Hi Im Tricia a California organic gardener. Harvest time is happening today I'm going to dehydrate some of my fruits and vegetables so that i can enjoy them in the upcoming winter months.
Many fruits and vegetables dehydrate well you can use your fruit to create all natural yummy fruit snacks. Dehydrated garden vegetables are perfect home-grown soup ingredients. Be sure and choose high quality fruit at the peak of ripeness avoiding dehydrating overripe or under ripe or damaged fruit or vegetables. If you don't put good produce in the dehydrator you're not going to get good produce out of the dehydrator.
Preparation is key to good dehydration most produce needs to be sliced before dehydrating and others may require basic pre-treatment. Fruits like apples and pears will brown a bit after slicing you can avoid that by using a dip if you want them to stay nice and white you can use citric acid, ascorbic acid, lemon, lime or pineapple juice mixed with water. This is mainly for cosmetic purposes and it may affect the taste of the fruit just a little bit if you don't care if your fruit is a little bit brown after dehydrating don't bother. It's important to have uniformly sliced fruit for dehydrating. For my apple's I use the apple peeler corer and for the pears I use my food processor. If you cut your pieces unevenly when you put them in the dehydrator some will be overdone and some will be undergone rather than uniformly dried If you're drying anything with a pit make sure and remove the pit to decrease the drying time. Space fruit evenly so that you get good airflow.
A pre-treatment called checking may be necessary for certain fruits like grapes, cherries, blueberries - fruits that have a waxy coating. To remove the waxy coating simply dip the berries or grapes into the boiling water for about thirty seconds or so. Some vegetables like green beans will benefit from either steam or water blanching before dehydrating this stops ripening, reduces flavor, nutrient and color loss and generally makes the produce dry faster. Steam blanching is preferable because you lose fewer water-soluble nutrients and time is varied based upon what your blanching. So all you want to do is when there done dump them in ice water bath to stop the cooking and then remove them quickly. Im going to make some fruit leather this is very easy to do and very tasty all you need to do is puree the fruit pour it onto a nonstick dehydrator sheet and then just dry it in the dehydrator until its leathery. Drying times are dependent on the humidity in the room and then water content of the fruit. The times are variable so you have to check the fruit often. When the fruit is done its going to be springy and leathery when the vegetables are done they'll be tough or brittle. Be sure and get a good guide about dehydrating. Preserve your fruits and vegetables so you can enjoy them all winter long and grow organic for life