When the garden is providing ample fruit and you are looking for something different to do with the fruit, consider drying it. Dried fruit is a delicious alternative to fresh, frozen and canned fruit. Almost any fruit can be dried to create tasty and nutritious fruit that's ideal for snacking and baking. Dried fruit retains beneficial nutrients, requires no freezing and occupies less shelf space than canned fruit.
Condition the fruit immediately after drying it. Place the cooled and dried fruit into glass jars or plastic containers. Pack the fruit loosely and tightly seal the containers. This will ensure that the drying process has removed all of the moisture from the fruit.
Place the containers in a cool, dry location and allow the fruit to sit inside the containers for seven to 10 days.
Shake the fruit inside the containers every day to keep the fruit from sticking to each other. Inspect the sides of the containers for condensation during the shaking. The presence of condensation means the fruit has not dried sufficiently and must be returned to a food dehydrator.
Continue shaking and observing for the entire 7-to-10-day period, and then proceed with the final packaging.
Place the conditioned dried fruit in permanent containers for storage. The same plastic or glass jars used during the conditioning period should be suitable. Metal cans or plastic sealing bags also will work. Pack the fruit into the containers as tightly as possible without damaging the fruit. Seal the packages tightly.
Store the packaged dried fruit in a dark, dry and cool location. Check the fruit often to ensure that it is free of moisture, which can contribute to mold and spoilage.
Use your dried fruit within six months to one year.