*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
 
                    Drying And Preserving Foods Part Two
 
 Recipe By     : Ya got it from Lisa
 Serving Size  : 1    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Preserving
 
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
                         Drying Fruits
                         Pretreating Fruits
 
 Dried fruits are unique, tasty and nutritious. It might be argued that dried
 fruits are even tastier than fresh fruits. They have been called nature’s
 candy. Dried fruit tastes sweeter because the water has been removed thus
 concentrating the fruit’s flavor. Dried fruit can be eaten as a snack or added
 to cereals, muffins or ice cream. For diabetics or dieters, dried fruits
 satisfy that craving for sweets. However diabetics should be careful to
 consume only the amount equal to the fresh fruit exchange. Drying removes
 water, not calories. Preparing The Fruit Begin by washing the fruit and coring
 it, if needed. For drying, fruits can be cut in half or sliced. Some can be
 left whole. Thin, uniform, peeled slices dry the fastest. The peel can be left
 on the fruit, but unpeeled fruit takes longer to dry. Apples can be cored and
 sliced in rings, wedges or chips. Bananas can be sliced in coins or sticks.
 Fruits dried whole take the longest to dry. Before drying, skins need to be
 “checked” or cracked to speed drying. To “check” the fruit place it in boiling
 water and then in cold water. Because of the high humidity in the South, whole
 fruits need to be dried in a dehydrator instead of out-of-doors. Because
 fruits contain sugar and are sticky, spray the drying trays with non-stick
 cooking spray before placing the fruit on the trays. After the fruit dries for
 1 to 2 hours, lift each piece gently with a metal spatula and turn.
  ***** Pretreating Fruits for Drying
  Pretreatments prevent fruits from darkening. Many light-colored fruits, such
 as apples, darken rapidly when cut and exposed to air. If not pretreated,
 these fruits will continue to darken after they're dried. For long-term
 storage of dried fruit, sulfuring or using a sulfite dip are the best
 pretreatments. However, sulfites found in the food after either of these
 treatments have been found to cause asthmatic reactions in a small portion of
 the asthmatic population. Thus, some people may want to use the alternative
 shorter-term pretreatments. If home dried foods are eaten within a short time,
 there may be little difference in the long- and short-term pretreatments.
 Sulfuring Sulfuring is an old method of pretreating fruits. Sublimed sulfur is
 ignited and burned in an enclosed box with the fruit. The sulfur fumes
 penetrate the fruit and act as a pretreatment by retarding spoilage and
 darkening of the fruit. The sulfur fumes also reduce the loss of vitamins A
 and C. Fruits must be sulfured out-of-doors where there is adequate air
 circulation. (For more information contact your county Extension office.)
 Sulfite Dip Sulfite dips can achieve the same long-term anti-darkening effect
 as sulfuring, but more quickly and easily. Either sodium bisulfite, sodium
 sulfite or sodium meta-bisulfite that are USP (food grade) or Reagent grade
 (pure) can be used. To locate these, check with your local drugstores or hobby
 shops, where wine-making supplies are sold. 
 Directions for Use:
  Dissolve 3/4 to 1 1/2 teaspoons sodium bisulfite per quart of water. (If
 using sodium sulfite, use 1 1/2 to 3 teaspoons. If using sodium meta-
 bisulfite, use 1 to 2 tablespoons.)
  Place the prepared fruit in the mixture and soak 5 minutes for slices, 15
 minutes for halves. Remove fruit, rinse lightly under cold water and place on
 drying trays. Sulfited foods can be dried indoors or outdoors. (This solution
 can be used only once. Make a new one for the next batch.) Ascorbic Acid
 Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) mixed with water is a safe way to prevent fruit
 browning. However, its protection does not last as long as sulfuring of
 sulfiting. Ascorbic acid is available in the powdered or tablet form from
 drugstores or grocery stores. One teaspoon of powdered ascorbic acid is equal
 to 3000 mg of ascorbic acid in tablet form. (If you buy 500 mg tablets, this
 would be 6 tablets.) Directions for Use Mix 1 teaspoon of powdered ascorbic
 acid (or 3000 mg ascorbic acid tablets, crushed) in 2 cups water. Place the
 fruit in the solution for 3 to 5 miAfter drying, cool fruit 30 to 60 minutes
 before packaging. Avoid packaging warm food that could lead to sweating and
 moisture buildup. However, excessive delays in packaging could allow moisture
 to re-enter food. Don't forget, if you've dried fruit out-of-doors, it must be
 pasteurized before it is packaged.
  After drying, cool fruit 30 to 60 minutes before packaging. Avoid packaging
 warm food that could lead to sweating and moisture buildup. However, excessive
 delays in packaging could allow moisture to re-enter food. Don't forget, if
 you've dried fruit out-of-doors, it must be pasteurized before it is packaged.
 
 Compiled By Lisa Owner Fabfood Posted To Fabfood 5-15-98
 
 
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