Dried apricots and other types of fruit are beneficial for your health because they provide a wide mixture of nutrients. They're also healthy and low calorie equivalents to other snack foods that people commonly eat. For a healthy and sweet food that will satisfy your hunger in between meals while simultaneously helping you to lower or maintain your weight, choose dried fruits.
Fortunately, drying fruits at home is not a complicated process. There are fruit dryers and other machines that you can buy which will accomplish this task for you. If you decide to use one of these appliances or if you decide instead to use your own oven or other equipment to help dry your fruit, you'll find that your dried apricots and other fruits will be tastier. They'll also have better texture and be capable of providing you with a wider mixture of nutrients if you take certain measures to ensure that you preserve them in the best way. Read on for a brief guide on how to dry fruits at home in order to make healthy snacks for you and your family.
Preparing the Fruit
Before you begin the drying process, you'll first need to carefully select and clean the fruit. Choose fruit that is fully ripe already (or allow the fruit to ripen at home first before you attempt to dry it). Rinse it well and ensure that there are no bruises or other damages to the fruit.
In order to achieve maximum flavor and nutrient retention, it's a good idea to blanche any apricots or apples that you'll dry first before you begin the procedure. Place them in boiling water for a few minutes, then quickly move them to ice water for a few minutes before drying them off with a paper towel. For peaches, bananas, and pineapples mix three cups of water with a cup of sugar and heat the mixture, then add a spoonful of honey. Bring the mixture to a low temperature and dip each piece of fruit inside of it before you place it on the drying rack or in the oven.
Drying the Fruit
There are dehydrating machines that will work to dry slices of fruit out for you. However, if you don't wish to invest in one of these, turn on your oven to about 175 degrees and allow it to heat up. Be sure that the oven racks are clean before you begin. When the oven is hot enough, place the slices of fruit directly onto the racks and leave them in the oven for several minutes, checking periodically. You'll likely need to flip over the fruit slices midway through as well.
You can also sun dry the fruit if you live in an area that is sufficiently warm and not humid. Place the fruit out on a clean surface in direct sunlight for several hours, then bring it inside overnight to avoid collecting dew or other moisutre. Repeat for a few days until the fruit is dried to your liking.