As we like backpacking, we have started experimenting with dehydrating food to keep weight down. While you can buy special dehydrated meals, they are expensive and we’ve found its pretty easy to do it yourself.
Here is our process for dehydrating fruit. You can do this with canned or fresh fruit. If the fruit is canned you need to drain the juices.
Here we have a mix of fresh apples, and canned peaches, pears and pineapples (We’ll report on the mandarins pictured in a future post). You need airflow to dehydrate the fruit so we have put them on an oven rack above a tray lined with some parchment (baking) paper to catch any drips. Note: do not use wax paper… it will catch fire.
We can dehydrate them in the oven (electric). To do that we put it on a low temperature and use a oven thermometer to monitor the temperature. You want a max of about 70C as above that temperature the fruit cooks. We prop the door open a bit using the handle of a wooden spoon to allow for air to circulate.
After 6 to 12 hours depending on the moisture levels you have delicious fruit strips.
Here you can see that I got the temperature a little bit high as the pineapple has browned a bit. You don’t need any sugar or oils to do this. You end up with incredibly concentrated fruit strips. Remember to drink water with them when you eat them as they have very little moisture inside. If you do a good job the fruit will last for months if you seal them (they reabsorb moisture from the air) … although they are so tasty we eat them pretty quick. The fruit is fantastic in home made granola as it really adds a bit of zing to the flavour.