If you enjoy organic foods, you may be interested in making organic dried fruit. For best results, be sure to start with fruit that you have confirmed as being organic.
Choose the Right Fruit
One of the most important steps that you must take when preparing organic dried fruit is that if you really want the final product to be organic, you must start with the right products. Organic fruit is fruit that has not been treated with pesticides, herbicides, or antibiotics of any kind. No matter if you are growing the fruit yourself, or are purchasing it from your supermarket, you must use care to ensure that the fruit really is organic. If you are growing the fruit yourself, this process should be relatively simple. If you have not used any of the materials discussed above in the growing process, you can rest assured that your fruit is, indeed, organic. If you are purchasing the fruit from a grocery or market, look for a sign that states whether or not the fruit is organic. By law, companies and individuals who label their products as being “organic” must follow strict guidelines in their growing processes.
Cut the Fruit
Once you have selected a quantity of organic fruit, you must cut it properly. Ideally, dried fruit should be cut into pieces that are as even as possible in order to ensure optimal drying. The size of the pieces you cut really varies according to the type of fruit. For example, if you are using apples or pears, which are relatively large and do not have a pit that needs to be removed, you may want to consider using a mandolin to cut very thin slices through the entire fruit. If you are drying peaches or other fruits that are soft and/or have a large pit, a better tactic may be to cut wedges from the fruit, and cut each of these wedges into uniform sized cubes. As discussed above, the cutting method doesn’t matter as much as ensuring all pieces are of a similar size.
Allow the Fruit to Dry
Next, allow the fruit to dry properly. If you have a food dehydrator, you can place the cut fruit inside the machine and follow the instructions provided. However, you can still dry fruit without one of these machines. Simply place a layer of the fruit, cut side down, on a baking sheet or other large, flat surface. Place the baking sheet in direct sunlight for at least eight hours. After this amount of time has passed, flip each piece of fruit over, so the other side is now exposed to the sun. Continue drying for another eight hours. Check the fruit after this time has passed. If it has not dried to your desired degree, leave it in the sun and continue flipping at eight hour intervals.
Store the Fruit Properly
Finally, in order to ensure optimal results, dried fruit should be stored properly. Ideally, this fruit should be placed in an airtight container, and kept in a dry, cool place, such as a cabinet away from your stove.