I love dried fruit. It’s always been a treat of mine to eat as a snack. It’s perfectly portable, light, and available almost any time of the year. This fall our local farmer’s market carried dried apples by the bag. I assume these were made from the apple seconds that somehow were not purchased for pie making. I’ve destroyed several bags of those apples this winter and wish I had more. Now I have to wait ’til that farmer’s market reopens in May to hope that they have some leftover bags of apples. I can still taste those sweet almost spicy apple rings.
I received a new toy for the kitchen a few weeks ago. I’m not sure if I should be so excited about a food dehydrator-but I am! I did some of research and in the end I decided on the mac daddy of food dehydrators: the Excalibur. I realize a model with a timer might have been a smarter choice but hey sometimes you need to learn from your mistakes. I did choose one of the larger models so that I can dry a considerable amount of food at one time. I’l certainly be stopping by Costco for some bulk fruit soon. I’m still figuring it out the whole process but I’m having lots of fun while doing so.
I’ve been working on drying different kinds of fruit like pears, strawberries, and kiwis. It’s fascinating to learn that each fruit has a different length of time that it needs to ‘bake’ to dry out. I guess that seems normal since they all have different levels of water in them but it’s kinda fascinating. You can also tailor how dried you want something like you want crunchy pears for one fruit and nut mix but another time you might chose to take the pears out a couple hours earlier so that they are pliable for snacking. I dried some mangos a bit too long and they turned into stone like little strips. I chomped down on one a bit too vigorously and seriously wondered if I chipped a tooth. Needless to say, I need to work on my timing of fruit drying a bit more.
I’m very excited about this food dehydrator and the possibilities it opens for making more food in our home. Just think of the jerky I can cure, the fruit to dry, the ‘sun dried’ tomatoes to enjoy, and the veggies chips to use in dips. I’m drooling just thinking of all the possibilities.