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Dehydrating Your Summer Produce

Yes, You CAN!
a dehydrator shelf with dried peaches
Event Date(s)
Event Time
Jo Daviess Extension office

Dried foods are delicious, healthy, lightweight, and easy to store, use, and transport. In fact, drying is one of the oldest food preservation methods around. So, whether you are looking to lighten the weight of your favorite foods for camping and backpacking or preserving fruits and vegetables throughout the winter, drying is simply easy and safe. 

However, understanding the basic principles behind the dehydrating process is key to the success of enjoying dried goods months after harvesting. The method of drying or dehydrating removes moisture from food to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold, and yeast. Moreover, it slows down enzyme activity without deactivating them, ensuring food does not spoil easily. Thereby making drying an effective food preservation technique.

Commonly dehydrated foods include fruits and vegetables in the form of chips or leather and herbs. However, some fruits and vegetables are more suitable for drying than others. Additionally, depending on the produce being dried, you may need to pretreat or blanch the items before beginning the drying process. 

Join University of Illinois Extension's Nutrition and Wellness Educator, Diane Reinhold, for Yes! You Can: Preserve It Safely: Dehydrating Your Summer Produce. This educational session will cover the basics of safely selecting, dehydrating, and storing fruits and vegetables.