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.