Fruit and vegetables are an important part of the hiker’s daily diet. They are naturally good and contain vitamins and minerals that can help to keep you healthy, produce energy and recover tissues during long backpacking trips.
Dehydrated vegetables and fruit are a handy snack food and are easily carried. Include them in your backpacking meals for a healthy, well-balanced diet.
What fruits and vegetables can be dried?
You may be wondering what kinds of fruits and vegetables you can dehydrate, and that’s a fair enough question. The reality is that nearly all fruits and vegetables are dryable and that goes for frozen and canned fruits/vegetables too.
How to dehydrate fruits and vegetables?
Drying fruits and vegetables is very simple. Follow guidelines below for the best result:
Step 1. Make sure your fruits and vegetables have been washed, peeled, cored, shred or sliced.
To slow browning process, you should dip some vegetables and fruit into an acid-citric bath such as apple juice, pineapple juice or water with lemon juice.
Vegetables that have a relatively long cooking time (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, asparagus, pumpkin, beets) should be steam-blanched or roasted before drying.
If you’re using canned fruits and vegetables, you’ll need to drain the juice before putting on the dehydrator trays. Frozen vegetables and fruits don’t generally need pre-treatment.
Step 2. Spread prepared fruits/vegetables on dehydrator mesh sheets or trays covered with non-stick sheets or parchment paper in a single layer.
Step 3. Dehydrate vegetables at 130F/52C and fruits at 135F/57C. Drying times vary from plant to plant and depend largely on the sugar and water content of the food.
Step 4. Store dried fruits and vegetables in airtight containers in a dark, cool place.
Learn how to dehydrate most common fruits and vegetables from our Online Food Dehydrating Class.