This month the Recipe Redux is all about dried fruits. This is the perfect time too, because summer is coming to a close but there’s still some good fruit to be had and you can preserve it to eat later it in the year. Making oven dried fruit is easy and it’s a great way to preserve the taste of summer to eat in the off season. What can you do with dried fruit? You can do los with dried fruits; add it to your oatmeal or sprinkle it on your favorite cereal, make fruit compotes with a mixture of fresh and dried fruit, make a trail mix with dried fruit and your favorite nuts, add it to your favorite sourdough bread recipe, stir it into curries, make liqueurs, cook up a chutney, bake a fruitcake, add it to your chicken casserole, or take it on car trips as it won’t spoil and smell. Is Dried Fruit Better for You? You have to be careful when consuming dried fruit because it has higher sugar content than fresh fruit, and more calories. On the flip side, dried fruits have at least twice the amount of fiber than fresh fruit. Oven Dried or Dehydrated? When you dry fruit in a conventional oven you lose more nutrients than when you with a dehydrator, which essentially blows dry air on the fruit, and is a gentler process which results in less loss of nutrients. But, not everyone has a dehydrator or is ready to invest in one, in which case using the oven is a good way to see if you enjoy making and eating dried fruits before making the investment of a dehydrator. Check out the links below for more information: Dried Fruits, Whfoods.org Drying Fruits, NDSU
Making oven dried fruit is pretty easy. To get started all you'll need a couple of sheet pans, and silplats or parchment paper.
- 1 quart water
- 1 cup lemon juice, or 1 teaspoon citric acid
- 3-1/2 cups peeled, cored, and/or pitted fruit
- Select fully ripened, unblemished fruit.
- Peel, core, or pit the fruit as called for.
- Pour citric acid or lemon into the water, add the fruit and let it soak 10 minutes.
- Remove the fruit with a slotted spoon and pat dry.
- Place the fruit on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper a silpat.
- Oven dry at 140° for 5-6 hours. It should be leathery and pliable when done.