Dehydrating Quick Tip #2 I have fresh fruit that is turning bad in spots, can I still dehydrate it?
We’ve all been there. Earlier in the week, you find a terrific deal on apples and bananas at the grocery store. You purchase several extra pounds, intending to dehydrate them into chips later in the week, but you didn’t get around to it.
You may have let it go too long, you think, and that good deal will turn out to be a waste of money if you don’t do something soon. Life’s been crazy and those pieces of fruit are glaring at you every time to go into the kitchen.
Your best intentions are about to be foiled.
As you look closer you see that some of the fruit is turning bad in spots. Can you still dehydrate fruit that is turning bad?
The Quick Answer
Yes, if the fruit is still somewhat firm, carve out any truly inedible parts, then use the remainder in your dehydrating process. After all, as mature fruit ripens the sugar levels increase, so you can take advantage of this wonderful sweetness when you add it to food!
Continue reading for some cautions.
There is more to Consider
If the ripe fruit has turned mushy and is very juicy, (this is especially prevalent with plums and peaches) but there is no mold present, the fruit is probably a better candidate for turning it into fruit leather, rather than dehydrating as pieces. Be aware that drying does not improve food quality, so if the food has an off odor, it’s best to add it to the compost bin instead.
If you have determined that the fruit is still good, wash each fruit piece thoroughly and cut out any imperfections. Remove skins (if desired), stems, and stones, then puree for using in your favorite fruit leather recipe.
Do Not Use If…
Skip using the fruit if you detect that there is mold growing. Sort and discard any fruit that shows decay or mold. These defects can affect all foods being dried.
Some may advise that it is okay to eat partially rotten fruit simply because you can remove the part of the fruit from the top that exhibits mold/fungus. But this might be a mistake. If the mold has grown to the point where it is dense enough, then it has roots that go much deeper in the fruit than visible.
Selecting Foods to Dry
As a general rule, you should select the best quality produce at the peak of ripeness and flavor. Wash these carefully to remove debris, dust, and insects, and cut away any bruised or damaged sections right before processing.
Don’t bother with immature produce unless you have several days before you want to dehydrate it. Immature fruit lacks flavor and color. On the other hand, overripe fruit can be tough and fibrous, or soft and mushy.
The Bottom Line
Maybe, if the fruit has no mold and enough pieces to salvage.
No, if the fruit has mold growing.
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