Tuesday, 1 October 2013

dehydrating berries

Have you ever tried to dehydrate berries? Ugh, talk about exercising great patience! Pricking the skins of each individual blueberry, four soggy days on the drying tray later and you've given up hope... 

Well I've discovered a neat little trick that means you don't need to prick skins or wait for days before the berries dry. Freezing the berries you want to dehydrate means you'll spend way less time and energy enjoying your nice, low GI snack. Freezing berries seems to burst the cell walls, allowing the drying process to speed up by a factor of three, without harming the nutrient content too much.

If you're lucky enough to grow your own strawberries, raspberries or blueberries, or have access to fresh organic berries, you can simply wash and dry them, then store them in zip lock bags and place them in the freezer, ready and waiting until you want to dehydrate a batch. Raspberries and and blueberries can be frozen whole. Strawberries are best sliced lengthways first, then frozen.

Lay the frozen berries on the mesh drying trays in your dehydrator, making sure they aren't too crowded together, and turn it on. 24 hours later, the berries will be nice and dry and ready to use. The Strawberries especially, tend to dehydrate into "fruit leather" type texture. After they've dried, I usually snip the strawberries into smaller pieces with kitchen scissors before I add them to my muesli (I will post the muesli/granola recipe soon)

So that's it. A neat little dehydrating cheat to save heaps of time.

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