The Complete Guide to Sun Drying Fruits and Vegetables

Drying fruits, vegetables, and herbs is a process that has been around for a long time. In fact, it is one of the first known methods of preserving food.

Today, we take the ability to extend the shelf life of our food for granted. We have expensive refrigerators and freezers that do all the work for us.

For a long time, canning was also one of the most widely used food preservation methods. While it's still a great method of storing food, it causes a loss of nutrients in the process.

With the invention of instant freezing in 1924, many people stopped drying their fruits and vegetables and added freezers to their homes.

But there are still many benefits to knowing how to dry your crops in the sun. Let's dig:

What are you going to need?

If you live in an extremely humid region, do your best to diversify into the drier season if possible.

All you need to dry in the sun are:

  • A slat bottom grill (or something similar that allows airflow)
  • Spatula
  • Gauze
  • Lemon juice and/or red wine vinegar

How to dry food in the sun

1. Choose your produce

Your fruits or vegetables must be fresh, clean, and ripe. Make sure your selection is free of blemishes, wormholes, or bruises. Only the best will do for your sun-dried food.

2. Wash the produce well

Do your best to remove all dirt, debris, and insects from your chosen crop.

3. Cut and remove pits and seeds

Smaller items can be left whole, but for large items like tomatoes, you should cut the fruit into smaller pieces. A whole tomato rotted in the sun, as it usually happens at the end of the harvest.

When cutting the produce, do your best to keep everything the same size. That way they will dry at the same rate.

Remove seeds and seeds as best as possible from products that contain these elements.

4. Soak the produce for 5 minutes

For about five minutes, soak the fruit in lemon juice to prevent it from turning brown when it dries in the sun. Well, finished products are important too!

Since you probably don't like the lemon and mushroom flavor, you can use red wine vinegar to treat some vegetables before drying them in the sun.

5. Let the sun drying begin

Place your pre-treated fruits and vegetables on the shelves of your choice. Keep it all together: mushrooms with mushrooms, apricots with apricots, etc.

Arrange products in a single layer to ensure even sun exposure, promoting a similar drying rate.

6. Select your drying place in the sun

Choose an area that is exposed to direct sunlight with good ventilation. If you live near a dusty farm field or road, try to protect your food from contamination with tarps, gauze, old clothing, or nets.

7. Flip your fruits and vegetables

To do every day! Go back to your product and flip each piece with a putty knife. This prevents rotting underneath and even sun exposure.

8. Bring your racks at night

Dewy nights mean dew products. We generally love the appearance of dew in an apple orchard in the morning. But the drops of water on the sun-dried fruit interrupt and sometimes spoil the process.

After about 3 days, you will start to see your products turn into the dried fruits and vegetables you have always dreamed of.

Some types of vegetables take longer, so don't assume it's done after three days, especially if you're in a humid climate.

How to know if your fruits and vegetables are completely dry

The fruits will be brittle, but almost brittle. You shouldn't see any condensation on your nuts. If you cut it in half, it shouldn't be able to squeeze out the moisture.

Think about how a raisin behaves when you squeeze it. It's smooth, but nothing comes out.

Vegetables are tough and brittle. The veggie won't sag when you squeeze it and there will be no moisture. Think of the split peas you buy from the store... they are tough and can even break if you hit them with a hammer.

Once your crop is perfectly sun-dried and cooled, it's time to store everything in the sealed jars of your choice.

We hope you enjoy watching this video about DIY dehydrating with the sun:

Source: Home Farm Ideas

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