How To Dry Apricots In A Dehydrator

Apricots are a popular fruit that is consumed by millions of people across the world. They are not only yummy, but they are also very nutritious. A recent study revealed that just 100g of fresh or dried apricots can enrich you with 12% of vitamin A and C and 6% potassium, a vital mineral that helps to enhance your overall health and wellness. Apricots are also rich in fiber which helps to lower bad cholesterol, high in antioxidants which helps your body to get rid of toxins and calcium with helps in the formation and development of bones. Unfortunately, apricots are highly perishables and fresh apricots can only last for a few days when stored in a refrigerator. If you want this highly nutritious fruit to last for long, then you need to dry them. Dried apricots can last up to 2.5 years and still maintain their nutritional value. But the big question is, how are apricots dried? In this article, we are going to give you step by step process on how to dehydrate apricots at home.

1. Ensure that the apricots are fully ripe

  • One of the biggest mistakes that people make is dehydrated under-ripe apricots. If you do so, then you will not enjoy them because they will be bitter. Therefore, before you start the dehydration process, ensure that they are fully ripe so as to enjoy their delicious taste when they are dried.

2. Wash the fruits thoroughly

  • Before you start the drying process, ensure that you wash each fruit thoroughly with clean water to remove dirt, debris, insects, and dirt that have mounted on its outer skin. Experts advise that you should only wash the apricot if you want to use it. This is because once this fruit is washed, water usually gets inside core making it rot. Therefore, you should not wash them if you are not planning to use them immediately.

3. Cut the apricot along the seam

  • Cut the apricot along the seam with a sharp knife to split the fruits into half. Remove any bad spot then place them into the dehydrator sheets. If you are not planning to consume your apricots within 2-3 months, then we recommend that you should pre-treat them before dehydrating them. This will help to prevent browning. This can be done using lemon juice. Also, make sure you remove any bad spot on the fruit.

4. Turn the apricot halves inside out

  • Take each half of the apricot then press them up with your thumb to turn the fruit inside out. This will help expose the interior of the fruit to the heat for even drying. Gently place the apricots on trays and ensure that you leave space between them so that they can all dehydrate properly. We recommend that you place at most 10 apricots per tray and they should be evenly spaced.

5. Dehydrate the apricots

  • Before you start dehydrating the apricots, make sure the dehydrator is placed in a well-ventilated area with plenty of space. This will help prevent your house from getting too hot. Gently place the dehydrator sheets with apricots to the dehydrator. Dehydrate the apricots for a period between 16- 20 hours while rotating the trays after a few hours for even cooking. Once the apricots have fully dehydrated, unplug the dehydrator then allow the dried apricots to cool down completely before removing them from the dehydrator.

6. Store the apricot

  • The place where you store the dried apricot is very important. We recommend that you store the apricots in mason jars or a resealable jar. Make sure that you remove as much air as you can to prevent moisture or mold build up. Place them in a cool dark place like the pantry. Place them in the refrigerator if you to store them for a long period of time.

Where should you place the dehydrator to avoid overheating your home?

  • Because the dehydrator produces a lot of heat, where you place this machine is very important. Experts recommend that it should be placed in a well-ventilated place because it will get hot when you switch it on.  There should not be anything behind or above the dehydrator to block airflow.  If you live a warm dry area, then you could place it outside or in the garage with the door partially open or on the patio to prevent overheating the house. However, if you keep it outside or on your patio then you should watch out for insects such as ants which are usually attracted by the smell of food.

Should apricots be peeled?

  • Not for drying and most recipes don’t require you to peel off the soft skin. The only time when you may be required to peel the skin if when you are using apricots as an ingredient to prepare baked foods. In this case, the skin needs to be peeled off because it can change the appearance and texture of the end product. If you have to peel the skin off, then all that you need to do is place the fresh apricot in boiling water for about 20 seconds then drop them immediately into ice water. This will make the skin to peel off easily.

Do apricots need to be pre-treated?

  • It is not a must to pre-treat apricots before storage if you are planning to consume within a short period of time (less than 2 months). However, if you want to store them for a long period of time (more than 2 years) then pre-treating is necessary.  Also, pre-treatment generally improves the appearance of dried apricots and will help to prevent browning of fruits prior to dehydrating. If you pre-treat the apricot, then it should be stored in freezer bags or in airtight containers. If you are using freezer bags, then you should ensure that all air is removed before sealing the bag. This will help to keep mold and moisture away.

HOW TO DRY CILANTRO AND CORIANDER

Cilantro Leaf

while the most common way to use cilantro, at least in the South and in Latin cuisines, is the use of fresh leaves there are other ways to use cilantro or the seeds (coriander). Cilantro can be dried or frozen or in the case of short-term use refrigerated. Coriander seeds necessarily are used dry, but they can be ground into a powder and uses a spice.

Raw Organic Dry Green Cilantro in a Bowl

Methods of Drying Cilantro Leaves

Drying your Cilantro harvest is easy to do at home and requires no special equipment.  However, you want to be sure to harvester cilantro before the plant begins to bolt for best results. Once the cilantro bolts the leaves change as does the flavor and the texture of the leaves. If your cilantro escapes from you, as mine sometimes does, and has started to flower you might as well let it go ahead and go to seed so you can use the coriander. If you still want cilantro leaves, you should go ahead and succession plant a new crops or if the weather is exceedingly hot consider growing your cilantro indoors in pots or as microgreens.

Traditional Method

Although Cilantro seeds (Coriander) are used most often in the large variety of dishes, dried Cilantro has its place in soups, sauces, and stews.

Equipment Required:

  • Garden or Kitchen shears
  • Basket or another container suitable for Cilantro sprigs
  • Salad Spinner or two clean kitchen towels
  • Rubber Bands
  • Clothes Drying Rack, Dry attic or porch
  • Small Brown Paper Bags (optional)

Method:

  • Gather your Cilantro harvest in the morning hours after the sun has dried away the dew of the night.
  • Gather the sprigs into small, loose bundles, and bind the stems together with rubber bands to keep them together as they dry. Be sure to space the branches to allow for good air circulation.
  • If using paper bags, cover each bundle and cut small slits the sides to allow for air flow around the Cilantro. These protective paper bags keep dust off of the Cilantro as it dries and stops the Cilantro becoming sunlight bleached.  Ensure that enough air flows through the paper bags to keep your Cilantro from molding.  Occasionally inspect your Cilantro, and, if necessary either cut more holes in the paper bags or remove the Cilantro from the paper bags.  Moisture may build up inside the paper bag, especially if the sun hits it, allowing fungus and mildew to form. Discard any molded leaves or bunches.
  • Hang your Cilantro upside down (leaf ends down) in a warm, dry place such as an attic, pantry, a disused room, or protected porch until the leaves are dry and brittle to the touch, which should take about two weeks.
  • Gather the dried bundles and place on a sheet of wax paper.
  • Crumble the dried leaves onto the wax paper and separate all of the tough stems.
  • Pour the Cilantro into a clean, airtight jar, Ziplock freezer bag, or a vacuum sealer pouch and seal tightly.

Storage:

Airtight jars or pouches can be stored Cilantro in a dry, dark place like your pantry, root cellar, or cupboard.

Uses:

Dried Cilantro and Cilantro can be used in sauces, gravies, dressings, vinaigrettes, chutneys, and a large variety of vegetable dishes.

Oven Drying Cilantro

Cilantro can be dried in the oven at the lowest temperature, or, if you have a gas stove with a pilot light using only the pilot light as the heat source, but this may take a little longer. Spread the cilantro evenly in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Special Note: If using a cookie sheet to dry the Cilantros, place the Cilantros to be dried on parchment paper to avoid direct contact with the metal trays.  Metal contact darkens the color of the Cilantro being dried, causing the Cilantro to lose its bright green color.

Equipment Required:

  • Salad Spinner or two clean kitchen towels
  • Kitchen shears or good chopping knife
  • Chopping board or block
  • Parchment Paper
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Oven

Directions:

  • Wash and gently spin dry the fresh Cilantro sprigs.
  • Pick out the discolored leaves and woody stems.
  • Using your ovens lowest temperature setting and preheat the oven.
  • Dice the cilantro into 1/4″ pieces onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet or spread the whole leaves in a thin layer on the paper.
  • Place in oven on evenly spaced racks for two to four hours or until Cilantro crumbles easily rubbed between your fingers. Your actual drying times vary a little from one day to the next.
  • Check the drying progress after about 30 minutes, and then at 15-minute intervals until the leaves feel dry and flaky. Remove from the oven to cool.
  • Shape the parchment paper into a funnel and place the smallest end over the mouth of a clean, completely dry jar or a vacuum sealer pouch and seal tightly.
Electric Food Dehydrator
Electric Food Dehydrator

Drying Cilantro In A dehydrator

Soak your Cilantro herbs in a bowl of water. Wash and gently spin dry the fresh Cilantro sprigs. Next, remove the stems of the leaves. Some people prefer to dry their herbs without removing the stems; it is a matter of personal preference.
Layout the cleaned leaves on dehydrator trays in a single layer–they can touch, but not overlapping. They will not stick together when they are dried.
You should process these in your favorite dehydrator at 110° for approximately 1 to 3 hours. Cilantro leaves dry fairly quickly, so, will want to check then frequently. You’ll know they are done when the leaves are crisp and crumble between your fingers.

Dry Coriander Seeds
Dry Coriander Seeds

Dried Coriander Sееdѕ

  • Clip the seed heads from the mature Coriander plant as soon as you notice that the flower heads are starting to set seeds. Sееdѕ usually mature rather quickly, so act quickly.
  • Gather the clipped seed heads into loose bundles and secure with a rubber band.
  • Cover the seed pod bundles with paper bags and hang upside down in an airy, dry place to dry.  The seed should separate from the seed heads within a few weeks.
  • Shake the dried Cilantro paper bags to loosen any other seeds and pour onto a piece of wax paper or parchment paper.
  • Remove the stems and any other debris to separate the seeds and pour into a small spice container for use in the kitchen or for planting in the Spring!
Dry Herbs and Spices On A Shelf
Dry Herbs and Spices On A Shelf

Storage:

  • Place jar or pouch in a dry, dark place such as your kitchen cabinet, pantry or even your freezer.
  • Dried Cilantro will last as long as any other dried Cilantro you buy—as long as two years.

Related References

Top 5 Ways to Preserve and Store Your Garden Harvest

Garden Vegetables
Garden Vegetables

There is always a special feeling attached to planting in a garden, seeing it grow, harvesting, preserving, storing, and then enjoying the fruits of your hard work. The periods where you have more great yields from your garden harvest are indeed a blessing, but for you to enjoy your garden produce all year round you need to learn to preserve them. Food Preservation and storage is fast becoming somewhat of a lost art, and it is quite embarrassing. Our great-grandmothers and grandmas all witnessed the basic economic movements and placed real value in learning and teaching food preservation to their daughters to take similar actions.

Some may be of the view that such skills are not as significant in this modern era, but I believe self-sufficiency is at all times very important. What necessary actions you take when you see an excellent deal at farmers marketplace or the grocery store? What is your response like when you get offers for agreement on a bushel of the harvest that always gets your attention in one way or another? What steps do you take when you get a bountiful harvest of green beans, berries, and others? There is only so much of any one food you can eat before you start losing your appetite or it begins to go wrong. If you know much about preserving your garden harvest, you can apply it and use your preserved produce all year round. Learning to protect and store your garden harvest is a practical skill we all need to utilize.

Dry Pack Frozen Strawberries
Dry Pack Frozen Strawberries

Freeze your Harvest

An excellent place to begin preserving and storing your garden harvest is by freezing it. Freezing is a unique way of storing fruits such as berries and peaches that have short lifespan especially once they are ripe. It is quite comfortable and straightforward, and anybody can do it. All you need do is cook your harvest into some preferred freezer friendly meals, or wash and blanch them before preserving them by freezing. Blanching veggies are essential for the reason that it stops enzymatic action (preserving color, flavor, texture) and eliminates bacteria.

The only real drawback of freezing is that you have a limited amount of space in your freezer. You can also develop the habit of placing labels (with dates) on frozen food as well. By taking this step, you would know the content before pulling it out to defrost and how long you preserved it in there. The following fruits freeze particularly well:

  • Blanched apples and beans (including runner and French)
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Gooseberries
  • Peas
  • Rhubarb
  • Raspberries

Homemade Jam
Homemade Jam

Can your Harvest

Canning is amongst the most useful ways to preserving food. Most of us still have memories of our grannies canning fruits and vegetables. It is almost a lost skill that needs reviving. There are two known canning approaches:

  • Pressure Canning. And
  • Water Bath Canning.

The water bath canning is safer for most produce like fruits and jams. Nevertheless, if you wish to can meat or low-acidic veggies like green beans, you will be required to make use of pressure canning to make sure the preserving is safe. If you live in areas with considerable altitude, you also are expected to pressure can.

Everything you make can be canned, from chili and green beans to peas and pie filling too. Canning is feasibly most splendid due to its zero-space requirement in your freezer or fridge. You can also store canned foods in your basement, pantry, root cellar, or on kitchen shelves. Heck, you can preserve canned foods underneath the spare bed if you do not have enough space! Properly canned food lasts a lot more than any other means of preservation or storage.  Canning offers a great way to preserve your garden harvest and feeding your home.

If you have not done the canning process before, it is best you learn from trusted guidelines available. One of the things to bear in mind with the canning process is that higher levels of heat can affect part of the nutritious content of your canned food. So, it is worth discovering other food preservation and storing types.

Jars of Dehydrated Fruit
Jars of Dehydrated Fruit

Dehydrate your Harvest

If you lack enough space for storage, you can also consider dehydrating your food. You even can begin by making use of your oven pre-configured to its minimum level. Try drying some slices of apple, cereal, or any other food type you use in baking all through the year. You can make further exploration and make fun finger food like fruit leather, kale chips, and even dried vegetables that you can use in making soup.

Pickled Vegetables
Pickled Vegetables

Pickle  your Harvest

Another old-fashioned favorite, this method preserves and stores food by pickling it. When you hear somebody say “pickling” veggies, it at most times often implies they are keeping the vegetables in vinegar. Due to vinegar’s acetic acid constituent (should be no less than 5%), several sources say that produce conserved in it do not require to be chilled. Pickling involves dipping them in salt water made from salt, sugar, water, and other pickling spices. You also can make use of fresh leaves by inserting them in vinegar, then letting them stay close to 2 months in the dark. At this stage, you can strain them out and leave a pleasing flavored vinegar which you can use in dressings and other things.

The most frequently pickled item is obviously pickling, and it is an exceptional place to begin. But do not stop there. You can also pickle cabbage, carrots, okra, peppers, and a wider variety of other fruits and vegetables. Play with it and discover more choices you might like. Pickled plants make an excellent addition to snacks and salads all through the year. Once you begin pickling, you might just resolve to try fermentation on a bigger scale. It is a slippery slope, and you have been cautious.

Dry Beans Stored in Pantry
Dry Beans Stored in Pantry

Cold Store your Harvest

Another excellent method is the least Cold Store. It is the most straightforward means of preserving and storing food. Fruits like apples, cabbages, and root vegetables can be stored well in a cold, dark, and dry place. This storing option is the reason most houses have root cellars. Nowadays, your pantry might also be an excellent location for storing and preserving this type of product. If you are lucky to own a basement, you could smartly arrange some shelves around to keep loads of food for the coming months.

CONCLUSION

Learning a preservation and storage process for your garden harvest is vital to enjoying your hard work. Preservation and storage process for food during the harvest months are created to make your produce last long into the winter periods. Although some means might best be suited for some garden produce, you would always find a method to meet your demands. They are lots of information online relating to how to safely and adequately preserve and store your harvest. You can learn and apply such steps towards self-support and economic freedom. Learning new ways is always fun, and I can assure you would enjoy the processes involved in each of the techniques mentioned above. Yes, practice makes perfect, so whenever it is time to enjoy your garden harvest, always remember to set some aside and apply these storage techniques.