Can you freeze dry fruit yourself?

I often get asked if can you freeze dry fruit and how is it done? The simple answer to that question is that you can do it yourself and that it is quite straight forward. Most of the time, I freeze dry locally grown fruit. In my part of the world, we get a lot of apples, plums, strawberries,  and apricots. I freeze dry both of them as they always turn up in my kitchen very fresh. However, when I can get hold of very fresh fruit from other areas, I freeze dry them as well. The key is freshness – fruit that should be freeze dried should always be fresh.


1116188_19572619A step by step guide to freeze drying fruit

The first thing you need to do is to wash the fruit and dry it very gently. You don’t want to damage the fruit as this means that it can spoil during the process of freeze drying. I have eight apple trees in my garden, and at the moment they are producing a lot of fruits. If, you can get hold of fresh apples, you should try freeze-drying it. It tastes delicious and it is just packed with nutrition. Pound per pound, this fruit packs a real, nutritious punch.

After you have cleaned the fruit, you should cut up into small pieces and try to do so as quick as possible. Place the fruit on trays and do not cover up. It is important that a lot of the water content is removed, covering up the fruit will stop the process of freeze drying.

Don’t set your freezer to the highest setting. I actually set mine to the lowest setting and leave the fruit in the freezer for about a week. During that time, I don’t open the door or the lid. This ensures that no contamination can get in and the process of sublimation takes place more efficiently.

After a week or longer, remove one piece of fruit and allow it to thaw. If it turns black, it means that it has not gone through the entire process yet. It is always best to err on the side of caution and leave it for a longer period of time. Remember that the juicier a fruit is, the more time it will need.

Once your fruit is properly freeze dried, you can remove it and put into storage bags. Make sure that you seal the bags properly, but you do need to push out all of the air first of all. Oxygen will spoil your frozen fruit. Place in your freezer or storage cupboard.

Play around with different fruits and find out which one works for you. One of the best fruits to start with is bananas. They are normally quick to freeze dry, and homemade freeze-dried bananas taste great.

Freeze drying is a good process to learn but never underestimate the importance of good quality storage bags. This is a really worthwhile investment, and will save you money in the long run. You can buy some great bags and you can even buy special pumps which can help you to vacuum seal the bags. Home freeze dried fruits taste great, and it is an important skill to have.1100632_33041562

Don’t be afraid to experiment, and show your friends how you can freeze dry fruit and how it is done. Berries can may great store cupboard ingredients, and sometimes wild berries even come for free. That makes freeze drying such a useful skill to have in your prepper’s personal how to do it guide.

Storage Solutions – Make sure you store your food in the appropriate type of containers.  If you want it to last a long time, consider placing it with oxygen absorbers inside heat sealed Mylar Bags.  Or you can also place with an oxygen absorber inside a canning jar and store it in a dark, cool, and dry location.

How to Dehydrate Foods and Factors to Consider

Dehydrating foods is a great way of preserving it so that it can be used for a longer period. It simply involves the removal of moisture in the foods such as meat etc. so that one can increase its shelf life. Dehydrating of foods is slightly different from the traditional methods such as freeze-drying. Dehydrating encompasses removal of moisture from the foods. It also takes up less space as compared to other methods e.g. traditional canning. Foods which are dehydrated can typically last for up to one year or more.

There are basically five methods which can be used to dehydrate foods. They include the following;

dehydrate foodsOff Grid Drying Racks – This method allows a person to use natural dehydration to preserve his or her food. It does not involve the use of artificial heat. The use of the mesh or grid on the sides helps in keeping away unwanted matter and bugs from the food. The only type of energy used in this method is either the sun or the wind. The grids are easy and expensive to build by simply using wood and window screening. However, this method is slower compared to other methods.

Electrical Dehydrators – This is one of the best methods of dehydrating foods. It is very convenient in that one just throws his or her stuff and walks away. You don’t have to worry a lot about the weather or any unwanted staff such as the bugs. However, its major limitation is that it is dependent on power. So in case power is lost, the dehydration process is halted. Despite that this is the most reliable method of dehydration bearing in mind that is the safest.

Oven Drying – In this method, dehydrators are not used. It allows one to have the benefit of heat drying with the exclusion of dehydrators. In this method, however, less food is dehydrated and one has to keep an eye every now and then so as to regulate the temperatures and switch the trays.

Air Drying – This is one of the oldest methods of dehydration. In the olden days, it was mostly used for dehydrating herbs and flowers. It simply involves tying a bundle of foods and then hanging them in well-ventilated space. This gives room for the foods to dry naturally from the circulation of air and pulling out of the moisture. However, this does not work well in climates with high humidity. So as to keep away unwanted substances such as dust and insects, some people usually tie a paper bag around the bundle to be hanged.

Microwave Drying – One can also use a microwave to dehydrate foods. It involves layering the foods in a wax paper and then cooking them for substantially longer periods of time. In this way moisture is drawn out of the foods and into the microwave. However, in this method one has to keep checking the food from time to time so as to prevent possible damage in the food. Another limitation of this method is that it is a primary method. For the food to be completely dehydrated it has to be put in a conventional oven.

Factors to consider before dehydrating foods


  1. One should first understand his or her dehydrator clearly, this, of course, applies to those who will use an electrical dehydrator. If one does not have a dehydrator, he or she can use the above-mentioned methods. So the first consideration is first to understand the technique of dehydration one is using for the type of food.
  2. Also, one should seek to understand the kind of food he or she is dehydrating. For example, some vegetables require to be blanched before dehydrating. Also when dehydrating, make sure that you only dehydrate one family of foods at a time. For example, fruits can be mixed together but should not be combined with vegetables which are strong tasting or smelling. Also, different foods require different dehydration temperatures.Preserve-Food-by-Dehydrating
  3. Also, one should consider the time available. This is because some methods and foods consume more time than others.
  4. Consider the storage factor. Storage is very vital for any preserved food. The foods should either be stored in  heavy duty sealed mylar food storage bags, or in a dry sterile, glass jar, etc.
  5. Join a support group so that you can do it together. Or go to facebook pages related to long term food storage.


Pasco Washington – a Farmers Place to Market

Welcome to the Farmer’s place in Pasco, Washington to preserve their fruits and vegetables for long term storage.

We are in the progress of updating our site so that you have the best experience possible.

Pasco WashingtonWe will offer a lot of advice regarding fruits and vegetables. Including a new series on dehydrating and freeze drying your foods for long term food storage.

Think about it, not all produce is in stock year round, so why not get your food at its peak freshness and lock in all of its wonder at its pinnacle.

What?  You don’t know how to freeze dry or dehydrate your food?  No problem!  We have a full series of articles about that very topic.  They will be posted soon.

What?  You don’t know how to properly store your food for the long term?  No problem, we will teach you how to can foods and even store your foods in Mylar Bags with Oxygen Absorbers and the best place to buy them.1303029_97224181

Make sure you go out daily to the best farmers market in Pasco to make sure you get the best produce at the best time.  Again, make sure you buy extra so that you can store up all that goodness.

Also, coming very soon are some of our best “Prepper” articles, so make sure you check back for them.