apples, pears, tomatoes, peaches, and bananas.¬†Here are some tips I’ve picked up that you might find useful if you’re also dehydrating similar foods.

Tomatoes: Slice these fairly thickly (~3/8 in.) and dehydrate at 155 degrees. This is much hotter than you would normally dehydrate fruits and vegetables, but it partially toasts the tomatoes, giving them a rich sweetness. I love popping a tomato chip in my mouth (yum!) and I can’t wait to use these in place of store-bought sun-dried tomatoes.

Peaches: Thankfully, there is no need to peel peaches before dehydrating them. I was dubious at first, thinking the skin would be bothersome. It’s not and I hardly notice it at all when I’m munching on my dried peach slices.

Bananas: Okay, I didn’t get these in Leavenworth, but I had some that needed eating quickly, so I thought I’d throw them in the dehydrator. I cut each banana into 8 “sticks” by cutting the banana in half and then cutting each half into four pieces lengthwise. These turned out great! I’m thinking they would be excellent dipped in peanut butter or Nutella for a calorie-dense hiking/climbing snack.

Pears/Apples: Again, don’t peel, just core and cut them into slices and throw into the dehydrator. The dried pears are especially sweet and taste better than candy!

Fruit leather: Finally, I made what I’m hoping will be a great fruit leather using 2 apples, 1 pear, 1 cup blueberries, and 2 tbsp ground flax seed. This amount of fruit makes two round leathers about 8″ across.

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