Dehydrating pineapples is easy to make and a good alternative to processed goods. It contains lesser calories while retaining its fiber and vitamins content. It’s an excellent healthy snack for all ages. Use dried pineapples in cereal or use it as an ingredient in cooking.
Easy Methods of Dehydrating Pineapples
How to prepare pineapples for dehydration
Select fresh pineapples from the market. Pineapples that are golden yellow in color and have a sweet ripe smell are a good choice. Place the pineapples on the cutting board. Remove the top and bottom parts using a serrated knife. Remove the skin and the brown spots in a diagonal manner. Repeat the process until the pineapple flesh is visible.
Cut the pineapples to produce rings or slice it further to create chunks. Use a round metal or a paring knife to remove the core. Wash thoroughly in running water and remove any dirt particles. Place in a clean bowl and set aside.
Do a pre-treatment before dehydrating pineapples. It is a process of maintaining the color of the fruit by dipping the slices in a solution. There are two approaches in pineapple drying- the sweet and unsweetened.
To make a sweetened dried pineapple, combine 1 cup of sugar and 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of honey to the mixture. Let it cool down. Stir and dip the pineapple slices into the cooled mixture.
For unsweetened pineapples, simply dip the chunks in a cup of water with lemon juice. Other ways in treating pineapples is to immerse them in water with ascorbic acid.
Dehydrating pineapples is a slow procedure. It relies on the thickness of the cut and the drying method used. It is recommended to make thin slices for faster dehydration.
Solar drying pineapples
It is the oldest and natural way of drying. It requires constant exposure of the food under the sun. This method is used for places with warm temperature and low humidity. The ideal temperature should be at least 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spread the pineapple slices on a tray. Cover it with screen or cheesecloth to prevent contact with insects. Expose it under the sun for at least 3 to 4 days.
- Turn over the pineapple slices throughout the drying process.
- Move the tray inside to avoid getting damp at night.
Drying pineapples in the oven
Using this method involves a huge amount of energy and is time-consuming. It is not advisable to turn up the oven to hasten the drying process. Pineapple slices may appear cooked from the outside but still juicy inside.
- Set the oven at 140 degrees F or keep the dial under “warm”.
- With the aid of a fan, open the oven door about 2 inches to allow air circulation.
- Arrange the pineapple slices on the rack and turn over the pieces to dry evenly.
- Drying time might take 4 to 12 hours.
Keep the oven out of children’s reach.
Dehydrating pineapples in the food dehydrator
This is the ideal method for drying fruits as it keeps the quality of the fruit. Most dehydrators have pipes that promote air distribution. They are also designed to dry the pieces faster.
- Distribute the pineapple pieces on the food rack. Be sure not to overlap them to avoid sticking with each other.
- Fix the dehydrator temperature at 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The estimated time of drying is 6 hours. Once done, set aside and let the slices cool.
Read also: Which Food Dehydrator is Right for You
Dehydrating pineapples in the microwave
This method is suitable for small pieces of pineapple.
- Place 4 to 5 pieces of pineapples on paper towels.
- Set the microwave timer for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Check and remove the pieces. Turn and check if they are already brittle.
Repeat the dehydration process if brittleness is not yet achieved.
All foods preserved using the solar drying technique should undergo pasteurization. It is best to pasteurize the dried pineapples to kill any microorganisms. It destroys some insect eggs that might be present in the product. It also helps to prolong the shelf life. Deep freeze the dried pineapples at zero degrees or apply heat using the oven at 175 degrees for 10 minutes when the drying technique is completed.
How to store dried pineapples?
Allow at least 15 to 20 minutes to cool the product after the process. Leaving the dried pineapples too long may increase moisture to enter the fruit. It will also reduce the freshness of the product.
Cool, dehydrated pineapples should be placed in a clean container that has been washed and sterilized before. Ensure quality by storing them in airtight containers. Avoid using plastic zip locks for permanent storage. Rodents can easily chew the plastic container.
Avoid exposure to direct sunlight. If possible, store it in dark and dry places. Discard the pineapples if molds are already visible. Dried pineapples can last for up to 12 months depending on the temperature.
Dried pineapples may restore moisture by immersing them in water. This procedure is called reconstitution. Reconstitution of dehydrated pineapples will take up to 8 hours depending on its size and shape.